Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells New guy seeking your knowledge please.

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    • #26534
      mossyfossil
      Member

      Hi, I’m hoping someone can tell me more about this cool piece of treasure and I think history that I have recently acquired. Am I correct that it’s a railroad bell? And is there anything else anyone can tell me about it? Are numbers on top able to tell me where it came from? The bell itself is just over 16″ in diameter.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by mossyfossil.
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    • #26542

      Yes, that is a railroad bell; the mounting bracket is definitive. It was probably made by the same brass foundry that made the rest of the brass fittings for a locomotive, and not by a bell foundry that distributed its products widely. Some of the markings are probably specific to the locomotive manufacturer, but some of them might be specific to the railroad(s) that bought and used the locomotive. I know of no way to trace those markings.

      • #26549
        mossyfossil
        Member

        Hi Carl Scott Zimmerman, Thank you so very much for your knowledge. Also thank you for officially being the very 1st person I have ever communicated with in the world of bell collecting! There may be many others after you, but you will always be the first. Lol 🙂 So you think that it is brass… not bronze? Or something I’ve read about called, “Bell Metal”? While researching, I found an article that said each locomotive that used the bell would put their own number on top and that the person writing the article, had seen as many as 3 or 4 numbers etched into the top of a bell. I have counted at least 5 and possibly 6 different numbers on top of the bell that have been etched in and then crossed-out and replaced by another. Can I assume that with the number of different numbers, that this is an older Bell? And if so do you have any idea how old possibly? And do the letters and/or numbers on the clapper mean anything or look familiar to you?
        Also on a side note, should I clean it up? Will it deteriorate its value whether I decide to keep it or sell it? And if so… Are there any sites you would recommend for learning how to restore it? I apologize for all of the questions. I am just new and excited.

    • #26561
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Hi, MossyFossil and welcome to the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. Another resource you may want to contact is Railroadiana.org.

      Good luck!

      • #26566
        mossyfossil
        Member

        Oh wow, very cool! I just opened the Railroadiana.org site and just quickly skimmed over the cover page before returning to thank you. Just from the little bit I read, it already looks like the perfect place for me to get a ton of the info I’m looking for. Thank you so very much! You totally Rock! I’m going to go geek out on the site now and see what more I can learn. I hope you have a really awesome day Carolyn!! Big thanks again for your kindness and help! Cheers 🙂

    • #26568
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      You’re welcome, mossyfossil. Glad I could help. The American Bell Association members have helped me with my bell questions over the years and sharing my knowledge on the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum is one of the ways I “pay it forward” in appreciation for all the bell information others have shared with me!

      Carolyn

    • #26575
      mossyfossil
      Member

      Do these markings on the clapper look familiar to anyone? To me it kinda looks like “H A M 56”. But the first letter (or maybe symbol?) that I think looks like “H”, also looks like there might be something else before it, or possibly connected to it.
      The only other markings I found, other than the multiple numbers engraved in the top of the bell, are on the crank. It also looks like it could possibly be the same letters that are on the clapper. But as you can see from the picture the years and the elements have all but made them disappear.
      Also, does anyone know any tricks for cleaning that up and bringing the markings back to life, so to speak?

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