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This page is dedicated to the Kester Designed Flat Jack Drums. Inventor Ralph C Kester Jr. from South Bend Indiana. The first patent I could find was filed June 5, 1961 and issued June 1, 1965. So he was probably working on these drums prior to that.

Here is some rare history and a wonderful addition to the page. Thanks to Ray a former student of Ralph Kester for sending these photos and adding to the Flat Jacks history page.


An unknwon invention by Ralph Kester. Photo was taken in the 1950's   Photo from July 1954 - Ralph and one of his drum students
Ralph pointing to the Drumland Tire Cover   Close-up of Ralph


Drumland / Ralph Kester, Inc Catalog August 1, 1983
Flat Jack Price List and Information   Marching Flat Jacks
Flat Jacks Drum Set   Marching Flat Jack Bass Drums




Patent filed June 5, 1961 and issued June 1, 1965




Here is a 1961 Brochure from the company. The black logo on the right corner with the initials "RMC" stands for Roundtable of Musical Craftsman


Here is an ad from the March 24, 1966 Down Beat Magazine.

Taken from the vintage drum forum member rusrox1

It was a pleasant surprise to see a posting about Flat Jacks! I was a student of Ralph Kester in the early/mid 70's and a friend until he passed away. He was a brilliant drummer/teacher and engineer. He had a drum studio named Drumland in Lake Worth FL that he taught from and also sold drums, used as an assembling factory etc. He was also a Premier dealer. I am fortunate enough to have a double bass kit of Flat Jacks with custom cases that Ralph hooked me up with for helping him in the store. They sound great with Aquarian heads on them. I also have a prototype Flat Jack 12" tom that he had covered in a blue sparkle- the same kind of material like they used to use on the old Kustom PA Heads and PA cabinets.

A lot of people do not know that Ralph also invented the Ching-ring- the metal ring tambourine that mounts on the hi hat, the tubular guitar stand and the marching drum holders that everyone uses- the ones that hold the drum out and in front of the marching musician. He was also a fantastic drummer- beautiful hands. Got his NARD card in his early teens and also did a lot of touring. I was fortunate to have him as a teacher and a friend.
Merry Christmas


Patent filed July 16, 1964 and issued November 2, 1965


Here is a set of Flat Jack drums. (Forum Member Bumpy)
Flat Jack Drum Set Flat Jack Shell Stamp
Flat Jack Case Flat Jacks Head Logo

This web site is dedicated to the history of vintage drums.

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