I am the pastor of a small, historic church in Tennessee, which has had a bell tower since the late 1800’s. Recently, we had this bell checked for safety, since we had begun to suspect that the tower itself might not be structurally sound anymore…it’s fine, actually. But we discovered that our bell’s yoke has “The O.S. Bell”, –(not “C.S.” but “O.S.”) and then an ampersand? (it actually looks like an upside down 3), then “Hillsboro O.”, printed on it. It also has the number “28” printed on it as well.
Can someone explain to me the “O.S.”? Did the CS Bell Co produce bells with this inscription on the yoke?
From your photo, the style of both bell and yoke (including the lettering details) exactly match those on bells from The C.S.Bell Co., Hillsboro, O. I conclude that what you have is a very unusual example of a molding error. It’s possible that this was made at the time when the company name was changed from “C.S.Bell & Co.” to “The C.S.Bell Co.”, and that the person who was making the new yoke mold did not do it correctly. Perhaps a batch of these yokes were made at the iron foundry, and the company was too thrifty to scrap them. But I’ll bet the next batch was made correctly.