I am working on a book about an old New England Boarding Academy. The Academy was located in Shoreham, Vermont and was chartered in 1811. There was a bell located in the cupola at the top of the old school building (photos attached). I was routed to you by the Smithsonian. They suggested that perhaps you would have experts that might give me a hint about the bell (material – brass, iron, etc.?, possible forge, etc.). I and others have searched the bell for markings that would give hints as to the bell’s origin, etc. Alas, no such markings. Can you help? Many thanks.
Well, you’ve got me stumped. The raised top is similar to Revere, the flight on the bottom of the clapper is similar to Fulton, but the reed counts and their location on the outside of the bell don’t match either of those foundries. I also checked it against Holbrook. Those are all early foundries. Based on the wood yoke with iron bands at the ends your bell is quite old (in U.S. terms, not European terms), but I can’t find a U.S. foundry match. Your bell is definitely made of bronze and is definitely over 80 years old based on the silver colored patina. Based on the wood yoke, it is much older than that. I’d place it between 1790 and 1840 if it was made in North America. Try contacting Judy Blake in Shoreham, Vt. She has a bell museum there and may have already researched this bell. — Neil