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      John Eachus has given me permission to share this history of the Buckeye Bell Foundry by Vanduzen & Tift Bell Foundry with readers of the “Bell Talk” Forum.

      This same posting can be found at viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3090 under the thread subject “Who Builds Stands for Vanduzen Bells?”

      The Buckeye Bell Foundry by Vanduzen & Tift Bell Foundry

      1894 The Buckeye Bell Foundry Catalog lists:
      Date Firm Name Proprietors
      1837 Geo. W. Coffin G.W. Coffin
      1846 G.W. Coffin & Co. G.W. Coffin & Geo. R. Dudley
      1856 C.W. Coffin & Co. E.W. Vanduzen & C.T. Tift
      1865 Vanduzen & Tift E.W. Vanduzen & C.T. Tift
      1891 Incorp. Vanduzen & Tift Co. E.W. Vanduzen
      1894 The E.W. Vanduzen Co. E.W. Vanduzen

      Pre-1837, George Washington Coffin established a bell foundry in Cincinnati to cast bells and other brass & bronze items. The main foundry was called G.W. Coffin Co., and the bell portion of the foundry was called The Buckeye Bell Foundry. This foundry may have been the successor to the Riga Furnace in Salisbury, Connecticut founded by Holley & Coffin in 1810.

      Around 1856, his son, C.A. Coffin operated the foundry. CA Coffin specialized in riverboat bells for the Ohio River boats. The CA Coffin Bell Foundry bells were very ornate with elaborately decorated mounting hardware. Most Mississippi River paddle wheel boats sported a CA Coffin bell. Rumor was that CA Coffin used a metal mix of silver and copper for riverboat bells. (Normal bronze is 20% tin and 80% copper.)

      The Buckeye Foundry Bells cast by the CA Coffin Bell Foundry were primarily supplied to churches. In 1865, The Buckeye Bell Foundry was purchased by E.W.Vanduzen and C.T. Tift, and moved to 164 East Second Street. The foundry operated under their control from 1865 to 1891. Under their leadership, the foundry was very prolific. Vanduzen & Tift engineered their bell mounting in a very unique design: A 4” to 5” opening was made in the top of the bell. A pair of cast iron disks gripped this opening, forming the hanging method & yoke connection. The bell profile was modified from that used by C.A. Coffin, thus improving the musical quality.

      In 1894, E.W. Vanduzen bought out his partner, changing the incorpated name to The E.W. Vanduzen Co., Inc.; The Buckeye Bell Foundry. The foundry officially closed in 1950. (All bell foundries were forced to close for WWII in 1939, and never reopened.)
      The 1984 catalog claims only pure copper & East India tin are “combined with proper acoustic proportions in the shape of the Bell, guarantees a good, full, and clear tone.”

      The Buckeye Bell Foundry operated, under various ownership from pre-1837 to 1950.

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