1848 Mexican War Order for Infantry Drums of William Ent
WILLIAM ENT. One of America's Premiere Early Drum Makers of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
January 22, 1848 Mexican War Period, Original Manuscript Document Signed, "Wm Ent," Choice Extremely Fine. This order measures approx. 6" x 8" being in regard to the purchase of twelve Infantry Drums for the U.S. Army at a cost of $5.40 each, to be produced by Army Drum maker William Ent, of Germantown, Pennsylvania. This Document indicates that the drums were received and inspected on January 22nd by inspector Aaron Bockins, then received at the US Arsenal on January 24th and approved by Edwards S. Fayssoux, Military Storekeeper. Finally, on February 12th, 1848, maker William Ent Signs upon this document for his receipt of payment of $64.80 for the approved drums. William Ent made military drums for the Army and Marines from the 1830's until the late 1850's and his drums were used into the Civil War. They were of fine quality, and are very collectible today. Bright, clean and fresh with eye appeal, this document has one centerfold and looks great for display.
The National Music Museum includes the William F. Ludwig II Collection which features a wide variety of materials, including an outstanding collection of drums. Outstanding among the rope-tension drums in the William F. Ludwig II Collection is a Civil War side snare drum, constructed of ash, that was built by William Ent, Germantown, Pennsylvania, ca. 1850.
Printed on paper label inside drum shell, visible through vent hole: Drums, Fifes, / REGIMENTAL COLOURS, / TAMBORINES, & C. / MADE AND REPAIRED BY / WILLIAM ENT, / GERMANTOWN, / Philadelphia County, Pa. Ash shell, natural finish, 422mm (16-1/2") x 414mm (16-5/16"). Rope tension. Nine leather tugs (one missing). Wood rims painted red, with holes drilled for the rope to pass through. Shell-shaped brass snare adjuster. William F. Ludwig II Collection, 2001.
Drums of the 1850's and 60's one would expect to see who was making them, and what they were like. We would notice a surprisingly large number of drum manufacturers and a great demand for their product. According to official Army records, the U.S. Government purchased over 32,000 drums from 1861 to 1865. That number does not include drums used by the Southern Army or the ones that were purchased by private citizens for use in community concert and marching bands.
Many of the major drum suppliers of the day were from cities like Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and surrounding areas.