Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pre-Civil War Thomas Bringhurst (Germantown, Penn.) Drum


eBay seller debobot ( 1078) describes item no. 230459065579 as follows:

HERE IS A REAL AUTHENTIC PIECE OF AMERICAN HISTORY, TRULY ONE OF A KIND, FOUND IN THE HEART OF BUCKS COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA, THE HOME OF MANY REVOLUTIONARIES.

Genuine Civil War era field drum with paper label applied to interior "DRUMS MADE SOLD AND REPAIRED BY THOMAS BRINGHURST GERMANTOWN".

Measures 14.5" tall by 16.5" in diameter. Also inside the barrel, written in white chalk like substance is M. DAVIS MARKET & No. 64 attributing this to the owner of the drum. Skins on both top and bottom are broken. Shell looks to be ASH wood with natural finish, square head nails, red painted rims. All leather braces or ears are strung with catgut are intact. Round headed brass upholstery tacks with percussion or vent hole settled between. The design of the brass tacks was thought to be or is thought to be a trademark of the drum maker. The rope with pig tail intact.

The drum maker, Thomas Bringhurst, was from a very prominent Old Germantown Pennsylvania family steeped in Philadelphia history. From 1775 until the time of his death in 1795, the property in Germantown where he made drums, was owned by John Bringhurst, who was prominent in Germantown affairs. He erected the building and named it Bringhurst "Big House" on the corner of Bringhurst Steet. He had an extensive reputation as a carriage builder and was particularly noted for his Germantown wagons.

In 1809, the place belonged to Thomas Bringhurst, who was engaged in the manufacture of not only drums, but squares, saws and coaches. Thomas married Henry Fraley's daughter, Mary. Henry was said to be one of the first, if not the first, of the suburban town projectors of Philadelphia. He was a member of Jacob Sommer's company of Philadelphia Associators during the Revolution. His carpenter shops, which were situated at the present site of St. Stephens Methodist Church, were burned by the British during their occupation of Philadelphia.

Tradition says that these shops had been used for the manufacture of gun carriages by the Americans. His house stood at what is now the entrance to St. Stephen's Church. In later years he was a drum maker, which business was afterward carried on for many years by his son-in-law, Thomas Bringhurst.

Watson, in his "Annals of Philadelphia" mentions that Washington was a frequent visitor at Fraleys carpenter shops and that Fraley had taken part in some of Washington's campaigns. There is a lot more interesting history about the Bringhurst family not to mention their relationship with the building of Carpenters Hall where The Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed by the 13 colonies of the United States.

There is additional information to be found regarding a carriage that was built specifically for General George Washington.


Ed. Note: In active eBay bidding involving 8 bidders and 30 bids, this item sold 4/16/10 for $955.00 to h***h( 67) who outbid j***8( 676)'s $950.00 bid.

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