in Chicago, Illinois, United States 
|Founder||William F. & Theobald Ludwig |
|Headquarters||North Carolina, United States|
|Products||Drum kits, timpani, percussion|
The Ludwig Drum Company was established in 1909 by William F. & Theobald Ludwig, sons of a German immigrant to the United States. William Jr. had been a professional drummer, playing with circuses and touring vaudeville shows, along with the occasional skating-rink gig. Since this work was irregular, he and his brother, Theobald, opened a drum shop in Chicago; they called it Ludwig & Ludwig. The company started with a concept for the design and manufacture of a functional bass drum pedal.
The company added new products to its catalog, such as snare drums and timpani in 1916. In 1917 Ludwig signed a deal to build rope drums to support World War I. Theobald Ludwig died in 1918 and William continued on his own. By 1923 the factory was the largest drum manufacturer in the world, employing 240 workers. In the late 20's the company was sold to the C.G. Conn instrument company. William Ludwig stayed on to run the company for Conn (which also owned the Leedy Drum Co. at this time). Eventually William Ludwig decided to leave Conn and start a new company of his own. He was unable to use the Ludwig name since that trademark now belonged to Conn who continued to market Ludwig & Ludwig drums.
In 1937, William bought a factory building and started The WFL Drum Company (his initials). The company continued producing drums at a small scale for the duration of World War II but after the armistice William got back to the idea of making the company a large drum manufacturer. WFL was a competitor with Ludwig and Ludwig. Conn combined their two drum brands into one in the early 50's forming Leedy & Ludwig and then decided to quit the drum business altogether. In 1955 William and his son Bill Jr. were able to buy the Ludwig trademark back from Conn and over the next few years their company and its products transitioned from the WFL brand over the being called "Ludwig" again.
Nevertheless, Ludwig's breakthrough would happen as late as February 9, 1964, when The Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, with the Ludwig logo displayed on the front of the bassdrum. The performance was watched by about seventy-three million people.
In 1981 William III sold the business to the Selmer Company (now Conn-Selmer). Selmer closed the Damen Avenue factory in the ensuing years and moved the drum production business to Monroe, North Carolina in 1984. The Musser manufacturing facility remained in LaGrange, Illinois until 2013, and was then moved to Elkhart, Indiana.
- Carmine Appice 
- Eric Carr, KISS
- Ginger Baker
- Tony Buck
- Fred Below
- Hal Blaine
- John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) 
- Karen Carpenter
- Vinnie Colaiuta
- Roy Haynes
- Don Henley (The Eagles)
- Jo Jones
- Joey Kramer
- Bill Kreutzman
- Joe Morello
- Buddy Rich
- Jason Bonham
- Luis Cardenas (Renegade)
- Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
- Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
- Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
- Questlove (The Roots)
- Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
- Carl Palmer
- Marky Ramone
- Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
- Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
- Alan White (Yes)
- Meg White (The White Stripes)
- Roger Taylor (Queen) (1973 - 1985)
Drum set used by Alex Van Halen.
- "The 1960's" at Vintage Ludwig Drums
- "The Story Behind Ringo’s Drums" by Charlie West
- "Ludwig". Our Brands. Conn-Selmer, Inc. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- "The origins of Ludwig drums" on The Chicago Reader
- Ludwig on Conn-Selmer website
- "The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964" on Ed Sullivan website
- "The Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan Show" on The Beatles Bible
- Selmer's History, 7 Dec 2011
- "Musser". Our Brands. Conn-Selmer, Inc. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Artists on Ludwig website
- "A Century of the most famous names" on Ludwig website
- "Carmine Appice, an exclusive interview", Glide Magazine, 8 Jul 2013
- Drum set up on John Bonham website
- "10 Ways To Sound Like John Bonham" by John Natellion, Drum Magazine, Nov 2008
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