Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells US Navy Boat Bell?

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    • #12281
      aboatguy
      Participant

      I believe I am now the proud owner of a US Navy Boat bell.

      Can anyone provide more information IE its age, suspected manufacturer ETC.

      My mother gave it to me yesterday, she said it was out of the attic of my Grandfathers Garage. Since the garage was closed in the late 1970s and it was up there for many years prior she believes it was from her Uncle Chet. He was a Chief Gunnersmate at Pearl during the Attack and he retired as a CDR in the 1960s.

      I’ll attach pictures in a couple of minutes.
      The bell matches the measurements and description of a boat bell, as a recently retired SBCM I’m stoked to have this little piece of Naval Heritage (if that’s what it is)

      Mike

    • #17521
      aboatguy
      Participant

      Here she is.

    • #17522
      aboatguy
      Participant

      The fancy work was greasy from its time at the garage, some detergent and scrubbing removed most of the grease. However, there are remnants of white paint on the small stuff which leads me to believe it was a ceremonial bell because who would paint line beside the navy!

      I don’t see any information IRT the manufacturer. Its a quality casting, the measurements are dead on for a Boat Bell, it weighs 20lbs, and the tone awesome.

      My questions are:

      1. Who made it?
      2. Approximate age? (I believe its post war but could be mistaken)
      3. Did the N drop off of later Navy bells? (IE US VS USN) because as far as I know everyone in our family with military service had naval connections IE either NAVY or maritime infantry USMC.

      Mike

    • #17523
      huge bell
      Participant

      U.S. is as always Army ..USN Navy. the Army had boats too

    • #17524
      aboatguy
      Participant

      Thank for the information huge bell, I truly hope your wrong… AFAIK no one in our family had/has army connections. Always Navy and Marines. I checked the Q deck bell at work and there’s no markings at all on it. However, I haven’t been near BIG navy in forever, that was one of the benefits of a career with NSW.

      Looks like at least two of my three orginal questions remain unanswered

      REPOSTED:

      1. Who made it?
      2. Approximate age? (I believe its post war but could be mistaken)

      3. Did the N drop off of later Navy bells? (IE US VS USN) because as far as I know everyone in our family with military service had naval connections IE either NAVY or maritime infantry USMC.
      Mike

    • #17525
      Willie B. Herd
      Participant

      ABG, IMO, It’s true that the US Army had boats, but, I’m 95% sure it is a U.S. Naval bell. There are a few very similar USN bells posted here in other threads that U could compare it to. Also, posted here, (somewhere) is a USN Regulation dated 1915, which shows the required dimensions, and methods of construction, size, etc. of USN bells which may help. (The bell was cast, so it’s ALL one piece of brass…so the ‘N’ was never there. I’m pretty sure the use of the “N” wasn’t discontinued…unsure of your meaning here.) Also most USN bells’ letters are recessed-cut into bell surface onboard in the ship’s machine shop but this doesn’t mean yours is not a Naval bell. Not sure who made it, the raised letters are unusual, and a good clue. I’m guessing it was made in the WW2 era, or just after. Was the entire bell painted white??? Good luck w/ research, W

    • #17526
      aboatguy
      Participant

      Willie,

      I know that the Army has boats (they have ships too)
      The bell was now painted at all just the fancy work (the small stuff…line)
      I know that this bell never had the N …I was inquiring if the requirement for USN changed post WWII

      If its an Army bell so be it…

      It looks like this site is selling a similar bell as NAVY.. but the description seems to hedge as Military vice navy….

      http://landandseacollection.com/id927.html

    • #17527
      Willie B. Herd
      Participant

      The bell shown in the link IS very nearly an exact match, and they seem convinced it IS a Navy bell.It’s a rare bell, and I’m amazed that you found a match to compare yours to.

      Maybe U can contact the owner to get more info. W

    • #17528
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      I’m so sorry you are inquiring now. Dr. Harry Long of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. was our ex navy bell expert and he could have likely answered your questions, but he was killed in an auto accident earlier this year. — Neil

    • #17529
      aboatguy
      Participant

      Sorry to hear of Dr Long’s passing!

    • #17520
      aboatguy
      Participant

      I was strolling around and saw a bell that looks just like mine. It still NAVY property and doesn’t have an N…

      Seems like the only difference is this bell is infamous and my bell unknown……

      Mike

    • #17530
      Willie B. Herd
      Participant

      Mike, lucky find! 8) Maybe the Navy can help you w/ research. Good luck. W

    • #17531
      RockinEZ
      Participant

      The bell appears to be a 9 7/8″ 21 pound brass bell produced after July, 1986 to spec DOD-B-24673
      You can download a copy of the spec for free at:
      http://www.everyspec.com/DoD/DoD-SPECS/DOD-B-24673_23252

      Bells like this are also included in the 1918 Naval Artificer’s Handbook_Revised. It does not appear that old, but neither do my 1890 U.S. Navy bells.
      The 1918 version of the Naval Artificer’s Handbook is available for free download at:
      https://archive.org/details/navalartificers00statgoog
      See page 174 for a 1918 bell diagram for a ship’s boat.

      As a cost saving measure DOD-B-24673 bells were only cast with U.S. in an effort to make a single part number for the bell orderable across services.
      This bell was most likely a U.S. Navy bell, but it also could have been a stationary bell used on a Marine or Army base.
      A bell of this size would have been used on a boat or ship from 36′ or greater. It was most like a forecastle bell on a ship of the line. Minesweepers and like size boats also used this bell.

      Bells like this have been going on eBay from $450 to $650. If you were to polish it as it should be it would be worth more. Do a museum quality restoration and the bell would be worth about $1200 to a collector, but that is only after CO2 or bead blasting, heavy polishing on a wheel, degreasing, and a hot lacquer coating. This bell should be polished. There is no value keeping the patina, as these bells were made to be polished.

      Hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions. I have been restoring U.S. Navy bells and do have some information. I am always glad to share.
      Mark

    • #17532
      Willie B. Herd
      Participant

      REZ, many thanks for the links/info, I searched high and low for this! 🙂

      Not all US Navy bells are 8′ dia. and info will help w/ research and I.D. of bells. 8)

    • #17533
      RockinEZ
      Participant

      @Willie B. Herd wrote:

      REZ, many thanks for the links/info, I searched high and low for this! 🙂

      Not all US Navy bells are 8′ dia. and info will help w/ research and I.D. of bells. 8)

      Indeed not. Most forecastle bells were called 10″, but were 9 7/8″.
      I have yet to find a 8″ bell U.S. Navy bell, but my eyes are always open.
      There were boat bells and anchor bells that varied widely.

      Knowledge is useless unless you pass it on. Anything I know is available to anyone.

      I do believe I will be able to place one of my finest bells with a WWII Navy veteran this year.
      This makes me happy. I like bells for the history. Being able to pass that on is a very special thing.

    • #17534
      aboatguy
      Participant

      I’m sorry for spending so much time away from the thread but are there any good mounting options out there IE sources for a foredeck inverted J mount?
      I know I can polish this bell, its not beat up so it won’t be hard to get it shipshape (pun intended) It seems a little more blocky than the other bells I’ve found so it may be an army bell. However, the family lore is its from my mom’s uncle Chet, and he was a Sailor served from the late 1930s to 1960s.

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