Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Bell Foundries, Manufacturers and Artisans st louis bell with spiral fancy embossed wheel

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    • #11376
      nightflier51
      Participant

      I dont know if my submitment went thru but could anyone tell me what st louis foundry cast fancy vines on their bell wheels? i saw a bell once when i was a kid that was around 33 inches wide but dont know whether it was bronze or cast iron alloy. the hardware looked cast iron. i didnt notice any rings or words on the bell itself. it looked plain but i cant remember its dimensions other than the beautiful fancy spiral wheel. Could anyone tell me what foundry that mightve been? i do remember the bell had a bronze like ring but it was grayish red with many pigeon droppings on it that i couldnt tell. thanks ron delby

    • #15641

      In the city of St.Louis and surrounding 20 counties, I’ve identified over 1000 surviving tower bells, about a third of which were made in this city. I have never seen, here or anywhere else, a bell wheel with any kind of fancy decoration on it. There are variations in the shape of the spokes of cast iron rope wheels, however – straight, C-curved or S-curved.

      On the other hand, several makers of bronze bells, not only in St.Louis but elsewhere, have used various vine patterns as decoration around the shoulder of the bell itself.

    • #15640
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Well this one did. I remember seeing st louis on the yoke. The vines were on the spiral spokes and rim of the wheel, very fancy indeed. later the bell was stolen and was never seen again. the bell was in a tower connected to the african AME methodist church. this bell also had a ball like hammer for tolling.

    • #15639

      It’s a great pity that bell didn’t survive. Undoubtedly it could have told us more about the history of bellfounding in this city.

      Do you recall which AME church it was, or where it was located? There are more than a dozen African Methodist Episcopal churches in St.Louis.

    • #15638
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Hi Carl This bell was in the AME Methodist church in Ivanhoe Va not St Louis. My sister lived beside the old abandoned church and out of curosity i went in the bell room and climbed 30 feet up an old latter and to my amazement there was this enormous very fancy bell. As i had stated, pigeons had roosted in the tower and you couldnt tell what it was bronze or cast steel alloy. I do remember it had a clapper not like in most bronze bells, it was like the cs bell clappers. I do not recollect any rings on the soundbow or barrel or shoulder of this big bell, but the wheel was a 4 spoke spireled with beautiful vines and something that looked like roses or lilys on the wheel. I wanted to go and peck on it but the top of the latter lacked a step so i was afraid to chance a fall. This bell had a tolling hammer(ball type) Sometime later a few months, i was here at home and heard this beautiful bell. It had a bronze tone unlike the other churches i ever heard. Someone put a rope on the bell and was ringing it one day for fun. Not too much longer i heard that it was stolen and it dissapeared for ever. One rumor i heard was an antique dealer got it from some thiefs and took it to Roanoke Va. I dont know where it went from there if the rumor is true. Wish I did, but there definately was a foundry in St Louis that made church bells with the fancy wheels on them for I saw it at close range. One never forgets something that beautiful and fancy. The wheel was probably 4 ft in diameter Ron

    • #15642
      nightflier51
      Participant

      After given a long time of memory and thought, i do for sure recall that it said Saint Louis on the yoke of that bell. Wonder if there are records where these bells were shipped? That way we might could find the company which made that fancy bell.

    • #15643
      nightflier51
      Participant

      I am checking bases with everyone about my posts on the bell with the fancy wheeled bell? If anyone knows of a bell like this one i have posted about, please let us know. My question is.. if there were no known foundrys in st louis that made bells with fancy vined embossed wheels on their bells, could the church have had a special designed bell by one of these companies? Maybe a special request order? Maybe that might answer the question.

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