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    • #10650

      This bronze bell is 16″ dia and 18″ tall. Inscription around top edge reads: S. Davis, Detroit, M.T., 1836

      MT stands for Michigan Territory. Statehood was not granted until 1837.

      It’s in excellent condition and has a very pleasing ring. I assume S. Davis was the maker. Has anyone information on this foundry or seen another S. Davis bell?

    • #13246
      Neil Goeppinger

      I have never heard of the S. Davis foundry. I believe you have a bell from a foundry which produced very few bells. Thank you for sharing this news with us. I have records on many foundries which operated in North America, but I’ve never come across this one. Every so often a new one is uncovered. — Neil

    • #13247

      Thanks for your input Neil! I have never seen another territorial bell and this one is a rare find.

    • #13248

      Solomon Davis brass & bell founder, 116 Bates St. Source: Johnston’s Detroit City Directory 1855-56 online. Bates is on the waterfront which would have been a typical site for a foundry in the 19th century.

    • #13249

      Charles in California wrote way back at the end of May:

      I just read about the Solomon Davis bell casted in 1836. I would like to {Red Flag a possible safety concern}, on the use of manila hemp rope to hang the bell with. If the bell is 16 inches in dia. & 18 inches high, my guess is a 50 or 70 lb weight for this bell????? I could not find a weight, could they state the wt??????? The bronze crown @ the top of the bell will act like a knife blade resulting in the rope being cut-thru, weakening & falling. It may hold for some time but it will surely fail @ some point. It may crush a small pet dog or even crush a child. {Good Lord Forbid}. I have seen Murphys Law @ work many times & I recomend a 3 foot lenght of strong steel chain & a steel anchor shackle to be safe. You can find the steel shackles on the web-site E-bay. Look under lifting pulleys or chain hoists. Also look under marine hardware. This is cheap insurance for hanging a heavy bell!!!!!!!!!…. If you do not want to spend the money on a shackle you can use a steel bolt threaded @ one end with a bolt-head @ the other end. Use 2 lg washers & two nuts tighten together to form a locking cap. I m sure Dr. Long would agree with me on being safe than sorry. I personally would not put my trust in a piece of rope for such a heavy bell!!!!!!!!! All of my bz 23 lb ship bells are hung with steel chain & steel anchor shackles for my peace of mind. I hope this suggestion will be helpful & prevent an accident!!!!!!!!! Best/Wishes Charles in So. California…..

      My apology goes to Charles for having lost his email in “the pile.”
      Admin (Carolyn)

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13250

      This is a beauty. I would agree that it should be hung with steel chain and not rope. The rope will weaken under the weight of the bell and the elements and will surely fall. Frfequent close inspection would allow for a change of rope before it became dangerous, however.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13251

      Thanks to both of you for the advice. It’s actually hanging from 2 lengths of rope each doubled and tied in a slip-proof knot and each rated at 300 pounds. There are no sharp edges on the tang hole or the wall bracket. I see the bell every day and will notice any potential fraying of the rope. Again, thanks!

    • #13252

      The following data may be a connection on your Detroit bell by Davis.
      Around 1869 Veazey and White of East Hampton, CT purchased a company of Harrison and Davis, located in Troy, New York. Been unable to identify Mr. Davis however have the following information on Mr. Harrison.
      James Harrison ( 1816-1879 ), born in Burslem Staff, England and was a bell molder. Relocated to the U.S. around 1850. In 1860 was a bell molder living in Ward 9 of Troy, NY. After the sale of his company he relocated to East Hampton and became a employee of Veazey and White and was granted a least two patents. This company was the only bell founder in East Hampton to produce large bells.

      I trust this is of some value.

      Jeff Bell

    • #13253

      I am a museum consultant working for a Native American nation in Wisconsin. One of their most prized possessions is a bronze bell signed “S.Davis.Detroit M.T. 1835″ The bell is 14″ high and 13.5” in diameter at the bottom. We need to try and get as much information about the maker as we can for their museum – and, because it is being sent to a conservator, need to try and get an estimated value. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Ann K

    • #13254

      Ann: Solomon Davis was born in Vermont in the 1790s. He operated his Detroit foundry at 116 Bates St from 1835 until 1879. The hot, dirty foundry life must have agreed with him. He died in Detroit in the 1890s at age 103. That’s all the info I was able to find about him. Sorry, I am not an appraiser. Thanks for your interest.

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