Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Large Steam Ship Bell

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    • #11262
      Ken
      Participant

      I have a large bell that was made in 1902 by the Chaplin Foundry. It came off a steam ship that was on the Ohio river. It was owned for many years by Dan Webster who owned a marina on the river. He got it from his friend Capt. Battey who was in the salvage business on the river and is well known for his salvage business. I was told that it is a single bell. Can anyone add anything to what little I have. How can I find what ship it came off of? Any help would greatly be appreciated. It measures 32 and is about 31 heigh. It is complete and mounted on a trailer. It is made of bronze. Also can anyone but a value on the bell.

      Thanks
      Ken
      colt9@mac.com

    • #14934
      hjlong3
      Participant

      There were no steamships on the Ohio River. It was only navigable for steamboats. Based on the large size of your bell and the 1902 vintage, it probably came from a paddlewheel riverboat. Chaplin was the late name of its predecessor,the Andrew Fulton Bell Foundry of Pittsburgh, which cast bells for riverboats, fire stations, schools and churches. The company started in the 1820s as Andrew Fulton Bell Foundry, then A. Fulton & Sons, A. Fulton Sons, Fulton & Chaplin, and finally Chaplin in the early 1900s. It closed in the 1920s. These are beautiful bronze bells and highly prized by collectors. The larger bells had a characteristic crown that mounted flush to the yoke and allowed the bell to rotate so that the strike surface would vary and avoid wear in a single site. Unless the bell has the name of the steamboat on it, it is unlikely that you will be able to trace its origins.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14931
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here are pictures that Ken sent:


      Around the top is “Cast By The Chaplin Foulton…”


      On the end it says “THE SINKER DAVIS CO. IND’P’L’S. IND.”

    • #14932
      hjlong3
      Participant

      The black item is a steam whistle that most definitely would have been used on a riverboat. The bell seems too large to have been used on a riverboat, but could possibly been used on a large paddlewheel steamer, although I doubt it. This is a typical Chaplin Fulton bell and is a beautiful bell. It should be a prized addition to a collection.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14933
      Ken
      Participant

      Dr. Long I am amaze at the love you must have for bells. I appreciate you input to my post. A gentlemen form AR. purchased the bell yesterday. I am pleased to fine someone that will enjoy it for a long time. The large black steam whistle was made in Indianapolis IN. I do not have the year as yet. It was use on work boats or tugs. The bell was a single bell that was used on the Ohio Rover for singling others in the fog. The size of some river boats were quite large. They would hold 500 plus on the large ones at or around 1900. The life of a river boat back then was 6 to 8 years. The Delta Queen was a very noted steam boat that was used in Sacramento Ca. on the river. So it wold not shout down travel in bad weather, they put up wood walls in the turns of the river so the boats could navigate in the fog. The bell was used to make a sound and the look out could hear the rebound of the sound and he would direct the captain as to which was to steer the boat based on sound only.

      Thanks again for your input
      Ken

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