The Barry Collapsible Drumset

The Barry Collapsible Drumset

1096bThe collapsible drumset was designed and produced by the Barry Drum Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early part of the century. Recommended for use by traveling drummers in dance bands and vaudeville orchestras, the set is highly portable. The bass drum and its calfskin heads fold up so that they fit inside the elliptical case with the snare drum.

The Barry Drum Company relied almost solely on its patented collapsible drumset. In addition to its unique portability, it was also the first calf-head bass drum to do away with the flesh hoop. Instead, the head is secured to the rim by means of a screw-tightened metal band that fits in a recessed groove in the rim, allowing for easy replacement of heads. The drums were made in three sizes – 26″, 28″ and 30″. According to the company’s advertising, the drums were “light in weight, perfect in tone, durable in construction, beautiful in design, and simple in operation. You can set the drum up in three minutes and take it apart in less than one.”

The set in the PAS Museum was built in 1919 and donated by George Lockett, Jr. and his family. Many of the ‘traps’ included with this set were marketed by the Barry Drum Company; however, George Jr.’s son, Jim Lockett, says: ‘When jukeboxes and movies with sound became popular, the old player pianos were often left on the streets to be picked up by the garbage men. I remember being told that Dad and his brother collected some of that from those old, broken-down player pianos and from a movie theater where they had been used for sound effects for silent films.’