Craig Fitzpatrick

Harry Long and Carl Zimmerman – thanks again for your comments.

I was told today that this smaller polished bell was thought to be a railroad bell so someone else may have done some research on this before I came to the project. The Vanduzen and Tift bell I’m working with will not get polished to this degree, I’m fairly sure that it never was polished so we’re planning on leaving it in a rougher, brushed bronze condition even though it will be displayed indoors. I picked up a little more info on the V&T bell today, It did come out of the St John’s College building in the photo I sent last time but was not in the central tower of the building (cut off in the photo) The bell was mounted under a small shelter on the roof on the left end (facing) of the building. Apparently the central tower housed the water supply tank for the building – an early gravity fed indoor plumbing system. When the building was demolished, the V&T bell was removed and mounted on a short brick tower outside, then taken down and stored in a barn on the grounds until the recent renovations began and someone came to the project who thought the bells were worth saving.

On your comments about the templates or ‘Strickle boards used to control the shape of the bell: I’m still not sure I understand whether the strickle boards are shaping the mold halves or are they shaping a positive bell form like an investment casting core. I can see now why the reusable patterns for steel bells could not have any decorative detailing which would prevent them from being pulled out of the mold halves.

There is one more bell at the Orphanage that I will get photographs of next week. Up until last week I had not paid much attention to any of them but have now become much more interested in knowing something about them – thanks mostly to your comments and the basic education I’ve gotten from the Bell Talk web site.