Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Information Request on Very Old Colonial Bell

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    • #12093
      Wizard
      Member

      I am the owner of a bell that was housed in the tower of a grist-mill or cotton mill in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The mill was built by Amos Kimball and his cousin Ephraim in 1750. This was the first industrial building in Fitchburg to employ workers and also had an attached store which was the first in Fitchburg. Joe Cushing bought the mill in 1868, and then it was called the Cushing Grain Mill. My father was contracted by the City of Fitchburg to demolish this building in 1961(?). My father, at great risk, climbed into the bell tower to rescue and hoist down this very heavy bell. While my dad was ‘up there’ he placed his hand on a beam and found under some dirt a hand-made Russian coin dated 1794. The bell appears to be copper as a magnet will not adhere to it. The ringer of the bell is metal, however rusted. Dimensions: the diameter at the bottom is 17 3/4″; circumferance at the bottom is 55″; height, including top handle is 20″. Weight is unknown but can be lifted by two very strong people, with caution. The bell needs to be cleaned – I can find no extruding markings to indicate its maker, however there may be some inversed markings. It has nine ‘rings’ around the outside. I have learned that the Kimballs were friends of Paul Revere. I would like to find out the origin/maker of the bell, and year it was made. Any help will be greatly appreciated. (The red clapper is showing leaning against the front of the bell.)

    • #17088
      hjlong3
      Participant

      The picture is too small to see detail and does not expand for detailed observation. The ribbing aroung the skirt is reminiscent of Revere Bells, but the crown is not typical of Revere bells. A larger picture would help.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #17089
      Wizard
      Member

      Dr. Long – thank you so much for your response. I was told that the crown was replaced at some point as it seems to be welded onto the bell. I will try to post a larger picture. I had one up on the site along with the smaller one, but the larger one disappeared. I’ll try again.

      Wizard – nickname, News

    • #17090
      Wizard
      Member

      Larger picture of the bell . . . .

    • #17091
      Wizard
      Member

      Use BING to see a very large photo of bell. I was told that Paul Revere made 6 early bells under 200 pounds which had a block on top, as this one does. It does make sense that this bell could be a Revere bell from information given in first part of thread, but still cannot confirm.

      The problem for me is that I now live on the west coast – not in Massachusetts. Any researchers who can lead me in the right direction would be appreciated. Happy 4th of July.

    • #17092
      hjlong3
      Participant

      The ribbing on this bell is certainly reminiscent of Revere Bells although it lacks the distinctive crown. You might want to look at http://www.towerbells.org for information on Revere Bells and they might be able to give you a better idea of whether this is a Revere Bell. They are cataloguing bells that were produced by the various early Bell Founders.
      Harry Long, MD

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