Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Help Identify a Train Bell ??

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    • #12312

      [attachment=1]train bell.jpg[/attachmnt]

      Bell has no marks, looks like nickel plate, good condition, no cracks, no repairs.
      Part of crank missing.
      Bell height 9″, Lip.dia 11.5″,Cradle Height 22″, width 15, Base 11″x14″.
      All help appreciated. Thanks, James

    • #17610
      Neil Goeppinger

      I’m not sure what information you are seeking. It is definitely a locomotive bell. If the bottom of the base is concave upward, it was for mounting on the top of a steam locomotive boiler. The top acorn finial is a nice finishing touch. The bell does not have grooves around the outside near the bottom, which was an indication of an early bell, but not having them still doesn’t make it possible to date the bell. Your bell is likely brass, although a very few locomotive bells were bronze. Often, if there is no name on the bell, it was made by the same foundry that made the locomotive it served on.

      I know just enough about locomotive bells to be dangerous. Tower bells I know. — Neil Goeppinger

    • #17611

      It has one grove about 1″ up from lip of bell
      Thanks for info.

    • #17612

      Thanks for the one answer. Kind of disappointed for lack of response.
      Aging bell would help a lot. Surly someone has seen a similar bell ???

    • #17613
      Willie B. Herd

      James, it’s definitely made of brass. The base diameter is unusual and a useful clue, as is the single groove. Due to the design of the yoke and cradle, I’m guessing the bell was made sometime before 1900…..possibly around 1860-80.

      Researching bells without markings is extremely difficult, try searching the web for locomotive pics and bells, Brosamers bells, etc.

      Are there any markings on the yoke and cradle assembly??? W

    • #17614

      The base is a 2 piece bolted together. The top is round piece.
      The bottom ,on one side has raised slot and
      extended bolt hole on other.
      Going to seperate and see if any marking on round part.
      Otherwise can’t find any markkings.

    • #17615

      A person in B.C. has one like it and was made by Vulcan.

    • #17616
      Carolyn Whitlock

      You might want to look at the website http://railroadiana.org/. They have a section on railroad bells.

    • #17617

      Hello James,

      You state that the bell is 11.5 inches in diameter. This would seemingly be from a smaller locomotive as large locomotives usually had larger bells.

      It is likely to be from a small “industrial” type locomotive or one from the logging industry. The Vulcan locomotive works specialized in smaller engines and indeed, if yours is exactly like the one your friend has, this could well be the origin. However, locomotive owners rarely put their names on bells, nor any identifying marks. Thus the former owners of the bell must remain anonymous. Any raised letters or numbers on the cradle or yoke would simply be pattern numbers etc, and would not identify the bell owners in any way. However, this may be of value when comparing the marks with those on a similar bell and which has a known manufacturer. Thus, it may be possible to identify the manufacturer, but not the railroad nor engine.

      The photo of the clapper shows that it had a fair amount of use!!! A nice bell. Teddy.

    • #17618


      This is very odd. I just had a look on eBay for locomotive bells and found that this identical bell is featured for sale – even identical photos!


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