No drum company in the world has the history of innovation and production that Noble & Cooley has. The company can trace its lineage all the way to January of 1854, when Silas Noble and James P. Cooley started making drums in the Noble farmhouse kitchen. It wasn’t long before they packed up and moved into a small building to create their very first factory. The rest was American history.
By 1873 Noble & Cooley produced 100,000 drums a year, some of which carried the nation through its most infamous moments. In 1860, Noble & Cooley created a drum of rail split by Abraham Lincoln himself, which would later be used in political rallies throughout New England. As the country changed and grew, so did Noble & Cooley. From making drums for the Northern Regiments in the Civil War, to expanding the factory and updating from water power to steam engine, Noble & Cooley continued to master their craft. Shortly after, Noble & Cooley made history yet again by creating the largest drum on record, used in Boston at Gilmore’s 1869 National Peace Jubilee and again at the 1876 Centennial.
Noble & Cooley also was at the forefront of the custom drum movement. In the mid-1980s, a stranger walked into the Noble and Cooley factory with a broken swing era snare drum and asked Jay Jones if he could repair it. Jay looked and it and said, “No, but I can probably make you a new one.” Jay didn’t know it at the time but that conversation was the beginning of Noble & Cooley as a maker of premium musical instruments and the beginning of the premium drum era, which continues today. Noble & Cooley dusted off the steam bending machines and other heavy equipment inside their historic factory and, working with musician and designer Bob Gatzen, set forth to create drums with no compromise. Pioneering nodal point mounting techniques, precise bearing edges, furniture grade finishes, symmetrical venting, solid shell designs, staggered ply designs, hybrid shells and more, Noble & Cooley raised the bar for drum manufacturers everywhere and almost single–handedly created the boutique drum market. Many of these innovations have been imitated by the mass produced brands but the company continues to innovate daily, introducing fascinating new designs on a regular basis and pushing the envelope of drum quality.
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