October 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm #12408Vin Cherico RIParticipant
Has anyone compiled a comprehensive list of American Bell Founders prior to the Civil War or up to present day for that mater?
With rough working dates ?
I know of the famous North East Founders but there must have been others else where?
these are the founders I know of
October 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm #17780Carl Scott ZimmermanParticipant
Various bell historians (including myself) have accumulated such lists, but none are yet in publishable form. There are a variety of reasons for that, most notable of which might be that the historical evidence is widely variable in quality. While the bellfoundries you listed are well known because of the number of surviving bells bearing their names, others are known only through mentions in old city directories (for example). And in many cases we don’t yet know whether some such names were actually bellfounders or were only agents for someone else. There are even bells bearing names of companies other than their actual makers. Much research remains to be done.
For more names of foundries, you can browse this Forum topic, as well as visit http://www.TowerBells.org. There you will find all of the known bellfounders and resellers that operated in Saint Louis, as well as mention of numerous other foundries across America.
October 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm #17778Neil GoeppingerParticipant
I have compiled records of many North American bell founders. Over 250 are on individual sheets and the rest are in either unsorted form or in files with extensive information (those I know more about). I have wanted to get this into book form, but it seems each year something comes up which takes much of my time. This year it’s a crude oil pipeline proposed to run through 3 farms I manage.
If you want information on an individual firm, I can look to see what I have.
About Gillimore, as far as I know, he had worked for a bell foundry in England where he learned how to make bells. He came to America with the English military and deserted the army. He then started work for Hobart about 1769 and taught him how to make bells. Later, Hobart sent Gillimore and Hobart’s son to Boston to teach Revere how to make bells following the Revolutionary War. If Gillimore ever made bells in his own name, I did not know about it and have never come across one. I have also been unable to get a picture of a Hobart bell, although one supposedly is on display in a square somewhere in the area of Abington, Mass. I was never able to find its location working through the local historical society. — Neil
October 8, 2014 at 7:33 pm #17779Vin Cherico RIParticipant
Thanks to the both of you for getting back to me.
I guess my curiosity has really been aroused by the fact there does not seem to be colonial bell founding attempts (to my knowledge) any place else in the US besides New England one would suspect that Philadelphia and New york would have also seen bell foundries pop up prior to 1800.
I live in RI and if you have any info on that hobart bell i would be glad to see if i can hunt it down for you and take a picture of it.
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