Essco Phila ?
May 30, 2008 at 3:02 am #10879AnonymousInactive
Dennis in San Antonio writes:
Hello, I have tried to identify a bell that I recently obtained. It is round (approx 9″ in diameter and made of copper. It has Essco Phila on the face. It has a mechanism that spins inside that makes 2 dings on one complete turn. I thought maybe a trolly car bell, but it does to look to me like the ones I have seen on the internet. I believe that pressure through a port at the bottom of the base is what causes the ring tumblers to spin causing the bell to ring. Also, it has gears that will not allow if to spin in revearse. 3 keys lock into the gear assembly when trying to spin in reverse. I really appreciate any assistance. Sincerely, Dennis
If you can help, please post a response.
This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
May 30, 2008 at 1:33 pm #13826lucky13Member
I Googled Essco Phila. This Philadelphia company made locomotive headlamps. The article mentions their lamps being used in a Lake Michigan lighthouse built in 1908. I didn’t know engine lamps were used for this purpose but it does make sense. From the size I’m assuming your bell is designed for wall-mounting. The article only mentions headlamps but the company might have produced other railroad-related stuff. Perhaps your bell was used on a passenger train for some purpose.
May 30, 2008 at 2:18 pm #13827
Do you have photos? Particularly of the inside mechanism and hole?
I have seen two types of bells that somewhat meet your written description.
One had a ‘handle’ or twist knob that was spun to ring it. It had the two clappers to balance the device and the gears were in place so that you could not spin it backwards – which would probably jam the clappers as they rotated outwards. They were on fixed arms and springs that would rotate outwards via centripetal force. It appeared to be a ‘fancy’ desk bell for a hotel.
The other I saw was a toy, based I believe on a functional tool some where, that had a rod entering it from the bottom. When pulled the wheels turned and also spun the rod (via gears). The rod then turned the bell mechanism. As mentioned, I suspect the design was from industry to indicate when a particular part moved, but I have not followed up on it.
Perhaps you have only the Bell portion of one of these?
May 31, 2008 at 3:43 am #13828HDRJrParticipant
I do have photos but do not know how to post to the forum. I will be happy to send the original photos to you via e-mail if you choose or will be happy to post if you instruct me on how?.
May 31, 2008 at 6:34 pm #13829AnonymousInactive
Please go to viewtopic.php?f=1&t=601 and read the instructions for How to Post a Digital Photo on the Forum. I admit, I have been having trouble lately posting pictures from Photobucket but there must be other sites that will give an image code to use. Other people are posting pictures but I suspect they are using some service other than Photobucket.
June 1, 2008 at 2:32 am #13830
I think you meant “Dear Dennis”, It’s his posting! 😉
I have found it’s pretty straight forward to post a photo.
Once you have taken a digital image and have it on your computer,
use a program like Photo Resize Magic (it’s free) to reduce it’s size to under 300kb which is the limit for this forum.
(I find files of about 100kb work well), Here’s the URL for it:
Once you have reduced the size, you can upload 3 of them at a time.
If you scroll to the bottom of your window, where you typed your message, you will find a tab with the words “Upload Attachment”
You can use the “browse” button to find the first photo. Then put a description in the file comment, and finally click ADD THE FILE.
Up it goes! Do it up to 2 more times, then submit it and it gets posted.
Hope that helps!
June 1, 2008 at 2:40 am #13831AnonymousInactive
Yup, you are right. I did mean Dennis. Old age is setting in! Thanks for the correction!
I appreciate the suggesting for posting pictures. I don’t know why I started getting a message saying that the “Bell Talk” Forum can not determine the size of my photo anymore. I’ve posted many photos exactly the same way but it doesn’t want me to post them anymore, I guess! I’ll give your method a try soon. It’s too late tonight to be trying something new!
June 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm #13832AnonymousInactive
Links to Dennis’ bell have been posted:
To view Dennis’ bell, please click on these links:
June 1, 2008 at 11:37 pm #13833
I think it’s like the second bell I mentoned.
I’ll bet your ESSCO PHILA is really the E.S.S. COmpany (ESS Co), Philadelphia (Phila)
Probably http:\www.esscosafety.com is the company in question (they abbreviate their name as ESS Co) and the bell is likely a part of some sort of warning system, such as a clanger for the train track, or exiting vehicle warning or some such.
I’d try writing them with a photo and see what they say!
June 2, 2008 at 12:42 am #13834HDRJrParticipant
I really appreciate the follow-up / feedback. I will contact the company as you recommended to see if I can learn more on my bell.
Carolyn – Thank you again for all your assistance in helping post my photos.
June 2, 2008 at 1:16 am #13835
Let us know how it goes! I’m sure I am not the only one following this and am curious as to what you find out!
June 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm #13836hjlongMember
This gong appears to be an alarm gong. Electric Trolley cars had a similar gong mounted outside as a warning to vehicles that got in their way and was activated by the trainman. There also was a smaller gong mounted near the trolley trainman and was attached to a long cord that ran the length of the passenger section to allow passengers who wanted to get off at the next stop to signal the trainman to stop. Some trolley gongs were activated by pulling a cord, and others by activating an electric switch. San Francisco still operates similar electric trolleys in the Embarcadero District and you can see these gongs in operation. The SF Cable Car gongs are smaller, have an external clapper, and are activated by pulling a cord.
June 4, 2008 at 1:42 am #13837
Yep, I’d buy that! The ring cycle would be about right for the mechanical part. That use does match the idea of it being an alerting industrial bell that I was thinking of. It’s certainly one use for it.
Harry is very good with/in his knowledge, Dennis – I’d trust his judgment on it.
You will probably find that it is used for a variety of similar purposes too. Personally, I’d have fun trying to get it to work again, and maybe turn it into a door bell or something similar!
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