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Where is a Gato Drum from?

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While wood "slit" drums probably originated independently in various cultures, the branded "GATO" drum was first made in the mid 1970's.  I purchased one at Elderly Instruments in East Lansing Michigan in 1976 or 77.  I do remember "patent pending" burned in the wood underneath the name - and found this in the US Patent database: 

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN%2F4137815

Patent number: 4137815
Filing date: Mar 14, 1977
Issue date: Feb 6, 1979

This google link contains the patent summary, as well as drawings:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=NiQsAAAAEBAJ

This is definitely the Gato drum. It doesn't appear to be currently manufactured in the hardwood form that I remember.

You can find cheap versions sold as children's percussion instruments - see for example

http://www.mesdirect.com/

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