Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells help identify bell

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #10873
      vtbuck223
      Participant



      Hi All
      I was very excited to find your forum after recently coming into possession of this bell. The previous owner of the bell said that his father had retrieved it from a salvage shed many years ago somewhere in the vicinity of Long Island, NY and that the bell had been on a Long Island Steam Ferry. I knew almost nothing about bells but liked it and we were able to work a trade in which we both were happy. I have read almost everything on here and learned a great deal. Here is what I think I know about this bell based upon what I’ve read. Here is what I think I now know about my bell…it’s cast steel…yoke is cast iron…clapper has an eye on it for holding a rope which may indicate a ships use…the number 24 on the yoke corresponds to the size which is nearly 24in. diameter at the bottom…and it appears to be in the style of CS Bell.

      Now here are my further questions. The bell has a 24 on the yoke but no other markings. Almost every time a bell like this has come up on the site someone says check out CS Bell. Was CS Bell the only company that marked Bells in this way or was this a standard marking system for all manufacturers? Also, on nearly every picture of a CS Bell of this type (but not on mine) the yokes have flat surfaces on the top or bottom of the limbs…can you tell the manufacturer or the age of the bell by the style of the yoke? Is this bell consistent with what may have been used on a ferry…did they use cast steel bells? Does the eye on the clapper for a rope pull usually indicate nautical use? and lastly…did I come out on the short end a this trade…the item I traded is easily sold in the 400 dollar range?

      Thanks for any help you can give me…glad to be a new member of the site and a new fan of bell collecting.
      Jeremy

    • #13805
      jackbell
      Participant

      Jeremy: I’d give four hundred for a nice bell like yours any day of the week. It’s not a CS Bell product and I have not seen this design that I recollect but in fifty-some years of bell observation I might have forgotten it. Bronze bells were used at sea where corrosion was an issue but many freshwater vessels like ferries and riverboats had steel bells. The rope eye on the clapper is a good indication the bell was used on a ship or boat. Some foundries used numbers to indicate size, some used letters of the alphabet, and some did not indicate size at all.

    • #13806
      vtbuck223
      Participant

      Thanks Jackbell…good to know. I feel really good about my trade. I included another photo with the full yoke in the hopes someone may recognize it at some point. Although, if you haven’t seen one like it in 50 years then chances may be slim. It’s good to know that the story concerning this bell that was passed on to me is a strong possibility. I like hearing the bell ring and wondering who may have heard it ring when it was a working bell back in its hayday.

      Now I have to figure out what to do with it. I have a nice place to display it in my livingroom but this would be on blocks and the sound is severely muted. If I want to hang it then I would obviously have some more work to do. I also want to preserve the integrity of the bell. I guess I’ll have fun firguring it out.

      Jeremy

    • #13807
      jackbell
      Participant

      Just make a frame from 4 by 4 posts to mount the A frames to. I’d paint the bell dark red and the yoke, A frames, and clapper gloss black. A real eye-catcher and conversation piece. Glad you are going to keep it inside. Bells are tempting to thieves.

    • #13808
      vtbuck223
      Participant

      Jackbell…thanks again for the great suggestion. I tend to always lean to the conservative side and often need a nudge to go with a color like red. I can seen it already. Using the A frames w/ 4×4 frame should work well…my question is how to mount the bell to it. The yoke is obviously broken. I’ve read some of the posts on repairs and it seems unlikely to me that the yoke could be repaired to bear the weight of the bell. Is that true? If the yoke can’t be repaired to bear weight should I have it repaired just for cosmetic purposes? If the yoke can’t be repaired would it make sense to mount the bell directly to a 4×4 post that could itself be suspended by the A frames with pins on either side? Or is there a better way to do it?

      Thanks again for your thoughts
      Jeremy

    • #13809
      jackbell
      Participant

      I didn’t even notice from the photos that the yoke is broken. Have it brazed by a welder and it will hold the weight of the bell fine. There are a lot of bells in use with mended yokes. Even with the broken yoke, you got a bargain.

    • #13810

      From the shape of the bell itself, I would say that it was cast by the Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company. The short neck and smoothly rounded shoulder are distinctive.

      However, the yoke and side frames are clearly different from any I’ve ever seen from that firm. I have no idea whether those are a very early or very late design from them, or were made by someone else entirely.

    • #13811
      vtbuck223
      Participant

      Thanks Carl…that’s interesting. I’ve read many of your posts on this site…very informative. I must say that I had looked at some of the other pics of the Blymyer/Cin Bells and thought that there was a resemblance. The yoke is obviously different than the traditional Blymyer downswept look but the construction appears to be similar. I have looked at a lot of pictures of bells and haven’t seen one exactly like mine….and I know that you have looked at many times more than me. Hopefully, someone will stumble onto another like this one at some point and make the connection. Thanks again for your comments.

      I have started the restoration process on this bell and with much effort have managed to separate all the parts without doing any damage. I guess I’ll move any restoration questions I have over to that post.

      Thank you all for your help
      Jeremy

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.