Sonor Drums

The Sonor drums factory was expropriated by the communist East German government in 1950.

The Sonor company was founded by Johannes Link, who in 1875 built a factory for manufacturing percussion instruments and drum-heads in Weissenfels, Bavaria (in Germany). Link, born in 1847, spent his early career in wood and leather works. The first Sonor drums made were military drums. By 1900 Sonor was making cymbals and various concert drums, and started manufacturing drum sets in the early 20s.

In 1914, Johannes Link’s son Otto took over the business, which endured two World Wars. After World War II, Germany was divided, and Sonor’s factory fell under the Russian control. In 1950, the Sonor factory was expropriated by the communist government of East Germany, and Otto Link fled and set out to begin from scratch in democratic West Germany. Otto joined efforts with his son Horst to build a new factory for Sonor in Aue, Westfalia.

By the end of the 70s Sonor was solidifying itself as a top quality drum maker, and started advertising itself as the Rolls Royce of drums with the launch of its Signature series drums.

In 1991, the Link family sold Sonor to the Hohner company, which had been the Sonor drums distributor in the US and UK in the 1960s. Sonor, along with Premier, is now one of Europe’s leading drum companies.


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