Pearl Drums, Percussion & Hardware
Pearl was founded by Katsumi Yanagisawa -who began manufacturing music stands in Sumida, Tokyo- on April 2, 1946. In 1950, Yanagisawa shifted his focus to the manufacturing of drums and named his company "Pearl Industry, Ltd." By 1953, the company's name had been changed to "Pearl Musical Instrument Company," and manufacturing had expanded to include drum kits, marching drums, timpani, Latin percussion instruments, cymbals, stands, and accessories. Yanagisawa's eldest son, Mitsuo, joined Pearl in 1957 and formed a division to export Pearl products worldwide. To meet increasing worldwide demand for drum kits following the advent of rock and roll music, in 1961 Pearl built a 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) factory in Chiba, Japan to produce inexpensive drum kits, also known as "STENCIL KITS" that bore the brand names of more than thirty distributors such as Apollo, Coronet, Maxwin, CB-700, Stewart, Werco, Ideal, Crest, Revelle, Revere, Roxy, Lyra, Majestic, Silvertone, Toreador, WESTBURY and Whitehall. In 1966, Pearl introduced its first professional drum kit, the "President Series". In the early 1970s, Pearl was distributed in the U.S. by Norlin, the parent company of Gibson guitars at the time. Today, Pearl's Taiwanese operation encompasses five factories whose output supplies nearly the entire worldwide market for Pearl products. The original Chiba factory now caters to the domestic Japanese market, producing drum kits, marching drums, timpani, and symphonic chimes.