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Vintage Liberty Drums

LIBERTY MUSICAL INSTRUMENT CO:

Chicago, IL company founded in 1926 from the joining of two Boston firms--NOKES & NICOLAI, and JOSEPH PACHECO with the Liberty Rawhide Company-a major Chicago supplier of banjo and drum heads from 1920. Contemporary articles state that Liberty had purchased the "stock and good will" of the other two companies, and moved the stock in trade and equipment to new quarters in Chicago; each man was to have responsibility for his own end of the business, while John W. Placko, president of Liberty, was to supervise the manufacture of the drum and banjos heads. Within a year the new company had failed and was sold at auction, in August, 1927; since the factory and most of the machinery were new, there was great competition for the assets, which were finally purchased by Slingerland.

 

MAY 8, 1926 The Music Trade Review source

New Liberty Musical Instrument Co, Merges Several Weil-Known Companies

New Concern Offshoot of Liberty Rawhide Co., and Includes Nokes & Nicolai, Boston Drum and Banjo Makers, and Joseph Pancheco, Stringed Instrument Maker

CHICAGO, ILL., May 1.—The recent incorporation of the Liberty Musical Instrument Co., of this city, 1431-35 West Austin avenue, merges several well-known companies for the purpose of manufacturing a complete line of stringed instruments, drums and drum and banjo heads. This new company is an offshoot of the Liberty Rawhide Mfg Co., well known manufacturer of drum and banjo heads; Nokes & Nicolai, drum and banjo manufacturers, of Boston, and Joseph Pancheco, manufacturer of stringed instruments, of Maiden, Mass.

The machinery and equipment of the Eastern concerns are being shipped to the new factory of the Liberty Musical Instrument Co., which has been added to the old plant of the Liberty Rawhide Mfg. Co. at 1435 West Austin avenue and which is nearing completion. This new factory has been under construction for the past six months and has been built in accordance with the most modern plans for the manufacture of the various instruments that the company will offer to the trade. It is two stories high, has a sixty-foot frontage and has been so constructed to build additional units from time to time as the business demands.

The plant formerly known as the Liberty Rawhide Mfg. Co. will continue to be used to manufacture the various brands of heads, while the new plant will be divided into sections for the manufacture of stringed instruments and drums. In addition to the present machinery and equipment of the consolidated companies, new machines and improvements are being added to give the company large production facilities, while the personnel of the new company will include the heads of the various companies that have merged into the Liberty Musical Instrument Co.

John W. Placko, formerly president of the Liberty Rawhide Mfg. Co., will be president of the new incorporation. Mr. Placko is well known to the trade and has had a wide experience as a manufacturer of drum, banjo and ukulele heads. Under.his direction the Liberty Rawhide Mfg. Co., which he organized about five years ago, has had a rapid growth, culminating in this latest consolidation. S. E. Kostelny, who has been associated with the Liberty Rawhide Mfg. Co. since its inception, will continue as assistant to Mr. Placko and will now take active charge of the drumhead manufacturing department of the new company.

Mr. Kostelny is well qualified for this position, as he entered the business as an apprentice when a young boy. His close association with Mr. Placko has given him the wide experience and knowledge of the drum-head business. E. J. Nokes, formerly of the firm of Nokes & Nicolai, of Boston, will act as superintendent of the drum factory. Mr. Nokes has had wide experience in this particular branch of the business, and as head of the Boston concern has conducted a drum factory for the past eighteen years. J. Pancheco, who has been in the musical instrument business for the past fifteen years, originally learning the business in his father's factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and who has also conducted a banjo plant in Maiden, Mass., for a number of years, will have charge of the stringed instrument department, which will manufacture a complete line of stringed instruments, including banjos, ukuleles, guitars and mandolins.

The officers of the company state that the factory will be completed about June 1 and that production will be well under way by August 1. In the meantime samples of the various instruments have been made up in the Eastern plants before the machinery was taken down for shipment to Chicago. There will be several new styles added to the banjo line, it is announced, which will embrace a number of original improvements, and will be introduced early in the Fall.

 

OCTOBER 23, 1926 The Music Trade Review

Liberty Co. New Plant Now at Full Production

New Addition Gives Company 20,000 Square Feet of Additional Manufacturing Space

CHICAGO, III., October 16.—The new factory of the Liberty Musical Instrument Co., 1431-35 West Austin avenue, is now operating on a full production schedule in all departments to meet the demand for Liberty instruments. The new addition to the old plant, which was started the latter part of last year and recently completed, adds fifty feet to the front orders received for all lines," said Mr. Placko. "Although the departments are working to capacity we are not able to supply the present demand.

I am now planning a trip throughout the West and will introduce the catalog to the Western trade and from present indications we expect an unprecedented demand for Liberty products." of the building, giving a total frontage of ninety by 115 feet. The building is two stories high and has a total floor space of 20,000 square feet. The new building not only provides additional space for the manufacture of drum, banjo and ukulele heads, of which the company is a well-known manufacturer, but departments have been installed for the manufacture of banjos, banjo-ukes, guitars, drums and accessories. Modern equipment and facilities provide an unusually large production of all instruments.

John W. Placko, president and founder of the company, returned recently from a successful Eastern trip. He planned to visit the Western trade on his initial trip in covering the United States, but changed his plans and made an Eastern trip first. "That the trade was impressed with the first samples of Liberty instruments is emphasized in the number of orders received for all lines," said Mr. Placko. "Although the departments are working to capacity we are not able to supply the present demand. I am now planning a trip throughout the West and will introduce the catalog to the Western trade and from present indications we expect an unprecedented demand for Liberty products."

Source: - arcade-museum.com - Transcribed by 510



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