My Great Aunt’s Bell marked U.S.
April 10, 2010 at 1:49 am #11422AnonymousInactive
Mark in Massachusetts writes:
Hi, I just found your website after doing some research online. I have found a bell in my great aunt’s estate in the barn. I am curious to know anything about it. In the pages and pages of bells I have seen , I have not spotted one similar. This is about 25lbs with a diameter of 9 1/2 inches , with what looks like an old metal forged loop on top to hang from rope or chain? The only markings I can find is U.S. stamped into the bell on the front.. If you have any ideas on what type of bell and what it was used for, I would greatly appreciate it, thank you!
If you can help, please post a response.
This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
April 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm #15732hjlong3Participant
This is a bronze bell that was cast for a US Army or Coast Guard ship. Yes the US Army had ships. In WWI & WWII they had troop transport ships and amphibious landing ships in addition to supply ships, tugs, oilers, etc to support their fleet. US Navy bells has USN on them. Some Army Ships had USA on them and larger Coast Guard Ships had USCG on them. Given the small size, it was probably from a small boat. Elsewhere in this forum, I entered a reference from the USNavy giving the specifications of Navy Bells and the type of ship that they were designed for. I would guess that your bell was from WWI or WWII. Later ships from WWII had steel alloy bells due to a shortage of bronze.
Harry Long, MD
April 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm #15733Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
I trust you will agree with me that the handle is not original to the bell. But, what about the clapper? Do you think that is original? It’s an uncommon shape, isn’t it?
April 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm #15734hjlong3Participant
The clapper is probably original. It is bronze which it would be on a ship bell and has a loop for a lanyard which would be present. It has an odd shape, but it is a small bell. I have one like it but is 18″ at the base and has a rounded clapper with lanyard loop. These bells were usually mounted with a cantilevered arm from a flat base or from a right angle side arm that was mounted from a post or bulkhead.
Harry Long, MD
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