Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells American Queen Paddle wheeler

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    • #12226

      Looking to see if any of my co-members here have any information on a bell I just obtained.

      It’s a presentation bell for the American Queen Paddle wheeler built by the Delta Steam Boat Co. that duplicates the bell (smaller of course!) that is carried by that vessel. It’s well marked and was issued in June 1995 for the christening of the vessel. It comes on a stand built from the bucket board of the paddles.

      I am curious if it was a fund raising bell, or a presentation for services or what.
      I would also like to know how many were produced.

      Anyone out there have that info?


    • #17390

      Hi I have one too. I purchased it on ebay.com several yrs ago. I am also curious as you are about this bell. Ron

    • #17389

      I am still researching this bell, and thought I’d drop a couple things off here that I have found so far:

      1> Here is a link to an interesting article on the ship itself.
      2> I have included a couple copies of bells from the above link of a sister ship that was decommissioned. The bell is similar to the one the American Queen carries.
      3> The American Queen (Formerly Empress of the North) restoration / renovating was at a shipyard in Sulphur, Louisiana. From the various websites the vessel seems to be doing a good cruise business!

      I’ll post any additional information I get here as well.


    • #17391

      Here’s a photo of the American Queen in it’s original “Empress of the North” version.

      And here is a great shot of the American Queen’s bell, mounted and showing how it’s attached!
      It’s too big to post, but I have the link here!


    • #17392

      Thanks to some very kind folks who have taken the time to get back to me, I am able to pass on some additional information on this bell. Here’s what I have so far:

      David S. informs me by voice mail, that the bell was made by the Verdin Company Foundry in Cincinnati. We are playing phone tag right now, but I hope to talk with him about the bell soon!)

      Marie M, Sales Agent for the American Queen Steamboat Co., informs me that these were inaugural gifts presented during the maiden voyage June 9, 1995 of the American Queen as a keepsake. She confirms that Verdin Co. made the bells in a run of between 500 and 600 units.

      I am trying to also contact Verdin Co. to see if they can provide further details on the bells (or the ship’s bell it is based upon), but in the mean time they have a great video on their site showing how the bells are made: http://www.verdin.com/bells/bell-video.php

      I’ll let you know as more details become available!


    • #17393

      More information!

      Erica B from the Verdin (Foundry) Marketing group kindly passed on some additional information. Apparently there is a different style of this bell out there too!

      “So I did a little further digging and this is what I have located. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company requested a series of bells, smaller versions of their large ship bell, for the 15 inaugural voyages of the American Queen in 1995. We made 2 different bells for them. The first was a run of 4800 bells, 3 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall with an open crown design on the top. They were placed in a wood block with the plaque on the front. I have no idea who made the blocks, that is not in the file that I have. At that time we also cast 100 bells that are 5 inches in diameter. They were placed on a swinging mount with the appearance of straps holding them to the yoke. The A-stands and yoke were made of ash, stained and varnished. These bells also had an open crown design on the top and could be rung by a pull chain. Both sizes of bells are cast bronze bells and were cast with “1995 Inaugural American Queen” on one side and an “AQ” on the other side. The smaller bells were distributed to the passengers of the 15 inaugural cruises as a memento of the trip. As for the larger ones on the swinging stand, I have no record of how those were distributed, you would have to check with the steamboat company. Regarding a second run in 2005, that was a proposed idea that never came to fruition. The large bell that is on the ship itself is not mentioned in this file so I’m afraid I have nothing further to offer you on that. I hope that this helps you and if there is anything else I can do please don’t hesitate to ask.”

      Many thanks Erica! Your help is appreciated!

    • #17394


      I saw your post about the AQ bell. I was the photographer documenting the cruise by chase boat and air and not on the boat. It was a very special event for me and I have many fond memories of the trip. I was not aware of the bell until I saw your post. I would very much like to purchase one of the bells but not sure how to find someone that has one to sell. Any suggestions?

      Mitchel Osborne

    • #17395
      Carolyn Whitlock

      Dear Mitchel,

      I would suggest you put your request for buying an American Queen Paddle Wheeler bell on our “Wanting to Buy” section of the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. Not everyone reads every section.

      Good luck,

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