Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells HELP! Have a bell, need some info…

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    • #10863
      thompson360
      Participant

      Hi!
      I recently purchased a church to move my bridal shop into. Currently there is a bell in the steeple. My contractor is going to remove the bell (very carefully) for me. I am told by the pastor that this bell was made around 1900 in Germany and dedicated to the church in 1935. I have a couple questions…

      Is there anything I need to know about removing the bell? Items to keep intact, etc??

      What kind of info do I need off of the bell to find out it’s origin and possible market value?

      Any other pertinent info or advice would be greatly appreciated!!! I am a COMPLETE novice in the world of bells!!

      Thanks!

    • #13774
      hjlong
      Member

      The bell should be carefully removed intact without damage. The yoke and mounting frames are probably made of cast iron and will be quite brittle; they should be removed intact with clapper. If there is any rope wheel or tolling device, they should be removed intact. The wheel is either made of wood and may have deteriorated or it is made of cast iron and is easily broken. Finally, get accurate measurements of the bell, diameter at the lip, height from lip to head, and diameter at the shoulder. If the bell is from Germany, it is probably Bronze and will have a green patina and will not hold a magnet. Copy all markings on the bell and yoke. Finally, detailed pictures of the bell will be helpful. If you are looking to sell it, post the pictures on this site and you may find a buyer.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13775
      lucky13
      Member

      Am looking forward to photos of your bell. With all the American bell foundries in operation in 1900 it seems unlikely a church would import a bell from Europe. Perhaps it’s a Stuckstede (German name, St Louis firm).

    • #13776
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      Dr. Long gave you good advice. I would add one thing. Tell the contractor when he attaches to the bell to lift it, either with a log chain or with nylon straps (the latter are better as they are more gentle), place them around the yoke as close to the center as possible. Don’t attach them to the outer ends of the yoke. This will help avoid a broken yoke. Also, as Dr. Long said, be sure to remove the clapper before taking the bell down. I saw a perfectly beautiful bronze bell with the top broken out of it because the bell was lowered to the ground quickly with the clapper still in. The clappers are easy to remove. Good luck with your project.
      — Neil

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