Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells American Steam Locomotive Bell Identification

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    • #10500

      I recently acquired a steam locomotive bell and, if possible, would like someone familiar with railroad bells to help me identify either the type of locomotive and/or the railroad that used this type of bell. The bell bottom is 16 1/4″ diameter; bell height is 12 1/2″. It has a curved cast ring base that mounts on top of the boiler that is 20 1/2″ diameter. The harp also has a bell ringer mounting arm cast into it. The only number I could find is cast into the upper bell hanger and it is #12S142. I have more dimensions if needed and have posted some pictures. I sure appreciate any help in the identification. Thanks,

    • #12860
      Peter Hyde


      I’m sorry I cannot be any help. I just want to say what a great set of photos and what a delight to see the bell. I really do wish more of our colleagues would show photos of some of their bells for us to enjoy. I’m doing my bit by posting details of my blogs which I hope may be of interest. Hope someone can help.

      Regards from the UK.

    • #12861
      Neil Goeppinger

      The only things I can tell you are that is is from a steam locomotive because the underside of the base is convex upward to fit on the rounded boiler, which you already knew, and that it is not from an early steam locomotive because the bell doesn’t have any rings or “steps” around the outside. It is smooth. — Neil

    • #12862


      Have you had an answer on where your bell is from?

      Check out railroadiana.org

      I think your bell is from the Norfolk & Western RR.

      Let me know if you discovered your answer.

      I had to do major research to find out which locomotive my bell came off of. No numbers where stampe in it. But I found which locmotive and railraod it came from.

      Merry Chistmas!

    • #12863

      Neil sent this information to Robin:

      Many of the manufacturers of steam locomotives also made thier own bells since they had their own foundries. In addition, Howard, Stuckstede and Vanduzen all made some locomotive bells. I’d say out of those three, based on the ones I’ve run across, Howard made the most. — Neil Goeppinger

    • #12864


      Howard made bells for diesels. I can identify this bell for you, just email me. I can even find a picture of it on a locomotive for you if you wish. Check me out on steamlocomotives.com.

      Sorry it’s been a while…


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