Nisley Bro & Co Bell
April 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm #12042
I am new here and have aquired what I believe is an old farm bell. I’ve searched around the Internet and haven’t been able to find much information about it. I’m hoping someone up here might be able to help me out with how old it is and an approximate value. Below is the information that I have. Any information is greatly appreciated.
16 3/4″ Diameter
Writing on top of bell: “Middletown, PA” Nisley Bro & Co“
I believe it’s made out of cast iron .. it’s pretty heavy!
I don’t have any history on where it came from .. it’s been left behind in a pile of junk from an ex-boyfriend.
April 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm #16950
It’s been about a year now and I’m ready to sell this bell but still have no information on it. I thought I’d try one more time to see if anyone up here might have any information or know where I could go to find some info and approximately how much it might be worth. Thanks again.
April 11, 2013 at 7:14 am #16951Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Perhaps the lack of responses to your request is because you already know as much as there is to know about your bell. You know the type of bell, the dimensions, and the maker. You presume the bell is made of cast iron but have you tried to see if a magnet sticks to it? If a good magnet doesn’t stick, then it’s not made of iron.
I trust you have searched the Internet to see what you can find out about Nisley Bros. & Co. One of their bells sold on Worthpoint but is smaller than the one you have. Since I didn’t find anything else on Nisley on Bing.com, your best bet for finding out the age of the bell might be by contacting the Middletown, PA, Historical Society, Public Library, and/or Chamber of Commerce and ask for their help in finding the years the company was in business. That, at least, would give you an age range.
Finding who were the previous owners is highly unlikely and probably won’t add to the value of the bell. Just as an aside, there are some people who hope/think the American Bell Association has records of bell sales from bell foundries. We don’t. Some foundries don’t even have that information about their own bells! It would be impossible to research the owners of most bells. So, unless it’s a modern bell and/or from a single owner (such as a church bell), you probably won’t find a record of owners.
Now, regarding the value of the bell, there are bell sellers who will appraise your bell for a fee. You could follow the sales of steel farm bells of that size on online auction sites to get an idea of current trends of value. There are collectors who are pretty learned in telling you how to calculate the value of a bell based on the weight and metal of the bell. The important thing to keep in mind is that, on this forum, you are asking for an opinion of the value, not an appraisal from a professional.
‘Just my opinion!
April 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm #16952
Thanks so much for the reply. I haven’t given it the magnet test so I will do that to confirm if it is cast iron. I did contact the Dauphin County Historyical Society of Middletown, PA to see if I could find out any information on the bell maker, but they did not have much. They did have a business directory record from 1858-59 for Nisley Brother & Co. I’ll try contacting the library. I haven’t heard of WorthPoint so I’ll also check that out. I appreciate the information. Thanks again.
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