Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Large spiral wheeled bell made in St Louis

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    • #12339
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Hi I have put this on before on inquiry about a bell I once saw in the old AME church. I climbed up to look and to my astonishment, the bell was nearly as big as the liberty bell. It was on a frame stands had tolling ball. What I noticed mostly was the fancy spiraled wheel with vine pattern run all around the wheel. They were embossed on the wheel. I cannot tell whether the bell was bronze because it looked reddish gray with white pigeon manure stripes down the bell. I would like to know if anyone has ever seen such a bell whether it was iron or bronze. They mustve been a foundry at St Louis that adorned the wheels like this. I do remember on the yoke it said St Louis MO. The bell was stolen in 1969 and no one knows where it ever went. I must tell you it was fancy. It had no rings on it and from what I can remember, it had the shape of the typical cs bells but my memorie is vague some even about that. Please help if you can.

    • #17664
      jackbell
      Participant

      You saw this bell a long time ago and the light was probably not the best. My guess is it was a David Caughlan bell. The wheel spokes were curved (spiral) and there was a floral motif around the bell’s shoulder. Caughlan bells were cast of bronze with iron accessory components and are scarce.

      http://www.towerbells.org/graphics/Caughlan_08372_28m.jpg

      http://www.towerbells.org/graphics/Caughlan_08372_27m.jpg

      St Louis, Mo is cast on the opposite side which is not shown in these photos.

    • #17665
      nightflier51
      Participant

      nope the wheel was embossed with vines bell was smooth and stained from weather

    • #17666
      jackbell
      Participant

      The description of the wheel is a puzzle. I’ve never seen one like that in half a century of bell interest. Perhaps it was a foundry in business only a short time that made very few bells. Too bad it disappeared. Stealing a bell that size from a tower would have been a difficult and dangerous feat.

    • #17667
      nightflier51
      Participant

      yes the tower was at the side of the church adjunction to the church. you could walk in the church and walk over to the tower room. there was a ladder which led straight up to the bell loft about 30 feet…. everyone thought they lowered it down the shaft from the inside. the church was abandoned for years prior to the disappearance of the bell. Legend says that thiefs were hired by a antique dealer to get it and it was told it went to Roanoke Va. The dealer is dead now and its hard to tell where it is now. All this was hearsay stories but I tend to believe them. I also remember the tolling ball. it was big as a softball. One thing I now do remember. The main clapper looked like the ones of cs or American bell cos Im like you though, I have never seen one with floral pattern on wheel other than this one. I did hear it ring once and it sounded bronze but some steel bells sounded close to bronze. This is a mysterie that prob will never be solved unless a bell member ever sees one of this discribtion, but there was such bells like this but probably a short lived company Any way it was the fanciest one I have ever seen and ive seen a lot of them. Perhaps Neil Goopinger might’ve seen one.

    • #17668
      jackbell
      Participant

      The Liberty Bell is 46″ in diameter. Nineteenth and 20th century American-made bells in that size range usually had wood wheels. Could it have been a wood wheel with the vine motif painted on? I’m thinking perhaps a Hillsboro bell trademarked on the yoke for some St Louis hardware retailer. Is the church still standing? A cornerstone date would more than likely date the bell because it was probably new when installed.

    • #17669
      nightflier51
      Participant

      it was more like 34 inches to my best memorie. no the wheel was cast iron and rusted but the relief was most present of the lily vines etc

    • #17670
      nightflier51
      Participant

      the church was torn down in 1970

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