Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Is it, or is it not a locomotive bell?? Re: Re: Is it, or is it not a locomotive bell??


Thanks, everyone, for your continued dialogue regarding my bell!

Would anyone know if Wilbank cast brass or bronze bells? Since acquiring the bell, I have placed it on a stand and tried a few acoustical tests to try to compare it with a bell I have of similar size that I know to be brass. Since a bell’s wall profile and thickness relative to diameter must make a difference in tonal quality, it makes sense to me that something more objective, perhaps response time and duration of ring, would be better indicators of alloy composition than just “sound” that seems too general and subjective.

Since bronze is harder than brass, it would seem that a bell of bronze would reach it’s resonant frequency faster than brass, resulting in a more pure tone with less “clang.” What’s more, my simple non-scientific test resulted in this bell resonating with much less force than the known brass bell; a simple, fast tap with the eraser end of a pencil produced a tone; the brass bell produced a simple “bong” that fell silent after a few seconds. The voice of the bell in question was audible for almost 15 seconds, and when it fell silent, you could still feel a slight vibration on touching it. Do you think the difference is because of the alloy, or could shape play a greater role than I am assuming? Finally, when struck well, it has a clear tone with no discernible “wow” or wobble in tone… very loud, and is audible for over a minute.

The clanger is suspended from a wrought iron staple cast into the bell and the suspending end of the clanger is a bent-over and pinched-closed wrought iron eye.

Finally, the bell was found in a barn in Eastern PA.