How old is this bell?
Tagged: CS BELL cast iron
August 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm #24739
We have a number 7 in a circle on the yoke of this 31 1/4″ cast iron bell.
The yoke also proclaims “C.S.BELL, 7 HILLSBORO, O.” dating it from 1875 to 1886 I believe.
I can find no date molded inside, of course.
See the photos of the detail scrolls on the yoke.
I have seen these before on 16″ or 18″ bell yokes with shorter bowl height than later castings
This bell too, has slightly different proportions than bells of the “THE CS BELL & CO” era.
At 31 1/4″ diameter it is 17″ tall.
Our No. 30 dated to 1886 by the factory’s name cast onto the yoke, also is 17″.
Our much later, generic YOKE 28, measures 27 1/2″ diameter and 18″ height.
Also the wheel is extra thick in all dimensions but diameter, and that is an unusually small 20″.
But no question it is the original, complete with 2″ square, tapered hub and wheel center, with bolt holes matching perfectly… for casting of that era…
And the belfry stands, smaller in height, but much thicker and beefier with deep molded relief on one side.
… almost twice as heavy as the stands for the No 30.
Yet the yoke is thin in thickness, tall in height profile, …and that scroll work…
The clapper arm is a flat bar and the clapper pear shaped and well- flatted.
Most importantly, it rings clear and true… tested as it hung over our pick up truck bed before loading.
I was actually surprised at how nice the tone is considering how old I am sure it is.
But does this all lend itself to the pre-1875 period where CS cast a relatively small number of bells.
Any information dating this old bell would be welcomed.
August 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm #24744
August 9, 2016 at 2:11 am #24749nightflier51Participant
This bell’s contour and shape is very similar to the 19&3/4th inch no 4 I have never seen one of theres that looked that way in the church bell sizes. Evidently they once intended to make there larger bells shaped like the farm bell shape and decided to change the shapes to the larger ones we usually see. That shape started with no 20 and up in sizes. The wheel is odd for a CS Bell. Maybe someone added that later and drilled the holes in to fit the yoke.
August 27, 2016 at 11:23 am #24774
The wheel is, without doubt, the original wheel for this bell set.
Information helping to date this bell would be appreciated.
September 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm #24802
March 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm #25207
I’m not sure how to contact either Neil Goeppinger, or Scott Zimmerman, but purchased Goeppinger’s book although it won’t be delivered for a couple weeks….
They are the experts I hope to help date this CS BELL bell, with every element of its form different from their 1880s and later bells, with no common designs as a transition piece in the firm’s bell design evolution.
While CS took over a foundry and made it his own in 1858, several versions of the company;s history state they started making bells in 1875, including the “Tower Bells” version of a edited brochure.
However the unedited version at the Highland County, Greenfield City History states:
Bell advertised for sale: “A cast center lever plow, 100 bells, made from the best materials at the foundry.” They also had on hand number of improved beehives and were prepared to pay cash for any amount of scrap iron.
In 1869 Bell purchased Marlay’s interest and continued to add various items to those he already sold and manufactured.
Can we surmise they cast bells between 1858 and 1869, using the design trend current for the time, and shifted design and incorporated his new “Crystal Metal”, around the time most other foundries also shifted to the newer proportions and profile around the 1875 mark, oft referred to as the beginning of Bell’s bell casting?
The evidence is displayed here in photos, and in our yard, but the conclusive date is elusive.
I hope to hear that expert reaction to my hypothesis, that this is a pre-Civil War CS BELL bell, making it one of his oldest examples, perhaps cast by his own hands…
March 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm #25227
UPDATE. read through my own new copy of Neil Goeppinger’s book to find a similar bell in his collection offered as an example of pre-Civil War American steel bell profile, on two pages. But I can find no text testimony to support or refute the oft-cited brochure dating the start of CS Bell’s bell casting as 1875.
I wonder about the size of stands on Neil’s specimen as the bell seems to stand rather high, the same distance from the frame as the much larger bell next to it in one photo. His has the same bowl profile and scrolls atop the yoke. The wheel, stands, and clapper are different than our No.7, and I guess his is a 24″ No.5 though it is not identified in his book.
So is ours an oldest original, or a marriage, and yours original or transitional mix of parts, or an aftermarket marriage … or two examples of the extensive gaps in our cumulative bell knowledge.
Help us out Neil, and thanks in advance.
Wish you continued success with your great book.
Thanks all for your patience with my persistence.
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