Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells 10" high, 10 3/4" diameter at skirt brass bell

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    • #26456
      jkisp
      Participant

      Our retirement community is in procession of a bell donated by the descendants of Rear Admiral Abel Trood Bidwell USN, USNA 1908, retired in 1942. As a Commander he served as Captain of USS Bushnell (AS-2) and as a Captain he served as Captain of USS Chicago (CA-29) in 1937-38. We have been told the bell is from one of those ships and would like to have some expert opinion as to it’s origin.
      – The Bell is 10 inches high and 10 3/4 inches at the bottom of the skirt
      – The only engraving found on the bell is “U. S. N.“
      – Material appears to be shiny brass
      – Photos enclosed

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    • #26532
      Lauraj
      Participant

      This is indeed a standard sized bronze U. S. N. ship bell. They have not varied the size or shape of this bell much over the years.
      You are fortunate to have such a great bell with it’s history well documented. As far as which ship it came from, it may have been the last one the gentleman captained, or just a newer bell given as a commemorative gift at his retirement.
      It is authentic but since ship names were not put on any U.S.N. Bells, it’s a guess.

    • #26550
      jkisp
      Participant

      Thank you for your response. Our plan is to make a mounting for the bell and hang it in a prominent place with a fitting plaque that honors Admiral Bidwell and his crew. The bell is both beautiful and a reminder of our American history. We will struggle to make the plaque say the important things and not be to long winded. Your response was most helpful. Thank you again.

    • #26562
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      jkisp,
      Our late ABA member, Dr. Harry Long, contributed a lot of good information about U.S. Navy bells to the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. If you haven’t already done a search of this forum for Navy bells, I encourage you to do so.

      Congratulations to your retirement community for wanting to honor Admiral Bidwell’s service and memory in this way! When the project is completed, please post a photo of the bell and plaque for us to admire. It may inspire people to honor others in the same way!

      Carolyn

    • #26601
      jkisp
      Participant

      One last issue. I have searched all over the internet for an appropriate wall mount for the bell and have not found one. Does anyone have a suggestion?

      Thank you for the info and your support.

    • #26602
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      I googled “Wall Mount for U.S. Navy Bell” and many, many options appeared. Good luck!

    • #26976
      jkisp
      Participant

      We are close to hanging our bell in the pub and have tried to shine the bell with Brasso. There appears to be a sealer of some sort on the surface. Did the Navy use something to retain the shine and should we remove it? What is the best way to shine the bell?

    • #26977
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      I can’t tell you how to polish Rear Admiral Abel Trood Bidwell’s USN bell but I do wonder why you want to polish it. It has a beautiful finish on it now, according to your pictures. I wonder if non-bell collectors think a bell looks better if it looks brand new and unused as opposed to as it looked in the late 1930s when the Rear Admiral used it. There’s nothing wrong with a bell showing its age. Food for thought.

    • #26978
      jkisp
      Participant

      I would not polish a new bell but an 80 year old bronze bell covered in lacquer with drips? My experience says the clean surface will reflect all the wear and dents and make it look old.

    • #26979
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Thanks for the explanation. Good luck in restoring this lovely bell!

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