The real reason for the smaller drums is for fitting into tight gig spaces, i.e., crowded jazz clubs and also into NY taxi cabs.They weigh less and take less space and are, therefore, more convenient in many circumstances.
The snare drum is 5 1/2" x 14", the tom tom is 8" x 12", the floor tom was 14" x 14" and the bass drum is 14" x 20" with a 20" ride cymbal.
He sold them for 0 he believes and sometime later would see the drums again pictured in Life magazine as Elvis' career took off.
The nitron colors were lacquer on the earlier 3 ply drums and then some of the later 6 ply were a wrap.
We also have a Gretsch badge timeline and ways of dating Gretsch drums.
we heard and liked him and asked if he would like to play with us the next time. He would speed up or slow down just like we would and we said, 'Boy, this is great'.
He bought the set complete sometime around 1954 from Herb Brochstein at the Brochstein Music store at 2211 Chenevert St., Houston, TX.