Late actor made drum manufacturer an offer they could refuse – a prototype conga drum designed to his specifications.

This article titled “Marlon Brando: Godfather of invention” was written by Xan Brooks, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 5th July 2011 15.12 UTC

He was an Oscar-winning actor, a sometime activist, an amateur novelist and a noted eccentric. Now it seems another credential can be posthumously added to the lengthy CV of Marlon Brando: that of scientific innovator.

A prototype conga drum, designed to Brando's specifications, has been unearthed in a storage unit in West Hollywood. The actor patented his invention for tensioning drum heads in 2002, after working on the project for several years with Poncho Sanchez, a Latin jazz percussionist. “It's a pretty far-out invention,” Sanchez told NPR.org. The website reports that Brando's system replaces the series of bolts around the head of the drum with a single tuning lever.

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