Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Columbian Liberty Bell Reply To: Columbian Liberty Bell

#13244
rogers
Member

I just have to add my two cents to this topic having given a talk on the 1893 Columbian Exposition Bell at the 1989 ABA Convention in Torrance, CA. The original 13,000 pound 1893 Columbian Exposition bell was cast by the Meneely Bell Co. of Troy NY. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) authorized that the remaining surplus metal from the original Meneely bell be shipped to the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, MD, and be made into souvenir bells, mounted on a brass frame, complete with a wheel and pull cord. The Columbian Liberty Bell Committee was responsible for having these souvenirs made and sold. Most bells were sold to schools. Each school was urged to place the bell in a conspicuous spot, preferably at a height where students themselves could reach the cord and sound the bell. A certificate and a copy of the Liberty Primer were issued with each bell.

There are different marking on many of the original 1893 McShane bells. Mine has the name of a church in Allentown, PA. A copy of the original McShane souvenir bell was produced by Andrew McShane, grandson of the founder, in 1976. A version from Taiwan was also produced in 1976. Both 1976 versions were attached to wooden bases. I have two photos I wish I knew how to include with this reply. One shows the original Meneely bell in its massive wooden frame and its miniature version owned by my mother. The second photo shows a variety of McShane bells.

Hope this helps.
Nancy Rogers
Amesbury, MA