By David J. Petro-Roy
I restored my 1837 Eli Brown rope tension drum using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to repair a longitudinal crack running about a third of the way around the drum shell.
From at least the late 1600s to about the mid-1800s, the Brown family of Windsor (now Bloomfield), Connecticut made rope tension drums to supplement their income as farmers and coopers. Over time, these drums have become highly sought after. Their unique sound and rarity has earned them the distinction of being the Stradivarius of rope tension drums.
To date, only about 90 of the Brown family drums have been accounted for. Some are owned by museums and historical societies. Others, such as mine, are in private collections. Many others are owned and still played by ancient fife and drum corps such as the Mattatuck Drum Band (mattatuck.org) of Waterbury, Connecticut who, having been formed in 1767, purchased many Brown drums new. I am proud to be a member of the Mattatuck Drum Band and I will be playing my restored drum in future parades and concerts.
Read about David J. Petro-Roy’s snowplow-proof mailbox.