Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Bell Foundries, Manufacturers and Artisans F. (Something) Bell Manufacturer 1700s?

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    • #11791

      We have a church bell covered with many coats of paint sitting outside of a 1700s church. We would like to restore it and re-install it. The manufacturer, from what we can read, was “F. (something) Bell Co.”. The wheel for turning the bell appears to date back to 1749-ish. This may not mean the bell is the same age. Not sure. Can anyone make an educated guess as to who the manufacturer was and whether they’re still in business?

      Bell height is 32″.
      Bell Diameter is 45 1/2 “.
      Writing on the outside of the bell appears to be “F.”, or “FR”, something…”WN”, possibly “BROWN”? See photos.
      On the inside of the bell there appears “190” something “1”. This could be “1909 1”, but it isn’t clear and the last number is a different size, possibly not a number.
      On the stand, it says “STANDARD 48″, I’m guessing that this means that it is a standard 48” stand for the bell.
      A member of the church believes the bell is made out of iron.

      There is no known history of the bell. The church burned down in 1906, completely. The current building was renovated in 1949. There are no records of purchasing the bell in the 1949 timeframe so it could have been at the church before this. It is not known as to whether the bell was bought new or used.

    • #16436


      It would be helpful to forum members if you could please post a picture of the bell that you’re asking about. If you need help posting a picture of the bell, I would be happy to post it for you. Please send it to: coordinator@americanbell.org.

      Also, please read the FAQ at https://americanbell.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=639&sid=6e6af4dc57a3f1d52b931432e08192d3.

      If you haven’t read the postings under the “Repair, Restoration, Parts, Cleaning” forum at https://americanbell.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=16, you might find it helpful to do so.

    • #16437

      Blackbell has sent these pictures of her bell:

    • #16438

      This is a cast steel bell similar to a CS Church Bell. Place a magnet on it. It should stick. It was not cast in the 1700s, but rather in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I have no information about the founder noted on the yoke, but I’m sure that other members of the forum will be able to identify the founder.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #16439
      Neil Goeppinger

      I agree with Harry Long about the age of the bell and the fact it is ferrous metal (based on it’s shape). When I have had an inscription on a bell yoke which was badly weathered I’ve sometimes been able to get a clearer image by making a rubbing with the side of a pencil (or a crayola) and paper. Please try that, and if you get some more letters that way, I’ll try to see if I can find any thing from my records of bell foundries. I’m not set up to do searches by the last letters in a name, only by the first letters or by the town the firm was in. It is strange it doesn’t have the town and state cast into one side of the yoke.

      Now that I think of it, you said it started with F and ended with wn. Could it be Frederick Town Bell Co? That firm was in Ohio. Another possibility was the Fredricktown Bell Co in Corry, Pa. Yes, there were two firms with names that close. They were spelled slightly differently. After you do the rubbing, see if the spacing of the letters would be right for either of these names. — Neil

    • #16440

      Neil and Harry,

      I made a rubbing of the text in both pencil and crayon, but it is somewhat indecipherable. I can try to take a picture of the rubbings and post them…. The rubbings do seem to indicate that there is a natural space in the word beginning with an ‘F’ or ‘FR’. Was the Ohio firm called Frederick Town, with a space between the two words?

      You mentioned an expectation about a town name on the bell. On the other side of the bell from the manufacturer’s name, there are some raised bumps which might be letters. They are mainly illegible, but the length of the strip of bumps is relatively short. They might start with a ‘F.’.

      What are your thoughts on the numbers inside the bell? Is that a date of 1909?


    • #16441
      Neil Goeppinger

      The Ohio firm had two words Frederick Town, and the Pa firm had all one word Fredricktown, plus the spellings were different. As to the numbers inside the bell, I can’t tell you if that is a date or not. I haven’t come across a date inside a large bell before. Isn’t this fun? — Neil

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