Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells 1854 G.W. Coffin

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #11434
      David_Mohler
      Member

      In our church (the old Arlington Evangelical United Brethren Church in Brookville, Ohio – now the Brethren Reformed Church of Dayton), we have a bell cast in 1854 by “G.W. Coffin” in Cincinnati. It’s about 30-inches or so. I read about G.W. Coffin here in another thread: very interesting. One thing I was curious about is a second “hammer” mounted on the base of the bell support. The hammer has a rope attached to it, but it appears to have never been used (it was still tied up). If the rope is pulled down, the hammer rises to strike the rim of the bell. I don’t mean to ask a silly question, but what is the “purpose” of this hammer, since the bell already has its own clapper?

    • #15778
      jackbell
      Participant

      David: It’s a tolling hammer for a slow ring while the coffin is being carried from the church to the hearse or grave. Odd it’s never been used, especially with a bell that’s been around that long. There was a time when nearly all Protestant funerals were conducted in the church but it is seldom done now.

    • #15779
      David_Mohler
      Member

      Thanks for that clarifcation. I agree that it’s odd, now that you have clarified it – the church is next to a two very large cemteries!

    • #15780
      jackbell
      Participant

      You should drill another hole in the ceiling, drop the rope through and start using it for church funerals. Creates a very moving effect for a somber occasion. Begin the toll as soon as the minister has finished the church service and time the strikes 5 seconds apart.

    • #15781
      Green Grass
      Member

      Most bells had at least two strikers / hammers on them. The interior striker is activated by swinging the bell. This mass-in-motion produces a “Doppler” sound, i.e. as the bell swings toward you it is louder, as it swing away, it is softer.

      The exterior floor mount hammer was for tolling, i.e. hour strike, funeral toll, part of the angelus, de profundis. The stationary bell produces a monotone sound. Your rope was probably tied up, because if the bell is moving, i.e. swinging, and the toll hammer is pulled, either the bell will bend the hammer shaft over, or the hammer will tear a piece of bell metal from the bell. If you look just to the right of the floor mounted toll hammer, you can see bell metal missing the shape of the toll hammer head.

      Bell ringing was done until 1950’s. Bells were silenced until Bicentenial 1976. Few persons understand bell ringing and the various hammers used to produce different sounds from the bell.

      Be careful, that’s a wonderful bell!

      John Eachus
      http://www.bells-clocks.com

    • #15782
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      One other use of the tolling hammer was to ring it softly three times at different times during the Lord’s Prayer. I know that was often done in Lutheran services at my Dad’s church, and I believe it was also done in Catholic services. — Neil

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.