Being my first kit, having grown up with them in my backyard, this site is dedicated first to the Kent brothers, Ed and Bill Kent, and second to the hundreds of loyal Kent drummers, collectors, and vintage drum enthusiasts with interest in this little, but important bit of drum manufacturing history. The focus of this site is solely that of the original E.W. Kent Manufacturing Company of Ed and Bill Kent, and is in no way intended to represent any other companies, equipment or accessories.
These vintage Kent Drums were manufactured by the E.W. Kent Manufacturing Company in a small warehouse at 1189 Military Road in Kenmore NY, a small suburb of Buffalo. They were manufactured there from the late 40's through 1972 when the company ceased production. If you are interested in more history, please visit Mark Cooper's Drum Museum section on Kent Drums.
Kent drums were considered an affordable alternative to the "big four" of that era, namely Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch and Rogers. While Kents were considered by some as "the worst production drums ever manufactured", a good set of Kents served many drummers well, and still do today. With a little tweaking a set of Kents can be made to sound quite acceptable to the gigging drummer, hobbiest and/or collector.
As to the shortcomings, bad bearing edges leads the list, the snare strainer is a close second. If you have a Kent drum the sound can be greatly improved upon by having the edges recut. Your snare strainer can be replaced for $12 with a reasonable facsimile from DSH or other sources. Of course, chrome can be cleaned up, wrap polished and heads replaced. Other replacement parts come up frequently on ebay.
In an effort to keep costs down, the Kent brothers opted for an inexpensive "foil/paper" badge. Most Kents are found with either missing, torn or otherwise mangled badges. Hence, the reason for this website...to make reproduction Kent badges available to Kent enthusiasts.
Between my drumming and drum hardware experience in restoring drum kits from the past, as well as my family's printing experience, we have produced our first run of replica badges, as close as possible to the original Kent blue and gold badge of the 60's. They are self adhesive and pre-punched for a 1/2" grommet.
I take pride in my history with Kent Drums from my home town, and this is by no means a commercial venture to capitalize on their name or history. It is solely a means to help similar drum restorers properly and proudly display the Kent name on their finished product! Yep, the missing link I discussed earlier!
There you have it; and kindly spread the word to your Kent drum associates. We have done this out of appreciation and respect to Bill & Ed (RIP) Kent, solely in the interest of perpetuating the vintage Kent name, the label and the vibe. Once we hit a "badge break-even point", all proceeds will be donated to the NAMM Scholarship Fund in the name of the Kent brothers.