Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Bell Foundries, Manufacturers and Artisans Solid Brass Bell – G.W.R.R CO. 1878

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    • #10466
      Tpfoster
      Participant

      I have a solid brass bell with G.W.R.R. CO 1878 inscribed on a brass plate. My mother was a huge bell collector and picked this up at a church sale. I am now goiun through her bells since we are in the process of determ9ning what to do with mom’s collection. What can someone tell me aboput it? Does it have value?

      Thanks

      Tim

    • #12781
      hjlong
      Member

      This sounds like a railroad bell. GWRR was the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad that operated in the Buffalo, NY area. It is now known as Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. and operates shortline railroads around the world. How big is your bell?
      HJLong, MD

    • #12782
      cliffcook
      Member

      I have a bell with the exact inscription that you have from your mother’s collection. It is a brass bell with a brass handle for ringing by hand. It stands a little more than 9 inches high and the mouth is almost 5 1/2 inches across.

    • #12783
      cliffcook
      Member

      After much research I am confident that this bell is a phony. There is no history of railroad conductors ever using hand bells that I can find and there is no railroad known as GWRR by itself. If anyone wants to look, go to railroadiana.org and read their take on phony bells.

    • #12784
      Garry
      Participant

      Humm. Interesting.
      My limited experience with Railroad memorabilia would tend to support this bell being questionable. As a general rule (as dangerous as those are) railroad companies tend to be very tight with their equipment. They stamp everything, even keys ususally, to prevent theft, for example. Another such example is the reason the oil fount on the old railroad lamps are so small; because they only issued enough lamp oil for one shift, to prevent theft of the remaining fluid! Even today, if you talk to railroad employees (all that I have spoken to anyway) they indicate that this pattern is true. So if the bell is not stamped or hard numbered in some way, it personally raises a rather large red flag for me.

      However, that said, as an alternative, Is there a chance that the bell is not from the USA?

      For example, [and I haven’t done much research on this yet], what about the GWRR in Saskatchewan Canada?
      http://www.greatwesternrail.com/

      I notice that there is an e-mail address there. It might be worth asking if it, or an earlier version of this company, has been around long enough to carry this type of hand bell. Just in case they don’t follow the general rule! 🙂

      Just a thought.

      Garry

    • #12785
      Garry
      Participant

      As an addendum to the above, I came across another site while closing down my fast search on the bell.
      It has photographs and they appear to look exactly as you describe.
      Since it’s a site that sells stuff, it doesn’t get posted here (the sale is over anyway) but…
      do a google search for:
      Reproduction G.W.R.R. Co. 1878 Brass Bell (5359561)

      What do you think?

      Garry

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