Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` ID Help Request on Sleigh/Shaft Graduated Bells


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    • #25284


      Any help you can offer in identifying these bells would be greatly appreciated, including approx. age, manufacturer, value, etc. I find no maker’s marks at all. It was nickel plated, but most has come off with wear and time.


      overall rack length = 13.75″
      bells vary in dia. from 2 3/16″ to 2 7/8″

      weight = 1# 10 oz. each rack, 3# 4 oz./pair

      Many thanks,
      Bryan Barnard

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by IAMSatisfied.
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    • #25290
      Carolyn Whitlock

      Hi, Bryan!

      Welcome to the American Bell Association’s ‘Bell Talk’ Forum! I have two suggestions for you to help in your research about these bells. First of all, if you do an Internet search for “Shaft Bells”, you may learn more about yours on various websites and from manufacturers’ websites.

      Secondly, if you go the the Bell Resource Center on this forum, you will find a category that says “Bell Tower Article Index”. I forewarn you that it is a long list! Select the “Articles by Category” list and scroll down to where you see the category of “sleigh bells”. You’ll find them on pages 44 and 45. You can request reprints of these articles from the A.B.A. Historian. Her contact information can be found at the beginning of the category. I believe there is no charge for copies of these articles that are sent via email.

      This type of bell was often found on ice cream carts or wagons. If in your Internet search you look at images of shaft bells, you may find some very similar to yours. You may also want to check your local library to see if they have books about bells. One excellent book that has a section on “Beast of Burden Bells” has pictures and information about a lot of different styles of bells. The book is
      The Collector’s Book of Bells by L. Elsinore Springer. This book can also be found for sale on websites that sell used books such as http://www.powells.com, http://www.Amazon.com, and http://www.alibris.com. I’m sure that are other places that sell this book, too.

      The American Bell Association has been in existence since 1940! We are primarily an organization of bell enthusiasts who collect, research, play handbells, and preserve bells as well as share our knowledge with others at chapter meetings throughout the world, at regional meetings, annual conventions, and via our excellent, full-color, bi-monthly, 48-page magazine called “The Bell Tower.” A subscription to The Bell Tower is included as a benefit of A.B.A. membership.

      I wish you luck in finding answers to your questions about your shaft bells! Of course, you are always welcome to join our organization and let us nurture your interest in bells!


    • #25301

      Thank you, Carolyn, for the informative response. It looks like I’ve got some reading to do! :o)


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