double d handle bell
January 21, 2010 at 4:09 am #11318GarryParticipant
Here’s another interesting bell that I have been trying to find out some details on.
It’s well worn, to the point that there is a small 3/16″ ‘gash’ with a small pinhead hole in the Very Thick side of the bell, and the unusual handle has been worn to a reasonably sharp edge where the straps would have worn on it.
It says “PAT” on the top of the ‘handle’. If there was anything else, it’s totally worn off.
Rather looks like a marriage in that the ‘handle’ portion slides easily up and down inside the hole on the top of the bell with a good 2/16″ gap between it’s rod and the opening it sits in.
The handle is brass, the bell is brass, but the hanging rod and clapper are iron.
it’s 4 inches tall (the bell itself is 2 inches) and 3 inches in diameter at the skirt.
The clapper arrangement is MUCH heavier than normal It has a HUGE Eye bolt to connect to and a very thick tapered rod bent in a hook with the clapper bulge on the bottom.
Very (quite noticeably) thick walled.
This bell was clearly meant to go on something that was capable of strong violent movements. It’s meant to ‘give’ in the swing, but also put up with a lot of abuse. It has a double strap attachment, a heavy eyebolt to hold it together, a large clapper to withstand a lot of swings and a heavy bell construction to survive abuse – which it almost didn’t given the hole in the side!
I can’t think of an animal, off hand, that would need this kind of overkill construction. A cow bell is a fraction of this, and even an elephant bell isn’t that thick.
My Wild Guess is that this is for something like a mining rock car that would ring as it rocks down the tracks, perhaps pulled by mine horses, to warn miners of it’s approach. The loose hang would enhance the ringing and It’s certainly built to survive the odd mishap of a rock hit, etc. Or maybe something else similar to that?
Any takers on figuring this one out?
January 22, 2010 at 1:39 am #15079hjlong3Participant
The double D allows this bell to be attached to a single leather strap without need for a buckle. The size and weight of the bell suggests that it was made to attach to horse harness. Because it would not ring well unless dangling from the strap, I would guess that it was attached to a Martingale. This is a piece of harness that connects the bridle or collar to the belly band and drapes from the horse’s neck, between its front legs. Martingales frequently have either large crotal bells or a series of cup shaped bells attached. I’ve not seen one like this but it was probably one of a set of graduated bells on a Martingale.
Harry Long, MD
January 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm #15080GarryParticipant
Did this hang low on the horse then? 😳 sorry if a silly question, I am a city boy! 😳 I am trying to wrap my mind around why it is so heavily built. If hung low it might bang against things I guess.
January 27, 2010 at 2:54 am #15081hjlong3Participant
The Martingale ran from the bridle or collar and kept the horse from lifting his head. Depending on the size of the bell, it may have been part of a number of bells that ran the length of the Martingale or in the case of a heavier bell, it may have been solitary and hung low on the neck.
Harry Long, MD
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