Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells How Old is This Bell?

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    • #12538
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Randy writes:

      I am the president of the Hampton Township Historical Society located in Sussex County, Newton, NJ 07860. We recently received a bell that we were told came off of one of the one room school houses. I have looked on the computer for any information and can not locate what I am looking for. I am looking for any information that could tell me how old the attached school bell is. Where it was made…etc. We plan on displaying it and would like to have information about the bell displayed with it. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me.
      Sincerely,
      Randy

    • #17956
      jackbell
      Participant

      Your bell was cast by Gould Mfg Co of Seneca Falls, NY which is still in business. Their primary products are pumps but bells were a sideline during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can enter “gould” in our search (above right) to read more member posts. Being able to determine which building the bell was used on and dating it’s construction would most likely be when the bell was purchased new. Here’s the company website:

      https://www.gouldspumps.com/ittgp/medialibrary/goulds/website/Literature/Brochures/History%20Brochures/Goulds_Pumps_History_Brochure.pdf?ext=.pdf

    • #17957
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Rumsey & Co of Sennica Falls NY cast this same shaped bell. Both companies used the narrow at top and wider lip diameter. I have a Goulds no 33 that looks just like a Rumsey & Co No 8. Sometimes I wonder if both those companies lent out their patterns back then.

    • #17958
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      I don’t know the diameter of your bell. Your bell shape is the pre Civil War shape. Almost all iron and steel bells over 20″ diameter made a change in shape right after the Civil War because the bell founders discovered that by adding just a little more metal to the bell and making the top larger as a percentage of the diameter of the mouth (opening) of the bell, the sound was improved greatly. Soon, no one wanted a bell with the small top so everyone switched over. However, the improvement in sound was not very noticeable in dinner bells (12″ to 18″ diameter) so a few firms continued to make them with the small top until later. Based on the diameter of your bell, with the above information you may be able to at least date it prior to the Civil War. Most iron and steel bell foundries changed the shape of all their bells at the same time, including dinner bells. — Neil

    • #17959
      nightflier51
      Participant

      I love the shape of this type of bell. They look more antique and there is something about them. My Goulds is 31 and half inches across but says 33 on the bell. It has a grand beautiful tone and its narrow at top and very wide at bottom. You can barely make out the name on the yoke which tells me its one of their earlier pre civil war church bells. I need a wheel for it. Originally it had a spiral 6 spoke wheel about 32 inches in diameter.

    • #17960
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      nightflier51, You said you need a wheel for your bell. A few years ago Todd Lower has some cast, both in iron and in aluminum. Even the aluminum ones were heavy. You might want to check with him. The spokes were straight, but the centers were solid so they could be drilled to what ever size was needed to fit a bell. The quality was good. — Neil

    • #17961
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Hi Neil I will check with Todd. He has been to my home delivering the Goulds 33 bell He is one of the nicest fellows I have ever met. You told me on the phone that you had a Rumsey&Co no 8 you thought. Do you have one? Todd told me the Rumsey no 8 was the same thing as the Goulds no33

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