Today I saw a large bell mounted high in a gentleman’s collection of mining, service station and automobile memorabilia…a very extensive and lovely collection. The bell, which he thought was at least part silver, had a very melodic tone when rung. On the bell (the lower visible part) is LM Rumsby St Louis 1894. Can anyone identify such a bell and what it might have been used for? I thought it might be a locomotive or school bell. Thank you. Mike
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This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
The name on the bell must be Rumsey, not Rumsby. Louis M. Rumsey started and operated what became a huge company that manufactured and/or distributed an enormous variety of mostly durable goods. Among them were bells, and I’m certain that those were made for him, under his name, by one of the established bellfoundries – McShane of Baltimore for large bronze bells, Henry Stuckstede of St.Louis for small bronze bells, and someone else for steel postmount bells. The bell which Michael saw must be made of bronze, but would contain no silver at all. It’s the tin content of bronze which imparts what some see as a silvery appearance.