Auction – Ring Bell?
May 23, 2008 at 12:39 am #10869
I’d like to introduce you to my door bell.
I have a bit of a story to go with it. While visiting a converted barn now cum store I rummaged through an outbuilding that was setup to sell off various shop/farm brick-a-brac. The first thing I came across was a somewhat unusual piece with a chain that was tagged “pull”. Across the room, in another box, I found an 11 inch iron bell. While looking it over, I suddenly realized that the two separate pieces really belonged together. I returned to the first piece and – yes- they fit.
It now graces my door as a door bell. I am uncertain as to if it’s an auction ring type bell or a boxing ring bell, but I suspect the former as all the boxing ring ones I have seen are either hit with a hammer or the clapper is external and flipped with the thumb.
I have included the photos and would enjoy hearing of any insights that you may have! 😛
May 23, 2008 at 12:41 am #13789
Because I am limited to 3 uploads per message, I am including the final photo (the fully assembled bell) here for you.
May 23, 2008 at 6:11 pm #13790lucky13Member
I think it’s an alarm bell of some sort. Possibly used in the hallway of a school to signal period changes. Are you sure the bell isn’t brass? Test with a magnet (won’t cling to brass). If it’s brass you should polish it and spray-paint the rest black.
May 23, 2008 at 6:52 pm #13791Kallie Bell GalParticipant
You found a really nice bell. I agree with Lucky13 about being sure whether it is or isn’t brass. You will also want to check the mallet and its arm and the one attached to the chain. They may also be brass/bronze. It is called a muffin bell, and there were numerous uses. You may remember the ones in school that were used to signal fire drills. Also used at boxing/wrestling rings, in bars to signal “last call”, and probably a hundred other places for al least that many purposes. I like the idea of using it as a doorbell. I have a trolley bell as a doorbell at the cabin. (I would use a Bermuda carriage bell, if I could figure out a way to do it.)
May 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm #13792
I appreciate all the comments, and I’ll double check it tonight with a magnet. It’s heavy enough to be iron and I noted the rust, but I admit to not doing the magnet check.
I thought a “muffin bell” referred to a hand bell that has two desk bells mounted back to back and a striker inside. It Looks rather like a baby rattle with a vertical groove all around the bells (and is rung the same was as a rattle), rather like an old style muffin. My understanding was that the home owner basically ran down the street waving it to alert neighbors of a fire.
I thought this bell shape itself was actually called ‘mushroom’ or ‘mushroom cap’, but am probably mistaken
Is there a standard definition of these shapes somewhere or something? I’d like to at least sound like I know the correct terminology!
May 23, 2008 at 9:09 pm #13793Kallie Bell GalParticipant
I dont think I know what I thought I knew. I thought I remembered reading in some of the ABA literature that these flat bells were called “muffin bells”. Well, I have quickly perused the sites I thought would yield this information to no avail. I will assume, therefore, that I had a “senior moment” and generated a new usage for a perfectly good term. I agree with you about the “double-chime” bell being a muffin bell, but I can’t find that term associated with it either. I also agree with you: a lexicon of bell names would be helpful. I’m not going to rewrite this, but I did find the “double-chime bell referred to as a “muffin bell” in Vol.4 of the BELL COLLECTORS OF THE ABA.
I still think you have a great find–regardless what its called. Actually, its called, “Yours”!!
May 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm #13794hjlongMember
This is a typical gong that was made by Gong Bell Co. and later Bevin Bell Manufacturing in East Hampton, CT. They were made with pressed steel gong or bronze gong (a bit more expensive and with better tone). These have been used as “fight gongs”, alarm gongs, streetcar gongs, bar gongs, etc. They are not expensive, but make nice converstion pieces.
Harry Long, MD
May 24, 2008 at 3:04 am #13795
Thanks Sam, Lucky, Kalie and Harry,
Wow, That’s a lot of uses!
I quite enjoy this bell, and the kids particularly like it.
The striker appears to be painted brass (at least the color is right where the paint has flaked off, and it doesn’t take a magnet. The metal of the bell is a bit unusual. It doesn’t take a magnet, but it is silver not golden / brass colored. Maybe some sort of heavier aluminum? It’s stronger than most aluminum I’ve seen and it has a very solid tone to it like a steel bell.
I like the idea of a school bell, it’s a use I hadn’t thought of. The cycle time (from one ring to the next) is set by the mechanics and is relatively slow, so I doubt it’s an alarm bell. But something that is marked with a single ring- that would work.
Who knows, maybe someone would do an article in ABA on a lexicon of bell terminology &/or identification for us. Even if it was some what inventive, it might help communication! It’s amazing how we all manage to get the ideas across anyway, no matter how we describe it.
Keep the ideas coming!
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