Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells A. Fulton Bell Foundry

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    • #11716
      kittanninghistory
      Participant

      This is a wonderful site. I had no idea there was such a great following on the subject of bells. I guess I should have know!

      Anyways, I am trying to confirm or disprove the notion that the bell that I have provided pictures of could have originated in our first county courthouse. Or first courthouse in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania was constructed in 1809. In 1818, the commissioners report (which are sadly gone) indicated that the county purchased a bell at a cost of $212.81, which weighed 283 ½ lbs. There was no information provided as to the company inwhich this bell came from. in 1850 this courthouse has outgrown the county and new larger courthouse was constructed at the head of Market Street. In 1854 a fire destroyed the building, which was replaced with our third and current courthouse on the same location. The building constructed between 1856-60 houses this bell. [attachment=0:u12hddid]county_bell_003.jpg[/attachment:u12hddid]It is an A. Fulton bell. From what I could procure in my research, the foundry known by this name began about the time of the construction of the present courthouse in 1856. I know the company did exist when the bell was purchased for our first courtouse in 1818. Several references suggest that this bell did come from the first courthouse. I am curious is there is anyone that can confirm or deny this claim by the pictures and history of the company. [attachment=1:u12hddid]county_bell_004.jpg[/attachment:u12hddid]

    • #16291
      jackbell
      Participant

      A bronze bell weighing 283 pounds is not very big, 24 inches in diameter max. This bell looks larger. An 1818 bell would have a crown-top or tang-top mounting and not bolt holes cast in the top. The support beam or yoke would be wood. Also, if this bell had gone through a fire it would most likely have been damaged from the heat and tumbling to the ground and the wood wheel would certainly have been consumed but everything appears in excellent condition. It was cast in the 1850’s at the earliest.

    • #16290
      kittanninghistory
      Participant

      Thanks…not knowing the history of bell casting or manufacturing, I thought I would ask for help from those who have a passion about bells, as I do about Kittanning’s history. As I had previously stated, I did not think that this cold be the same bell. What damage could occur to a 283 bell in a fire? Besides wooden portions being burnt. I had entertained the notion that the bell could have been destroyed in the second courthouse fire. I am currently looking into see if information concerning the construction of the second courthouse exists.

      Thanks again, and I certainly appreciate any additional assistance or comments.

      Christopher
      Co-founder and Chief of Operations, kittanninonline
      http://www.kittanningonline.com

    • #16289
      hjlong3
      Participant

      Andrew Fulton cast bells in Pittsburgh from about 1827-1850s when the name changed from A. Fulton to A. Fulton Sons and eventually Chaplin-Fulton. The bell is a typical design of a Fulton Bell of 24 inch diameter. These were most commonly used by schools and smaller Courthouses. Larger bells had a unique crown mounting, and the smaller bells had this style flush mounting with the yoke.
      Harry Long, MD

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