Tom in Canton, Ohio, writes:
I acquired a very interesting bell at an auction a few years ago and am just getting around to researching it. I have the bell with “clapper” and the two side caissons. Missing is one of the support brackets that attaches to the caisson while the other one is there but broken. Although seriously pitted by rust, there are no currently visible cracks in the bell of the side caissons. The bell rings deep and long. The bell is marked Fredericktown, Ohio on one side of the yoke with a large H in the center of the yoke. There is also a large H cast into the side of the bell. Bell measures approx 23″ across at the base and about 13 from bottom rim to top of bell. It still shows considerable old red paint from some point in it’s life. I’m assuming it came from an old one room schoolhouse but I guess it could have been from a church too. Can you tell me anything about this bell or where to find more information on my own. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
Tom: The J B Foote Foundry in Fredericktown has been in continuous operation since 1851 producing various products and has a website with a photo of the original structure. Bell production ceased in the early 1900’s. Many years ago an elderly man who was hired at 14 as a mold maker at Foote told me bells as large as 50 inches were cast. I have a Fredericktown like yours and have seen quite a few over the years that were used in schools and churches so that size must have been a good seller.