If you play drums or have ever played with a drummer, you've seen the name Zildjian on those big golden things that make a crashing sound. How old is this company? It was founded over 400 years ago in Istanbul Turkey, during the reign of the Ottoman Empire! The original founder was an alchemist who was trying to make gold but instead created cymbals, that were musical and became quite valuable. Since then the company has stretched into a virtual family corporate dynasty, leaving a lasting impact on the whole musical instrument industry and pushing along the art of artist relations.
Originally the cymbals weren't used as part of a 5-piece drum kit, but for various forms of music using hand cymbals. They were also used in battle, with smashing cymbals and tens of thousands of Jannisaries marching towards you, your nerves may just give out. In the early 1900's they started also manufacturing in the United States.
Not only is Zildjian the oldest musical instrument company but it's also said to be the oldest family owned business in America and continues to be run by descendants of the founder.