Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Does anyone know what these numbers could mean?

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    • #10774

      There is the number 300 in inch high letters center punched onto the top of the bell. There is also a stamp with 731 on the bell. If anyone could tell me about that it would be great.

    • #13487

      Can’t tell from the photo how big your bell is but either number might indicate weight.

    • #13489

      Thanks for the additional photo. I see you have a locomotive bell so the numbers do not indicate weight. I imagine some Bell Talk contributors with expertise in this field will be able to assist you.

    • #13488

      This is a railroad bell with a side bracket for a hydraulic piston that would rock the bell. This is similar to those used on the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930s-1950s. The number was added at some time after the bell was cast and could have been added by an engineer when the bell was removed from the engine to mark the boiler number that it came from. You may get more information concerning railroad of origin from one of the railroadiana web sites.
      HJLong, MD

    • #13490
      Rita Walker

      My husband Ralph and I owned a bell much like yours. It came from a Boston & Maine RR engine. We had tried for several years to obtain one of these bells, and when the B & M RR folded it’s president contacted us and said there was one available and we could pick it up at their yard nearby. After Ralph passed away I had to downsize and I presented this bell to our hometown Historical Society. They created a special place for it at the entrance to their “Walker** Transportation Musuem”, where it still rests today. They have one of the most extensive libraries on transportation I have ever seen, consisting of photos and text. I think you might like to contact them about your bell. Feel free to mention our name.

      Beverly Historical Society
      Walker Transportation Musuem
      117 Cabot. St. Beverly, MA 01915

      **It’s an appropriate coincidence that our names are the same.

    • #13491

      The railroads often stamped the locomotive number into the bells when they were removed during rebuilding of the locomotive. The yoke on your bell is not the standard style of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Sometimes a casting number will have the railroad initials. My Boston & Maine bell has BM as part of the casting number.

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