I recently aquired a 16″ Fredricktown Ohio Bell. It has a “A” casted in the bell. Everthing I’ve been able find on it indicates a that it was made prior to 1881. I was looking to restoring it to it’s original color, however I haven’t been able to find any information on the original color. Does anybody have information on this or maybe direct me as to where I may go?
I’ve seen one bit of old advertising literature that seemed to indicate that a steel bell was shipped with some sort of coating – paint, varnish, or something else. But I have never seen a bare steel bell with any trace of a possible original coating. Modern paint jobs are a different story, and indeed black is the most commonly used color.