Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Mysterious "Boston 1912" Bell

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #10741

      Bob in Australia, formerly of Boston, has a mysterious bell he wants to sell.

      I have a brass bell with markings 1912 BOSTON U.S.A on it. I think it was made for either the opening of Fenway park in Boston or the 1912 olympics? I wan’t to put it up for sale .

      I responded that I was curious to know why he thought this was the history of this bell.

      I bought the bell in the Philippines around 1985 right after the president Marcos downfall a lot of items from his crone’s were being sold on the antique market from there servants who’s homes were abandoned by the officials of Marcos Government . The lady that I bought it from said to me, “You have no idea what you just bought.” That saying has stuck in my head till now. I bought it because it said Boston on it my home town. I figure it was a gift to some corrupt politician to get some business don or some thing like that. Why do I think it is from either Fenway Park or the 1912 Olympics? Where U.S. A is on the bell the A was a little off from the U.S. like it was put separate from the U.S. so the A might mean Athlete or American league which the Red Sox were and they won the World Series in Fenway park when it opened in 1912 . There wasn’t much else that I could find that happened in Boston in 1912 that would inspire a bell to be cast. The only other two events were a fisherman’s wharf and a five star hotel. The bell comes with a lanyard and a wood base. On the base there is an official looking number.

      Bob followed up with another e-mail and some great pictures of his bell.

      Here are the photos of the Boston bell. I was wondering… There is a White Star Company of Boston the owner of the Titanic that sunk in April 1912 on its maiden voyage to the east coast of the U.S. Do you think they had the bell made to commemorate its arrival? Robert


      If you can help, please post a response. If you need help posting, please contact me at coordinator@americanbell.org. Please be sure to reference this post as from “Bob in Australia” if you are going to send information to me. Thanks


      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13414

      Hi Bob, Max Kurillo here in San Diego. Don’t sell that bell just yet. You sent some very good pictures and the close up of the lettering and numbers are outstanding. What we need now are the dimensions of the ‘bell’ and a picture of the U.S. A . this will hopefully indicate something about how it was made. The number on the base D. 7713 could be traceable through the Dept of Navy, or Army historical section or perhaps a military museum. After looking at the lettering BOSTON U.S. I find the letters, although the same size, are uneven, numbers 1912 are also uneven. This bell was not made by or for any agency of the U.S. government. Bells have a very strict specifications and manufacturing methods nothing like this would ever pass inspection. The other question that comes to mind , does the bracket belong to this bell, It looks odd and I would be willing to bet they don’t belong together. On the inside of the bell, between the bow area and the lip are two rows of embossed markings. These are not “hand” embossed they are pressed into the brass with a steel embossing tool. The bell is mounted in a metal lath and slowly turned and the tool is pressed against the bell with quite a bit of force, nice piece of detailed work. Once again not done on ‘Official Bells’. There is no way of telling if the clapper is original, but a chain in the clapper! If the bell was rung often it would be hard on the hands. Stay on Bell Talk we have some very good experts that may be able to help solve this mystery bell. Max Kurillo

    • #13413

      I don’t know anything about this bell, but I would bet that Rita Walker will. She frequently participates in the Bell Forum and as a native of MA, she knows a lot about MA history and bells.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13415

      Steve K. writes:

      I have a few scans to send you regarding the Boston Bell that Bob of Australia bought in Manila. I also bought this bell that says “US Navy 1931” in Manila back around 1985, the same time Bob bought his bell. You will notice that the bell mount is exactly the same as the one in Bob’s bell. Mine also has a serial number in the same spot (N279010) I think that the bell that Bob has was not original to the mount. The bell mount that I have is made especially for the bell that goes with it. My bell has a threaded part at the top of the bell that screws into the mount. And the bell that I have has letters made uniformly and not staggered like in Bob’s bell. I believe my bell to be an original. Although I do not know what type of ship it was on. I would like to hear from the members what they think about my bell. Sincerely, Steve

      Later Steve sent:

      I have a few more scans of an interesting bell that I bought. This bell was made for a US Army ship during WW2. The research that I have done tells me that the war was over before this bell ever saw any action. Still an interesting bell! The inscription is “MTL-667 1944″ The MTL stands for Motor Towing Launch. It is 8″ high and 8” in diameter.


      To see pictures of Steve’s bell, please click on these links:








      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.

    • #13416

      These are certainly interesting bells. The USNavy 1931 bell is proabably not an actual ship bell due to size, design & labelling. It is likely a presentation bell that was especially made for an event and not a ship. The MTL bell has a pattern that is common for British ships with the rings. USArmy ship bells were generally smooth with no rings and were labelef US or USA.
      Harry Long, MD

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.