@DavidArchie: “Signing drum heads for charity. What are drum heads made of anyway?”
David’s latest twitter made me curious
Here is an entry from Wikipedia
Originally, drumheads were made from animal skin and were first used in early human history, long before records began.
In 1956, Chick Evans invented the plastic drumhead. Plastic drumheads made from polyester are cheaper, more durable, and less sensitive to weather than animal skin . In 1957, Remo Belli and Sam Muchnick together developed a plastic head (also known as Mylar) leading to the development of the Remo drumhead company.
Despite the benefits of plastic heads, drummers in historical reenactment groups such as fife and drum use animal skin heads for historical accuracy. Skin heads are used on most hand drums, including djembes, frame drums and congas. Another common material used for drumheads is aramid fiber, such as kevlar. More durable fiber heads are used mostly in marching percussion.