unknown maker of 36" very large church bell
December 10, 2016 at 7:52 pm #25025
I bought this bell two days ago and just love it. I was wondering if anyone knows who made it and any other info. It came from a soon to be demoed 1st U.B. Church of Baltimore 1883, located at the corner of Bird Road and Lawrence Road just south of Hastings Michigan. The mounting structure is not “A” frame, it is two vertical pieces holding the bell up, with two stabilizer bars at each vertical piece. It has the original large wooden 4 spoke wheel that mounts at one side of the bell. The bell is an inch or 2 thick and weight is about 700 lbs.
December 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm #25026
December 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm #25029
Most likely a Blymyer Norton cast in Cinn, OH
Search that name here to find another recent inquiry for a similar 24″ bell, Under the title, “Information about a church bell”, in “Big Bells”.
They all have that distinctive wheel spoke, yoke, and mono-stands shapes.
There should be letters in a crest at the middle of the yoke, and a size number on the reverse.
Hope you mount it and enjoy that beauty!
December 16, 2016 at 11:11 pm #25033
Based on that info, I believe you are correct. I found a bell photo at:
This bell has the same mounting structure as my bell. it has a shield shape above the bell itself that says: CINCINATI BELL FOUNDRY CO.. My bell is too rusty and I am not able to read the writing, but it appears to say something else, (not so much lettering as: CINCINATI BELL FOUNDRY CO.) So, might you have an idea of the date my bell was made.
Do you know when Blymyer Norton Cinn, OH stopped making bells?
I’m mounting my bell to vintage 4 wheeled dolley so I can move the behemoth and ring it with ease.
December 18, 2016 at 3:27 pm #25035
This from Carl Scott Zimmerman at these forums, “Information about church bell”:
Blymyer, yes – and KC’s remarks about its style are quite correct. The partnership of Blymyer, Norton & Co. (early 1870s) was incorporated as The Blymyer Manufacturing Company about 1874, but may have continued to use the BN&Co designation on its bells for some time. The bell manufacturing business was spun off into The Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company in 1884-5, and operated under this name until it closed about 1925. This last name was commonly abbreviated on yoke medallions as CIN B F CO.
Carl is a reliable authority, and knowledgeable contributor here.
December 21, 2016 at 9:43 am #25042
December 21, 2016 at 10:10 am #25044
I’m in the Christmas Spirit, so I thought I’d add a couple more photos. Big Bell Christmas decoration. I wheeled the bell out of the garage to get a couple photos, and then decided to leave it there until after the holidays. I must mode it to get the car in and out the garage, but its worth it.
December 21, 2016 at 10:16 am #25045
December 24, 2016 at 11:18 am #25050
What a project! Very nice display.
I put a 24″ restored Fredericktown bell on a similar cart for the same purpose,but the collector who later purchased it moved it to a static mount, oh well, I like the idea.
Man, that must take some work to move, even a little way!
Thanks for sharing.
December 24, 2016 at 9:44 pm #25052
Very nice photo. I see you painted your bell. I’m not sure if I should paint mine. Any suggestions? Will it increase its collect-ability? I know some collectors don’t like things restored. My bell was quite dangerous to move without the cart, and even with the cart its a little scary to wheel around. I used a cherry picker to lift it on to the cart.
December 25, 2016 at 11:33 pm #25055
Thanks, That particular bell just begged for a paint scheme to dress her up, Our 36″ American and 33″ Gould display outdoors with bare metal treated with WD40 and wiped dry. Our 34″ and 30″ are hung outside in industrial gray primer.
Our 32″ No7 came with black paint in good condition so was cleaned and painted with lettering accented.
So it depends on the bell. And the collector as tastes vary more than bells. The biggest value in painting is in preservation. But regular cast iron bell maintenance is required regardless of finish.
I also use a cherry picker, but fitted with tabs to attach to a 3 point hitch on my little tractor. But that rig can barely lift the 34″ and not the 36 which went from truck to display beneath a very large Oak limb equipped with a 2 ton chain fall as needed. From there it skids on treated wood mount chained to the tractor if that hoist location is needed, otherwise the cherry picker on the tractor does the work.
I have seen the same Blymyer bell in the Michael Jackson auction years ago tastefully painted black with gold pinstripe. That style of bell, IMHO, easily accepts paint schemes to embellish its already elegant appearance. But again, that is subjective.
Our 36 I cleaned with wire wheel on a drill and WD40 without letting it build up and dry on the surface, and there she rests, as nice as the day she was cast.
Here’s the lot of ’em… well almost all…
- This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by kcoonen.
December 29, 2016 at 10:19 am #25063
Thank you for the cleaning and painting info. I am very impressed by your collection. How did you acquire all those large bells. Did you travel far to get them? How long have you been collecting them? Why do you collect giant bells?? I’m having a difficult time dealing with just one…
December 29, 2016 at 10:23 pm #25064
1. You’re welcome. I’m happy to share what little knowledge I have to offer.
2. Thanks. As the bells are right next to our house, every visitor has enjoyed the sight, if not always the sound, and favorably commented. We, in return, share our knowledge and anecdotes. During appropriate hours, we invite a ring.
3. Searching incessantly and networking with our large (16 siblings) families and friends aware of our collection.
4. We are north of G.R. as Hastings is south and only found dinner bells that close. Many have been in- state, the farthest, about 700 miles, but nearly all completed in one days drive, sometimes a loooong drive!
5. This is the second round of collecting large bells, each completed with one of each size in 2 inch increments from the 12″ F62 to the ABF36. It began after my death experience following a heart attack, I spotted a brass train bell in a local shopper and found it was listed by my son’s former pastor. But the subtle veto power of a spouse ended that quest… until 2 months later the bell arrived wrapped as a Christmas present from my children… how could she say no?
Oh so that was almost 9 years ago. Three years ago I sold all but the ABF 36 and a couple dinner bells in exchange for a complete and restored 28″ 1901 Van Duzen with tolling hammer, 6 serpentine-spoke wheel, and some cash. But every return visitor, including grand-kids asked where the bells were? When I showed off the VanDuzen, they were suitably impressed but repeated the request to see the collection. So after a couple years here’s another rendition of each size up to the 36″.
6. See #2 above. And you can’t find them at Walmart. ‘sides, when our electric grid is hacked shut, they may be useful…
7. Yes they are somewhat unwieldy, The weight of the 36″ is the max I dare handle without much larger machinery.
But once in place, they are artistic sentinels ready to sound the alarm, toll a loss, or peal for joy and celebration, no batteries required. Although in your case, you might consider an electric
motor geared to assist that half-ton cart!
Hope you don’t regret asking… I left out lots of details, really!
the first rendition of bells:
December 30, 2016 at 10:46 am #25066
You said you lived close to Hastings MI. I bought my bell near there, south of Hastings on Bird Rd, at an auction just a few weeks ago. Did you see the auction listing and decided you didn’t need another 36″er? I go to a lot of auctions and once or twice a year there will be a giant church bell. Last year I went to an auction in the Port Huron area. There was a church bell with toller but no stand. I think it may have been a little larger than mine, maybe 38 of 40″. I bid on it but the price went too high so I didn’t get it. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for one, and once mine came up for auction, I had to take the day off work and go check it out. I got lucky because after the auction I was able to find the stand for the bell hiding under stuff still in the church just below the bell tower. But I was not able to find the toller. Maybe it was still in the tower, but there was no easy access. Still, I was very happy. Anyway, do you ever go to auctions to buy your bells? Are you looking for a bell larger than 36″? If so, give me your number and I’ll text you if I come across another giant.
December 30, 2016 at 11:14 am #25067
Missed the listings for both those bells at auction… can’t find ’em all, I guess.
We’d love to have a 38 and 40, but as noted above, don’t have the means to handle them that large.
I suppose good sense might lose out if I found one close by at a reasonable price…
With each increment represented in the collection now, we only consider bells if they are a better specimen than we currently display, or any that are a spectacular bargain… once bought a 34″ complete and solid for $450.
I have been out-bid several times at auctions for large bells as we have financial limits in retirement.
Glad to see you enjoy the big bell from hunt to display. Tolling hammers show up on eBay occasionally.
Thanks for sharing!
the Michael Jackson auction bell like yours, note the peeling paint:
June 24, 2017 at 11:52 am #25547
June 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm #25549
I did list the bell on ebay a couple days ago. so what were you think for cash (and trade)?
June 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm #25550
Please contact us through the above email, thanks.
June 26, 2017 at 10:51 pm #25567Neil GoeppingerParticipant
You guys are having fun with your big bells. Great. That’s what the hobby is all about. — Neil Goeppinger
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