Here is one of the more unusual drums to have passed through my collection! It's difficult to say how many of these survived. The original Premier factory and tooling was destroyed in the Blitz of 1940. I searched the entire net on yahoo and found no pictures or information for a Dominion Super so it looks like this might be the first web page to do so! The ONLY image I did find was on Tam Rankin's Vintage Premier Site and this was a scan from a catalogue of the 1930's as shown:

1930's Catalogue Scan

The drum employs two parallel type throw offs, which in turn would operate a set of snares for both the top and bottom head independently, this would be for extra sensitivity. Drummers generally didn't hit so hard back then, a lot of modern players would bend the top wires very rapidly which is why you don't see this idea being used much now if at all.

According to Tam "The Dominion Super in the 1930 catalogue was made in 2 sizes, 14 X 5 and 14 X 6,1/2. There were three finishes- Nickel,Chrome or Regal plated. The last was a type of fake gold which Premier stopped using about 1936 as it didn`t wear very well. The 1930 Dominion was identical except that it didn`t have the top snare mechanism. By the 1935 catalogue the bottom snare mechanism had been re-designed and the twin snared drum re-named the Dominion Ace. The Dominion Major had the new bottom snare mech. and no top snares while the Dominion Minor the same as the earlier Dominion."

Premier Dominion Super

The drum was amazingly intact, infact it appeared to have been stored for a very long time. The shell and hoops are brass and although very tarnished, are practically undented and unscratched. The finish was indeed the Regal version. It needed two heads and both sets of wires to complete it along with a lot of tlc to bring it back to life as will be seen later.

Internal Workings

Above: The two independant mechanisms can be seen.

The muffler plate was actually a neatly spot welded King George V penny! Looking at the amount of surface rust on the spot weld it did match the rest of the drum and you do wonder if this was a way round producing the tooling to punch out round muffler plates! If you have any info I'd love to know. The top wires were corroded and in pieces as you can see. Otherwise all the internals were there!

Premier Hoop LogoDominion Logo

Above: Hoop Logos.

Due to a lack of free time I decided to put the drum up for sale to give someone else a chance to bring the drum back to life. Due to the relatively untampered condition I thought the drum had good potential and would make for an excellent project for a good home. I'm pleased to say that the drum found it's way into the hands of enthusiast Gary H. and he's taken up the task of restoring the drum. At first we both pondered on a way to carefully restore the regal finish but not remove it excessively. I shall now hand over the story to Gary himself:

"I've pretty much finished the drum. Still need to work on the top snare mechanism and the original dampener, will eventualy restore the coin dampener as it would be a shame to separate them. Temporarily replaced it with a spare dampener. I had a couple of dominion parts for it - the tone / dampener screw and snare butt etc... Also used the handles of a winged corkscrew for the throw off (looks ok but not like the originals). Had to use lot of WD40 to get the mechanisms to move top snare had to soak over night but eventually did it, they work fine.

Nearly broke my wrist polishing the thing. :) Ended up using a buffing drill bit and dremil tool with 'Autoglym' metal polish it took the weekend to polish the shell, hoops and other parts but was great to see the finish come out from under the tarnish. Sounds great too, played it today during rehearsal surprisingly loud and very bright. Using 13” puresound blaster snares (the shell is pre-standard size so a little smaller than modern shells so the 13” snare sit much better on the snare beds tried it with 14” but didn’t sound as full)."

Below: I'll let these images speak for themselves, Gary has done a cracking job on getting the drum back on the road and restoring the Regal finish... enjoy...