Happy New Year! We recently received a big bell from my father in-law. There are some markings on the yoke, but none on the bell. Any info would help.
Bell is 15″ wide, and 11″ tall
The yoke has LRC on the handle (Louisiana Railroad Company)
86786, and 4220284 are also on the yoke.
What a wonderful gift from your father-in-law!
There is an interesting article about railroad bells at http://www.railroadiana.org/hw/pgBells.php.
On Identifying the Origin of Bells…Bells are sometimes found with stamped or cast numbers, and a common question concerns how easy it is to identify the railroad and locomotive based on these numbers. According to one experienced collector, “You will often find numbers stamped in the top of a bell. The railroad would stamp the locomotive number into the top of the bell each time the bell was used on a different locomotive. I have seen bells with as many as three or four numbers stamped in the top. This would be on large roads of course. In general the casting number is not a help, but on a Baldwin locomotive, the bell would sometimes have the Baldwin code stamped into it like the back of their builder’s plates had until 1930 or 1931… (Source: Railroadiana Online – URL above)
Often times, people who ask for information about their bells hope we can provide them with a history of the owners of a specific bell. The ABA (and probably any other organization) does not have records of bell owners nor do we have information on the age or origin of bells. But, you know that your bell was made for the Louisiana Railroad Company.
If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you do a google search for the LRC. You might also contact a Louisiana historical society or state library to see if they have any info on the company such as the years of operation, etc.