Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Ship's BellHardware

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    • #24809

      I have recently acquired the ships bell from the John A. Kling greats lake freighter that was launched in 1922 and scrapped in 1983. The bell was saved from the ship prior to it being scrapped but unfortunately the clapper and hardware to hang the bell was not. I am hoping to locate suitable hardware that will allow the bell to ring again. Once I have the hardware, I know I can build a stand to hold the bell.

      The bell is solid brass and weighs approximately 50lbs. It is 10” tall and 14” wide at the bottom of the bell. The hole on the top of the bell is approximately 2” wide. I have attached pictures for your review. I am not interested in selling the bell but would be interested in what it’s approximate value would be if you would be willing to give your opinion.

      Please let me know if you can assist me in locating hardware suitable to replace the missing parts.
      Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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    • #24863
      Neil Goeppinger

      I believe your bell was made by Vanduzen & Tift. They cast the large hole in the top of their bells. A steel disk with a stepdown fit in the hole from the bottom, and another similar steel disk fit in the top. These disks had four holes for bolts which went through both disks and clamped them together. The mounting parts to be used to attach to something above (such as a wood or steel beam) were above the top disk, with either two of the bolts going through the mounting parts as well, or with all four going through those parts. Most ship bells were not swinging bells, they were mounted stationary and the clapper was swung to hit the bell. If the bell was made to swing on stands, you can imagine the problems in rough seas. I believe it would have been mounted similar to a Vanduzen fire bell. I have one of those. — Neil Goeppinger

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