Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells old ‘school’ bell

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    • #11284
      Garry
      Participant

      Here is the other suspicious bell I have just received.

      It was sold as an old school bell. It is brass (except for the iron clapper) and is reasonably large being 6″ in diameter and 4 3/4″ to the top of the bell casting. I did not include the nipple and hanger on top. The Clapper is 1″ in diameter.

      It looks to me like this bell has had a very hard life. The top part appears to have been knocked clean off then re-attached. To me, the clapper appears to be an old replacement, along with the hanger unit.

      I think it is an old train bell, where it would have had a threaded hanger out the top and a clanger that was activated most likely by swinging the whole bell or by a pull cable.

      I suspect that the bell was damaged by a fall or perhaps a train accident that broke it off the mounts. It was then reattached by someone learning to weld brass, perhaps as a student project, as it is not very professionally done. The clapper and hanger were added to finish the item off by someone who did not know what the original should have looked like. The top of the bell arch inside is filled with a loose patch of foamy brass type material that appears to have been spray painted at one time.

      I note some dents in the rim that also indicate it was subjected to considerable force.

      What do you think?

      Garry

    • #14996
      Garry
      Participant

      I also wanted to post a 3/4 bottom view as the side view. so here you go!

    • #14997
      hjlong3
      Participant

      Garry,
      This is a heavy bell and probably once was a handbell. It could have been a School Bell or a Peddlers Bell. The crown has beel welded to the bell and the clapper assembly crudely welded to the bell. Someone modified it for another purpose by taking off the handle and adding a loop for hanging. Given its weight, it was probabl;y made in the late 1800s as similar bells in the 20th century were made of spun brass to sell cheaply and were not cast and machined like this bell was. It is interesting to speculate on its history.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14998
      Garry
      Participant

      I hadn’t noticed the turning Harry, good eyes!

      Wow, if this was a hand bell, I would have hated to be the one swinging it. Pretty heavy. Would they have taken the trouble to weld something together just to modify it for hanging? Wouldn’t a bolt through the mounting hole for the handle have done the same thing? or do you think the handle was turned as part of the bell (all in one not removable)?

      FYI It only rings now, if swung in one direction. The clapper hanger restricts it’s swing in any other.

      Garry

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