Whittle Music Catalog, ca. late 1920s
When movies were silent, movie theaters were expected to provide the sounds. From a single pianist in a small-town theater to a theater organ or even a large band in a downtown movie palace, musical scores accompanied every moment of the action.
And not just music – sound effects too. Usually the drummer would be called on to supply additional sounds to match the action, and a well-stocked drummer would have on had all sorts of specialty noisemakers like the ones pictured on these two pages. Need the sound of a cow? a fly? a dog? a horse? How about an interurban train whistle or a baby’s cry? All available here.
And all made by Ludwig, the drum company still very much making noise in the percussion industry today. Although probably not selling the hen cackle anymore, as there’s rather fewer silent pictures about farms being made than there once were.