Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Help with identifying our Church Bell

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    • #11451
      gspear
      Member

      Correction:
      I would appreciate anyone who might recognize our 100-plus year-old church bell. The mouth is 32 inches inches in outside diameter, 20 inches tall and cast iron, not brass. It has the “pulley” wheel attached for the rope to loop across. On one spoke of the wheel is the lettering “no. 30” although on the very top of the bell, the part where the ‘clapper’ is attached is the number ’32’ in big letters. This bell is located in northern Alabama and the contractors who are installing a new steeple for it claim that most bells they’ve worked on in Alabama come from New Jersey. I also see where there was a foundry in nearby Birmingham, Al. The casting of the bell is pitted and not smooth at all. Any help will be appreciated. The bell was painted black today which explains the difference in color. Thanks!
      George

    • #15806
      jackbell
      Participant

      The Y is missing in the word “yoke”. That’s the part the bell is fastened to. Minor casting imperfections were overlooked by foundries as long as the bell functioned properly. It has the appearance of a CS Bell Co bell from Hillsboro, Ohio but a front-view photo would help. Is forty inches the diameter of the mouth or the width between the tips of the yoke? There’s a lot I don’t know about bells but I’ve never heard of a foundry in New Jersey that made steel ones. Seneca Falls, New York produced a lot of steel bells but I can tell from the photos that yours is the wrong design for one of theirs.

    • #15807
      jackbell
      Participant

      Thanks for the additional photo. Your very nice cast steel bell was made by CS Bell Co in Hillsboro, Ohio. Go to our search (upper right corner of page) and type in CS Bell Hillsboro Ohio. There’s lots of info. You can also Google it. CS probably produced more steel bells than any American foundry in it’s many years of operation.

    • #15808
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Jackbell sent this information to be shared:

      The foundry changed designs 3 times during it’s bell production period (1875-1940’s).  The design changed for the third time around 1892 and that is the design of your bell.  Also, the date was cast into large bells at different periods during the company’s operation.  Some bells are dated, some are not.  Check the inside carefully with a flashlight.  You might find the month and year or even the day, month, and year.

    • #15809
      gspear
      Member

      Thank you. I looked briefly inside it for markings but might have overlooked something. The bell was mounted in the new steeple a few weeks ago so I missed my chance to look closer. I believe that we might have figured it out by reviewing church minutes. In 1897, a new church was built (they called it a “block house”) and I found the Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs for that era. It was shown in both catalogs with identical prices so I feel relatively safe in stating that it ws probably purchased then. Again, thank you for your help.

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