Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Need Help Identifying Early USN Bell

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    • #11904

      (sorry about posting this in the wrong forum)

      I am a nautical archaeologist at Texas A&M University working on remains of the USS Shark, a schooner built in 1821 and wrecked in the mouth of the Columbia River in 1846. In the 1940’s, someone found this bell stuck in the sand in the general area of the shipwreck (but there are hundreds of historic wrecks in that area) and it became known as the Shark Bell. I am hoping to conserve the bell, which may bring out a maker’s mark or stamp, but when I looked at it back in June, I saw nothing of the sort. Were there certain bell manufacturers contracted with the U.S. Navy from 1821 to 1846? Anyways, in keeping with the protocol, here is the information:

      • Height of the bell: 14″ tall.

      • Diameter of the bottom of the skirt: 13″ diameter.

      • Writing or engraving on the bell: a faded design near the top (see photos) but as far as I could tell, no writing.

      • Material from which the bell was made: bronze with an iron clapper.

      • History about the bell that you may have: stated above.

      • Photo of the outside of the bell



      • Photo of the inside of the bell


    • #16638

      Many US bronze bell foundries of the 19th century such as Revere, Hooper, McShane, and Meneely furnished bells to navy and merchant ships and some shipyards cast their own. More than likely a US naval bell will bear the name of the ship and perhaps the year. As you mentioned, there are a great number of wrecks in that area. I doubt your bell is from an American naval vessel but it’s still an outstanding find.

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