From the inside cover of the 1969 catalog:

"The father of Sonor drums, Johannes Link, was born in 1848 in a small Bavarian village and in early life began his career as a wood turner and leather tanner. A thorough knowledge of these crafts is the foundation on which today's SONOR drums have established themselves as the world's best.
In 1875 Johannes Link built the first Sonor Percussion Instrument and Drum Head Factory in Weissenfels on the river Saale. Management of the firm was assumed by Otto Link in 1914. Under his direction, the firm weathered wars, inflation and expropriation. Finally in 1950, he and son Horst combined their efforts and ingenuity to build a modern factory and research center in Aue/Westfalia."

(NOTE: after WWII ended, Link found his factory in the Russian Sector that became communist East Germany. He was forced to flee and rebuild in democratic West Germany in 1950.)

The SONOR trademark, first registered in 1907, has become the hallmark of fine drums in nearly every country in the world. This long and worldwide acceptance is the best proof of their high standards and reliable performance.

Above: Registration of the Sonor trademark at the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin on July 1st, 1907

Far Left: Cover of one of the first Sonor Catalogs from 1899.

Left: Combined mechanism for playing bass drum and cymbals from a catalog of 1907.


The drum that pushed Wm. F. Ludwig Sr. over the edge and got him into the drum manufacturing business was a snare owned by Tom Mills, John Phillip Sousa's "favorite drummer" in the early 20th century. Nobody in the United States made metal snare drums, but when Ludwig was blown away in a competition with Mills, he determined then and there that he HAD to have that drum. 2 years later, so the story goes, Ludwig bought and redeemed a pawn ticket from Mills for $3. The drum on the right is the Mills drum - the one on the left is from a very early Sonor catalog. Notice any similarities? Below: another Sonor snare from that era.

1920's & 1930's

Interesting pics of a 1920's or 1930's Sonor Bass drum pedal HERE


Wonderful pictures of a
WWII (Sonor) Johannes Link Parade Snare
sent to me by John Shaw