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Here's a drum head history. '55 ..... that woulda been a 3 ply Gretsch kit then. https://support.remo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033104892-History-of-the-DrumheadOkay, I was not alive in '55. Are those calf skin heads, or were synthetic heads available then?
Have a look at this article: nice picture of Belli playing a Gretsch kit in 1947 as well as interesting infos about the first plastic drumhead, that was not a Remo! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/...per-of-the-synthetic-drumhead-dies-at-88.html
Interestingly enough, Remo had seen this dry crimped design before Bill Ludwig Sr. from Oscar Bauer in Switzerland, who was making 14” high tension heads for basel drums. Oscar never filed a patent for his design and after watching Oscar make heads Bill came back to the States and filed a patent on the design.
It was a combined efford of all to find out what worked (and obviously who would be first with a proper product).Taken from Remo's own website: "In late 1956, Marion I. “Chick” Evans completed a Mylar version drumhead that consisted of a drilled outer hoop that tacked a Mylar head to a smaller, inner hoop."
Prior to this, for about 2-3 years, remo was hand folding polyester sheets around the fleshhoop of a calf head. So, while remo did technically play with the initial idea of a synthetic head... Evans actually created the process of large scale manufacturing of synthetic heads, were the first to use mylar, and were the first to use a metal hoop. This in addition to the smaller changes/advancements like sandwiching the head material between two hoops vs wrapped around a cord style hoop.
To this day Evans continues to lead the pack. Remo may have thought of it but Evans made it work. One of Remo's best selling heads of all time (the powerstroke 3 bass drum head) was taken directly from Evans' eq4 system which was released before the P3 system.
Y'all can keep your Remo's... More Evans heads for me! Haha