I’m a school board director in NW Washington and we have a 28 inch, steel school bell from the National Bell Foundry. We are trying to unlock the history of that company. And in particular we are wondering if by chance it was part of a trade school and/or an African American-owned company.
From an ad, I know that the NBF was at 2933 Spring Grove Ave., in the Camp Washington District of Cincinnati and from this forum I believe it was in existence from 1901 to 1921. And from an insurance map of 1904, the company at that location is called The Mutual Mfg. & Supply Co.. Right next store was The Washington School Annex Trade School and Workshops with a large foundry noted. The only other thing I know about the National Bell Foundry, is that it advertised in a progressive African American Literary Journal, “The Voice of the Negro” which was in existence from 1904 to 1907.
It was that advertising choice that has us wondering about the origins, ownership, history of the National Bell Foundry. Might it have been part of the Washington School Annex? Might it have been an African-American owned company?
I’d be very appreciative of any information that anyone has regarding this company and of course any ideas as to the specific questions we are pondering. Thanks.
I would recommend contacting the Historical Society in Cincinnati for answers to your questions about the foundry. I know of four bells by this firm, and also own one. — Neil Goeppinger
Neil thanks for the advice. I have tried some of the historical societies in the area, but haven’t had any luck with information. Is there a specific one you can recommend?