Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Seagrave Co.Fire Bell Info wanted

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    • #10651
      bellhead
      Participant

      Hi,We have a fire engine bell that is Chrome plated as well as the clapper.there is no mounting braket but the chrome finial is in tact.
      The underside has E W Vanduzer co.for Seagrave Co.Columbus O.cast into it ,there is a number stamped in the outside top under where the mounting hardware would normally be.That Number is U109.
      Question? measures 11 34 at the rim 9 14 high less finial.
      Can anyone help Me date this bell?and perhaps give some clue as to the year of its production etc. any help would shure be appreciated.
      Thank You

    • #13255
      lucky13
      Member

      The E W Vanduzen Co was a bell foundry in Cincinnati that ceased operation in 1950. Your fire truck bell was probably made in the 30’s or 40’s.

    • #13256
      bellhead
      Participant

      Thank You,Lucky
      I was wonering if the number code would indicate the actual age or shipping destination?
      any idea as to the bell’s value?
      Mike

    • #13257
      lucky13
      Member

      Seagrave is still in business and has a great website (history of seagrave fire engines) with lots of photos, many which show the bells. You can probably contact them with questions. I have no idea what your bell might be worth.

    • #13258
      bellhead
      Participant

      Thank You:
      Lucky
      This bell has given us a great deal of fun so far!Your input as been so enlightening.
      Thank You for taking the time to answer.My wife’s and My yard sale find has started a new adventure,especially with the help of kind people like You.thank You so very much for your time.

    • #13259
      hjlong
      Member

      Firemen spend much time polishing and caring for their fire-engines and take every opportunity to exhibit them at firemen’s carnivals and community parades. An important acutrament of the fire-engine is the chrome-plated bell. American La France, Ahrens Fox and Seagrave initially inclued the bell on their fire-engines that were produced in the 1920’s as a warning to traffic to get out of the way. Sirens eventually proved more effective warning devices, but the chrome-plated bells remained an important part of the decor. The American La France bells come crowned with an Eagle finial. The Seagrave Bells often have a finial shaped like an acorn. The bells are always permanently mounted in a place of honor on the front of the truck or near the cab and have a rope-pull attached to a loop on the clapper. When fire-engines were retired, the bells were often used as presentation items for important members of the fire department.

      My dad was a lifelong volunteer fireman, and his American La France bell from the 1926 engine that he drove in parades was his pride & joy.

      Harry Long, MD

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