Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Difference between #1 and #2 Cast Iron Bell Re: Re: Difference between #1 and #2 Cast Iron Bell

#14488
lucky13
Member

Alex: Farm bells (dinner bells) were very useful items in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and every rural household had one but after tractors replaced horses it was difficult to hear a far-away bell, according to my grandparents. The numbers indicate size. Number 1 bells are about 14 inches (dia across mouth of bell), number 2 about 16, number 3 about 18, and number 4 about 20. Some foundries also made a zero size which is about 13 inches. These sizes are approximate depending on the maker. Buy an old bell if you can. The reproductions of the last 30 years don’t compare in sound. Most old bells have the foundry name and sometimes it’s location cast into them. I advise searching for your bell in antique malls and shops rather than on-line so you can hear it, check for damage or missing parts, and not have to pay shipping (these bells are very heavy), or risk damage by a shipping company.