W B B & Co Louisville KY
May 30, 2018 at 9:46 am #26801
I’m hoping you can help me understand more about this cast iron bell I just received from my Nephew. He recently bought a farm, and this old bell was just gathering dust. To me, it looks a lot like a CS Bell No. 1, but has different markings. All the measuremnets point toward a Number 1, with mouth diameter of 14″ Height of 8″, and yoke length of 13″ (inside measurement of the upright). And the crank looks like CS Bell also.
But the foundry markings are W B B & Co Louisville KY.
I know that William Burke Belknap (the elder) was the founder of W .B. Belknap and Company, an early iron and nail business at Third and Main Street in downtown Louisville, Kentucky which evolved by 1840 into the mammoth Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company. [credit wikipedia].
Perhaps this bell I have was really made by CS Bell but branded for Belknap?
In the first picture, you can see the amount of dust that collected. The second picture is after I had rinsed off the dust, and you can see what looks like “No 1 Yoke” on the left, and “886” on the right. I believe this might be a date, with the 1 covered up by the large weld where someone had repaired it at some point.
In the third picture, you can make out “W B B & Co Louisville KY” on the yoke.
It also looks like the yoke may not be as old as the bell itself. Or perhaps, it was repainted when repaired with the weld.
The last pic is of the inside.
Any information you all can provide would be greatly appreciated!
I’m probably going to order a F1 upright from Prindle Station.
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May 30, 2018 at 9:48 am #26802
Apparently, uploaded images are shown in reverse order. The first one I uploaded, is the last one in the list. Sorry!
May 30, 2018 at 3:51 pm #26813Carl Scott ZimmermanParticipant
Yes, that’s probably a private-label product of the C.S.Bell company.
But 1840 is the wrong date. WBB&Co was still the name in use as of 1903, while BHMCo was in use by 1904 (source: annual Louisville city directories). So your bell was made between 1886 and 1903.
May 30, 2018 at 7:52 pm #26819
Thanks for confirming that! I noticed that when I was cleaning it today with a metal brush, that the weld to fix the yoke looks to be brass. It was shiny gold colored when I was done brushing it
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