Re: Re: motorman’s bell
Garry accurately describes one use for these bells. I have not seen one that was manufactured in Philadelphia. Similar chrome-plated brass bells were manufactured and sold by Bevin Brothers as late as the 1960s as a “Bermuda Carriage Bell”. They were mounted under the floor boards of a horse-drawn carriage under the driver where he could depress the plunger to warn pedestrians and other vehicles that the carriage was coming so that they could get out of the way. Trolleys used bells as a warning to vehicles and pedestrians that were in the way of the trolley as a warning to avoid an accident as the trolley ran on a track and could not swerve to avoid an accident. These bells were usually mounted on the roof of the trolley above the motorman and activated by a lanyard. The San Francisco Cable Cars had 2 bells, one to warn traffic that the Cable Car was coming and another that was activated by the motorman to notify the brakeman that it was safe to proceed after all passengers are safely on or off of the car.
Harry Long, MD