AM 1938 Bell
September 7, 2008 at 3:27 am #10970AnonymousInactive
I have an interesting bell to show the group and ask a few questions about it also. This is an Air Ministry bell from the United Kingdom dated 1938. It is about 11″ high and weighs 27 lbs. My first question is what exactly was this bell used for. I know it was some type of military bell but I am not sure of its use. Also, I am very curious of the type of metal it is made of. It is not a gold colored brass or bronze, it is not iron since a magnet does not stick to it, and I am sure it is not aluminum due to its weight. And I am sure it is not chrome plated either. I believe it to be some odd mixture of copper and tin possibly to make it a silver colored metal instead of a bronze colored metal. And if anyone out there knows why it was made of this type of metal, I would be interested to hear that also.
Steve J. Kapp
This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
September 8, 2008 at 9:12 am #14117Joan ElliottParticipant
Hello, I cannot give you any details about your bell. In 1964 the Air Ministry merged with the Admiralty and the War Office to form the Ministry of Defence (Wikipedia information)
However I have found these which are very similar to the one in your posting.
This is the link to the home page of the RAF Museum with a contact link at the bottom of the left hand side …
Hope this helps a little
September 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm #14116hjlongMember
In the US Navy, we use bells that size as “Quarterdeck” bells to ring personnel “aboard” and “down the gangplank” as they board or depart the ship. They are also used to “ring the watches” in order to keep time aboard ship. All Naval Reserve Training Centers have a similar bell to ring personnel aboard. I know little about the Air Ministry, but they may use the bell for a similar function. You should be able to get information from their web page or historical center. The metal is bronze, but may have a higher tin content or have nickel included in the alloy. Our Navy bells are usually Chrome Plated Bronze.
Harry Long, MD
September 11, 2008 at 5:35 am #14118kappsteParticipant
I kind of thought maybe it had that color to the metal due to a higher tin or nickel content but I was not sure. I have another question for the group. How was a bell like this hung with the top part as it is. There is no bracket or shackle that can be attached to the top part of the bell. I have never seen a photo of a bell like this hung while in use. Any help would be appreciated. And I appreciate the information that was already posted.
September 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm #14119hjlongMember
A small bell like that could have been hung temporarily by a rope through the crown. The usual mounting would be with “U” bolts through the crown and attached to a wooden yoke for a swinging bell or a beam for a stationary bell. A picture of the American “Liberty Bell” will show you how it is mounted.
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