Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Please authenticate this bell

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    • #10900

      Found in: Cebu, Philippines
      weight: more than 50 kilos
      made of: cast iron or bronze looking material
      Diameter: about more than 12 inches

    • #13912

      another image:

    • #13913

      third image:

    • #13914

      Just Google “1906 El Camino Real Bell”. There’s a web page describing bells like yours. It was made in California.

    • #13915

      Thanks for the reply, sir. I have contacted them two days ago but until now no reply. I would just like to know if this is the original EL CAMINO REAL bell of 1906 or the JUSTIN KRAMER replacement bell of 1963.
      My research shows that most of the original bells of El Camino Real were vandalized or stolen. If this bell is one of them, it is interesting to know how it got to the Philippines which is thousands of miles away from California.

      Was this one of those stolen in the early 1900’s?

      This bell was found buried under 3 feet in a countryside rice paddy.

    • #13916

      This certainly looks like an older bell. Cast iron should hold a magnet while bronze will not. Hopefully, Max Kurillo will respond, since he probably knows more about the El Camino Real bells and their reproductions than any one else.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13917

      Thanks Harry.

      Imagine if this is actually the original EL CAMINO REAL bell of 1906. One of the hundreds that originally lined the highway. If ever it is returned to Highway 101 (El Camino Real), this will be a historic moment for California.

      How did it get in our country, the Philippines?

      Why is it buried under a rice paddy?

      Hoping Mr. Max Kurillo will reply soonest.

    • #13918

      Greetings virtel, 😀 Just got home from a 14 day working vacation, six western states, 2,368 miles and an obscene amount of $ for gas 🙁 . Your picture is of a Justin Kramer bell. He started to make this type of bell in 1959 in his foundry in Los Angels. The bells are still being made upon request, but not to be installed on the State roads. If you go to the Bell Tower Index there is a separate index listing for Camino Real Bells, you can order these from ABA, in these articles you can see the type of design that was used to mark the Camino Real from 1906 to 1941, all made by Forbes. You can search El Camino Real and get lots of info. After 1946 the original Forbes Co. was sold and very few of these bells were installed. The State contracted Kramer to make his bells from 1959-1980. During 1996 Kramer’s, bell was modified with new fonts and over 200 were installed mainly on city and county roads.
      You have some very good questions, probably you won’t find any answers soon, but don’t give up. No sales records remain concerning Kramer’s bells. The Philippine has a Camino Real, a short one, built by the Jesuits before they were banished in 1769. Perhaps somone wanted to mark the Philippine Camino Real with this bell, or perhaps just wanted to install it for looks. The bell is now over 50 years old and is worth about $400. Hope that helps, best wishes, Max

    • #13919

      Dear Max,

      That was so nice of you. My research still goes on. The focus is now on how it got buried about 3 feet under a rice paddy and found by farmers in a small sleepy town here in the Philippines. The town used to be
      an American camp during World War II. A california serviceman or officer during those days may have brought it here to be used as a bell for the mess hall. I forgot to enclose a photo of the bell in which there is an
      inscription of the word “PROPERTY” on the top. A two letter word seems to be erased, thus, looks like ” US PROPERTY” on the top of the bell. But Kramer started making the bell in 1963.

      Hope to hear from you again.

      Best regards,

      Virgilio Telmo

      Attached image shows you with the bell. the engrave or emboss is similar to our bell here. the letter “O” is smaller.

    • #13920

      Hi Virgilio, Nice to chat with you, please send the other bell photo. and include the size. Do you know the name of the US camp. all information helps.
      Take care, best wishes Max

    • #13921

      Hello Max,

      A strong typhoon just hit us. It is typhoon Frank and killed more than a 100 with 700 missing. Please give me enough time to collate data and take some more pictures of the bell I am inquiring about.

      Many thanks,


    • #13922

      Dear Virgilio,

      We have been experiencing some terrible storms, too. Our mid-west along the Mississippi River and those that flow into it are under horrible flood conditions.

      Not to worry. There are higher priorities than our wonderful bells so please take care of yourself and your family and friends first!

      Wishing you well,

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