Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Drums, Part 3: Two Color Drums

Noble & Cooley had a keen awareness of the need to make quality toy drums at a low price for those who couldn't afford N&C's higher end lines. In today's more affluent world most people find it hard to imagine that a 50 or 75 cent price difference might determine whether some parents could afford to buy their child a toy drum as a Christmas gift, but that used to be one of life's realities.

N&C's higher end toy drums were printed on an 8 color printing machine invented by Noble & Cooley. It was unique in the business and was a big competitive advantage. However N&C also made some 2 color Christmas drums with fabric drum heads. These were cheaper to make and we can surmise that thanks to these less expensive drums more than a few children unwrapped a toy drum on Christmas morning who might otherwise have gone without.

So far we have found only one complete 2 color Christmas drum in the collection. The basic graphic design is the same as the drums shown in Part 2 but as you can see white ink has been used in place of what was black in the 8 color drums, and the white is on a solid red background. The drum has a white silk strap with a red stripe, the hoops are held on with springs, and the drum is identified as "Made in the U.S.A. by Noble & Cooley" (as always, click on an image for a larger version):

The next 2 color drum is only the shell, with no hoops or heads. This was probably set aside during manufacturing due to flaws in the printing. In this case red was used in lieu of black, all other colors are omitted, and it is printed on a cream colored background. There is no manufacturer's mark::

Finally we have an unbent drum shell that was printed on flat metal stock but never completed. It is on a whiter background and printed with a slightly orangey red ink, with no manufacturer's mark::

And now you know all about the 2 color Christmas drums!