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

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    • #12459
      loejul
      Participant

      Hi! I work for a public school in southeastern WI and we found this bell in the basement of one of our buildings. Our School Board wants to know as much information about it as possible. In my research I’m guessing it was made 1890-1915 and is just a generic 20 inch school bell that one could by from Sears/Roebuck or local hardware store. Can any of you help with more information? Who made it? Year? Value? Please see pictures below, I do have other pictures if needed. I tried to get pictures of any markings but the bell has been painted at least four times so some places it’s hard to tell if it’s a marking or layer of paint. Thank you in advance! 😀

      [attachment=2:tg8j8bp3]bell1.jpg[/attachment:tg8j8bp3]
      [attachment=3:tg8j8bp3]bell2.jpg[/attachment:tg8j8bp3]
      [attachment=1:tg8j8bp3]insidebell.jpg[/attachment:tg8j8bp3]
      [attachment=0:tg8j8bp3]pulleywheel.jpg[/attachment:tg8j8bp3]

    • #17853
      jackbell
      Participant

      It’s a product of C S Bell Co in Hillsboro, Ohio and is cast steel. Enter “hillsboro” in the search (above right) to read many posts or Google the company name. Have the paint blasted off. It’s quicker and cleaner than using liquid stripper. This will improve the bell’s resonance. Spray it with WD 40 to retard rust. Some larger C S bells were dated on the interior (mo-day-yr) but yours doesn’t appear to be. The foundry cast tower bells from the late 19th century into the 1930s and after 1885 the design never changed. Bells, like all antiques and collectibles, are only actually worth the highest price a buyer is willing to pay.

    • #17854
      loejul
      Participant

      Thank you for your quick response. I’m glad someone confirmed that it is a CS Bell Co bell. I did the search here in the forum and Google and didn’t find anything more that I already did. My previous research showed that bells of similar size and make range from $200-$2,400, with several in the $500-$800 range (and of course dependent on condition, parts, repairs, etc). There currently is the exact same bell on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vintage-Cast-Iron-Bell-School-Farm-Church-Large-Dinner-Bell-/301378060826?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item462b88421a) going for $850. Of course they were only $7.20 back in 1897 (according to a Sears Roebuck & Co Catalog I found online). 🙂 I think I’ll recommend we have the paint blasted off, as I personally think it would look better, and I would think it would increase value? And then perhaps we’d be able to see a year. We also took a look at pictures trying to match the bell to one of our old schools but pictures from back then are hard to decipher details.

    • #17855
      jackbell
      Participant

      The bell at auction isn’t getting bids at $850. Always use the sold price as a guide. Even in 1897 they were pricey. Most workers did not earn $8 a week.

    • #17856
      loejul
      Participant

      Do you know what similar bells are going for at auction? Even a range would be helpful. I haven’t been able to find online any listed sold prices.

    • #17857
      jackbell
      Participant

      Sorry, I don’t keep track of auction prices but earlier this year at eBay I purchased a CS 22 complete and no damage for $700. On the other hand, last year I purchased at eBay an identical bell for $250 which was the same price I paid in 1970 for a CS 36.

    • #17858
      loejul
      Participant

      Okay, that helps a little. I understand there are a lot of variables and price is influenced by demand. It helps to have someone that’s active in the bell world to give some input. I will bring the information I’ve learned to our Board and let them make the big decisions. 😉 I’ve learned a lot about bells in the last couple weeks! 🙂 Thank you again! Truly appreciate it!

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