This posting was mistakenly posted in the wrong forum so I am re-posting it in the correct forum. – Carolyn
July 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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My wife and I recently inherited an antique bell from my father-in-law. As a child, he remembered the bell from his grandpa’s farm. Interested in antiques, I’m curious about the bell’s age, history, value, etc. The bell is 16″ in diameter and 12″ tall. “Frederick 4 4 (small) 2 Town. Ohio.” Is in raised lettering across the hanger (yoke?) “4” is on bottom of bell also raised. It is cast iron in solid conditon. The hanger bracket has #4&4(small)2″ in raised print. The clanger is with it (“4″ imprinted on it”) and no cracks anywhere. I am not familiar with bells, so any info is much appreciated.
First, this is a dinner bell. They are also called farm bells, and ran from 12″ through 18″ in diameter, usually in 2″ increments. The 4 on several of the parts was so they would put the correct parts together when assembling it, for what that firm called their “number 4” size bell. There was no size standardization from one firm to the next. A # 4 might be a firm’s largest dinner bell, or it might be their smallest. This firm was in Frederick Town, Ohio and was established in 1851. A 40 inch diameter church bell is the largest bell I have seen by this firm. I too have a 16 inch dinner bell by them. — Neil Goeppinger