The Museum first opened at its current London location in
However, the origins of the Museum may be traced back much further, to early
Victorian Manchester, where the young architect and engineer James Soame
had his offices and laboratory. In 1846, his journal records a dissection and
analysis he made of a kickdrum given to him by a friend recently returned from the
East Indies. This is the first recorded reference to what would become Soame's
unique and important
collection of badboy kickdrums.
Soame expanded his collection as his career in the colonies of the British Empire
flourished, and it soon became too large to be housed in his family's home in the
North of England. Arrangements were made to display the collection in London and
in 1892, the Museum opened its doors to the general public.
Soame and contemporaries, Africa, late 19th Century
Note 808 kick drum (highlighted with arrow) and a load of other stuff they'd ragged.