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    • #27396
      memurh
      Participant

      12-18-2018
      We have been awarded this bell and the writing says E. Force N. Yor 18 and that is all we could find. I did not find any writing inside the bell.

      The accepted history is that it was first used on a steamboat, Uncle Ben – built close to 1857 in Vicksburg, MS. Later it was bought and used for transporting cotton over the Sabine River in Louisiana/Texas border. Then it was purchased by the Confederate States and used in the Battle of Sabine in Texas. After the war, it was placed back in regular use as a transport steamer for gods on the Sabine River. It sank in 1867 at East Hamilton – a port off the Sabine River. Some men took the bell off the ship and transported to the high school in Center, Shelby County, Texas and there it has been since that time.
      We want to repair/refinish and place this bell on our historic Shelby County Square and use in some events. My questions are to identify the date built and gain information so we don’t do more harm to it such as crack it.
      Can someone help please? Thank you. memurh

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    • #27398

      Your bell was made by Ephraim Force of New York City, no later than 1848. The yoke and clapper are original, but the bearing blocks on the ends of the yoke are not.

      My personal opinion is that old bells should not be refinished, but should be allowed to show their age. However, it is reasonable to remove old paint from the bell (since bronze bells do not need protection from corrosion) and to paint the iron yoke (which does need protection from corrosion).

    • #27401
      memurh
      Participant

      Could you advise the best way to remove the paint from the bell. I am assuming you say it is a bronze bell and I would not want to mar the origianl in restoration. Thank you!

    • #27402
      memurh
      Participant

      I have seen E. Force bells online that say 1824 but this bell only says 18. Any significance here?

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