Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Help with bell ID

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    • #11428

      Please help ID this bell. I’m absolutely not interested in it’s value! This is a family heirloom that was mounted on a pole at the family ranch in California for many years. It was removed and placed in storage about 25 to 30 years ago. I’ve been told it is from a train that was scrapped in the early ’50s. I’m only interested in it’s history if anyone can help. I’ve done some rudimentary research so I could give good info here.
      The bell is 17″ in diameter and has a horizontal piston ringer. There is no obvious evidence that the piston ringer was ever hooked up to anything. On the side of the piston ringer it looks like it says “patented 1924”. There are additional numbers / letters but I can’t see them good enough to tell what they are. The cradle has a round, flat mounting base with two recessed bolt holes. There are two tabs protruding from the underside of the cradle base that appear to have been torched off. They are indexed 90 degrees from the two bolt holes. Also, on the opposite side of the cradle from the crank lever, there is a flat mounting flange with two bolt holes. The color is natural, and doesn’t appear to ever have been polished.
      Thank you in advance for any help.
      Photos can be seen at: http://s983.photobucket.com/albums/ae313/reconrazz/Locomotive%20Bell/

    • #15742

      What a handsome locomotive bell and a large size. Designed so it could be either top or side mounted to the engine. I’d paint the mounting and clapper gloss black and polish the brass bell for a stunning appearance. I hope you are displaying it in a safe place. This sort of thing is a temptation to thieves. Some of our RR experts can probably help with the numbers and letters.

    • #15743

      Thank you.

      Also, I notice in some bell forums people say “Do Not” remove and/or repaint the inside of the bell.
      Why is that?

    • #15744

      Paint on a brass or bronze bell is not natural and not needed for protection. The patina that develops is protective, so that paint is not needed on the brass. It is needed on the cast steel or iron of the bracket and yoke to keep it from rusting. If the bell is to be kept indoors for display, it is ok to polish the brass and cover the bell with a protective clear lacquer. If it is to be kept out doors, it will be almost impossible to keep the bell from developing a protective patina, and I would simply clean the bell periodically.
      Harry Long, MD

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