January 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm #11963
I just found your interesting site and thought I’d see if I could tap the board’s knowledge.
There is a bell in the steeple of the church at St. Paul’s Summerville, SC. It has no foundry markings on it that I can find and I’ve been over it with a fine toothed comb. It was cast around 1853 and given by St. Paul’s Radcliffborough (Charleston, SC) to St. Paul’s Summerville.
Where can I find a list of foundrys that could have possibly cast this bell in the US? It may have been cast in the UK and I’m currently working on that but the lack of foundry marks makes it difficult. It is bronze and very nicely done.
The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul
January 13, 2012 at 6:09 am #16766
First of all, I’d like to thank you South Carolinians for taking all those Presidential primary candidates off our hands! (I live in New Hampshire and all the robo-calls were driving us crazy)!
It may be easier for you to find out the maker of your church bell by posting a picture of the bell on this forum. We have several big bell experts who may be able to help you just by looking at the shape and design of the bell. But, before you go any further, I suggest you go to our FAQ that tells you what we need to know in order to identify your bell. You can find that information at viewtopic.php?f=20&t=639.
There are bell experts who read this forum and contribute who specialized in American bell foundries and may have a list like the one you’ve asked for. It would speed up your search considerably if they could see the picture of your bell. Since you don’t know for a fact that the bell is American made, someone may be able to tell you just by looking at the picture.
You’ll also find a FAQ that will tell you how to post a picture on the forum if you aren’t sure how to do it.
January 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm #16767
Carolyn, thanks for the information, and you’re welcome, we aim to please, so I now seem to be personally taking all the robo-calls at home.
I just haven’t had much experience with American bells and their foundrys, being limited to change ringing bells in the US and UK, which are almost alway UK-cast.
One thing I did not do was take a tape measure into the steeple; I wish I had but my best estimate is that the sound bow is between 30″ and 36″ wide. We know the bell weighs around 400lbs. It certainly fits the time period for these types of bells, the cannons are still attached and wires in the casting are very similar to all the UK bells I’ve seen from the Whitechapel and Taylor foundrys.
This bell is rung by the clapper now, in the past it most likely was hung to swing; the sound bow has pretty deep indentations on each side, which also indicate that the bell was turned 90 degrees when it was re-hung in the tower at some point, again most likely when they started ringing it with the clapper.
I plan on sending a couple of pics to Allen Hughes at Whitechapel to see if he recognizes the foundry it came from.
Thanks for the help on this.
January 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm #16768
May I suggest you take a look at Carl Scott Zimmerman’s website at: http://homepage.mac.com/stlbells/TowerBells/TowerBells.html?
Also, another ABA member, Joe Conners, has a good site at http://allchimes.org/.
January 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm #16769
I received a reply back from Alan Hughes at Whitechapel and am fairly certain he is correct. He identified the canons and argent as being unique to American foundrys and to Meneely in particular. Comparing the St. Paul’s bell, cast in 1854, to the Meneely bell in Athens, GA cast in 1852, they are identical, pretty much to the last detail that I can see. This is exciting, to dig up the history on these unique bells. Since Meneely cast the bell for St. Paul’s Summerville, it stands to reason they also recast the 3 bells for St. Paul’s Charleston around the same time.
January 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm #16770
Thanks for sharing that information, Wray! Sounds like you have quite a treasure!
January 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm #16771Carl Scott ZimmermanParticipant
I concur with Alan Hughes; the style is conclusive. Of course that is the first Meneely foundry, located in West Troy (later Watervliet) NY. The second Meneely foundry, located in Troy NY, didn’t begin operation until much later.
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