Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Large alarm bell. unknown origin. need help!

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    • #12383
      morganmcmahan
      Participant

      I came across a large alarm bell with the words safety on the front. It is roughly 37 inches tall and very heavy. I have a couple of pictures that I have attached. I can’t find any information on the bell’s origin, use, age, or manufacturer. I desperately need some help. Any suggestions?

    • #17723
      Garry
      Participant

      Hello Morgan!

      Welcome to ABA! Is the internal mechanisms for this bell reachable? I wouldn’t fully dismantle it but it might give more clues from the inside of the casing, and those usually come off for servicing. Look for patent marks, serial numbers that kind of thing.

      While I don’t collect this type of bell myself, I have seen similar ones before. They were typically used in large manufacturing plants on the construction floors. It is iron, so it would be used inside a building or other weather proof structure usually. It’s pretty generic for that application, so you probably won’t find the exact company that used it unless you can trace it’s history from where you found it. For example, if it is in an area of rock mines, you might see it in the main mine shafts, or the rock sorting area, or in a local smelter. Look for ones that underwent closure or major upgrades. That kind of thing, even if the seller knows nothing about the bell. If it was a family piece, then I’d ask questions about local family history, where did Dad/Grandad work for for example.

      Again, these are pretty generic, they could be used for emergency alarms (ie fire) or for system alerts (ie jammed paper machine roller in a paper mill), or whatever the need was. It’s hard to tell from the photos as to how much wear is from storage after it was decommissioned or from when used, but I suspect (and it’s only a guess from what limited info I can get from the photos) is that it is from about 1970’s ish. I think you will find it’s of USA manufacture so a patent number should be traceable, and serial numbers would likely give an indication of age.

      Hope that helps!
      Garry

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