Seagrave Co.Fire Bell Info wanted
August 14, 2007 at 1:40 am #10651
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.
August 14, 2007 at 2:23 am #13255lucky13Member
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.
August 14, 2007 at 10:05 am #13256
I was wonering if the number code would indicate the actual age or shipping destination?
any idea as to the bell’s value?
August 14, 2007 at 1:36 pm #13257lucky13Member
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.
August 15, 2007 at 12:38 am #13258
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.
August 17, 2007 at 4:10 pm #13259hjlongMember
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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