Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Ship Bell – looking for info.

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    • #12417

      I have a ship bell that I acquired years ago. It has the engraving of “Captain Meriwether Lewis 1932” on it. Doing some on-line research I believe it is from the old Dredge named the Captain Meriwehter Lewis which is now a historical landmark and museum in Brownsville, Nebraska. (see the below link for more detail)


      If someone could provide me with a possible value or a way to get this appraised I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

    • #17805
      Carolyn Whitlock


      The American Bell Association International, Inc. does not appraise bells and does not maintain a list of certified bell appraisers.

      Your link to http://www.waymarking.com did not provide any information. You may want to check their response.

      Another resource that you may want to look at is online auction sites and follow those auctions to see what similar bells are selling for. Also, keep in mind that your bell may be a reproduction unless you have a certificate of authenticity. As an example, there are many reproductions for sale of the Captain’s Bell from the Titanic.

      I trust you have contacted Brownsville’s museum and their local historical society for information. The Meriwether Foundation may have some information about the authenticity of your bell. You can contact them at LewisDredgeFoundation@gmail.com. If you haven’t already done so, you could search the Internet for Navy Bells and see if any of the service branches has knowledge of the location of the original bell.

      Please keep in mind that this is a public forum and any information posted here is the opinion of the poster based on his or her personal experiences and/or research. Responses on the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum do not represent official information from the American Bell Association International, Inc.

      Having said that, we are very appreciative for the participation on the Forum from everyone who is interested in bells, whether or not they are a member of the ABA.

      Good luck!

    • #17806

      By typing “Meriwether Lewis” in the “search box” I found an earlier reference to the bell “from that vessel”, posted in May 2011 by ms7. No replies were forthcoming then.

      The bell has the look of a souvenir piece about it – the mounting bracket (part of which can be seen in the photo) appears to be quite flimsy – not what you would expect on a vessel of this quite considerable size.

      Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the ship was launched in 1931 and completed in 1932. The ship was donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1976 and placed on display at Brownville. It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Perhaps by contacting the Nebraska State Historical Society more information about the bell may be obtained.

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