I am seeking any information on the history and provenance of the following bell: “Naylor & Vickers Co. No. 483.” It also has cast on it the date 1858,”Sheffield,” and “E.Riepe’s Patent.”
The date is consistent with the serial number, but otherwise this bell is unknown to the keepers of records of Naylor Vickers bells. Where is it located, what is its diameter in inches, and what is already known about it?
The bell is at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near Willows, California, in an area of the refuge not accessible to the public. The diameter across the mouth is 22″. The clapper is attached. I am guessing the bell was brought in by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s when they set up camp to build the refuge.
That’s a plausible scenario, but it means we’ll likely never know anything further.
Based on the date of the bell, it probably arrived in San Francisco as part of a bulk shipment to the Naylor Vickers agent there, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who might have bought it from that agent.
Can you supply photos showing the inscriptions? It would be interesting to compare their style with that of other NV bells of that period.