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    • #11178

      Steve asks us:

      I just bought this bell. It is an LM Rumsey bell, from St Louis MO. It was made in 1897. It is made of bronze and is 17″ high and 17″ in diameter at the bottom of the bell. The wheel needs a repair and the clapper is not there. (there is a makeshift one that I threw away) But the bell is in great condition. I am wondering what the purpose of the 2 metal bars on the inside of the bell where the clapper would first hit. They even have a leather wrapping on them. If I were to have a clapper made, can i just do away with this and have the clapper hit the bell directly? Also, what would the diameter of the ball on the clapper be for a bell of this size.

      If you can help, please post a response.

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge. The responder may be a member but is not an official representative of the American Bell Association.

    • #14759

      Steve, I watched that bell on the auction site and wondered where it we know!
      The “bars” to which you refer are clapper springs designed to restrain the shaft of the clapper from striking the bell a second time on the same swing,which would interrupt the initial ring. the leather pads silence the springs’ “catch” of the clapper.
      There are many references to clapper springs within the Forum.
      Oh, the crack in the wheel of your bell is a designed notch, the purpose of which I would like to know.
      I also have a “Rumsey” bell only mine is steel and was cast in Seneca Falls NY by the Cowing & co. foundry after Rumsey joined them in 1849.
      This bell’s wheel also has that notch in the wheel, as do many others I have seen.
      I know Rumsey put his name on engines, pumps, bells and mills, and probably many other items he could make a buck with.
      Good luck with your nice bell!

    • #14760

      Although this bell says St.Louis, it was actually made for Rumsey by the McShane bellfoundry, under what we would now call a “private label” arrangement. All aspects of the style of Rumsey-labelled bronze bells and their fittings are identical to those from McShane. For “Rumsey” bells which are large enough to be hung on A-frames, those A-frames actually bear the McShane name and are identical to the A-frames found on McShane-labelled bells.

      Louis M. Rumsey of St.Louis came from the Rumsey family of Seneca Falls, NY, about 1860.

      I think the date on your bell is 1887, not 1897. Maybe that was a typo.

      I concur with KC’s remark about the clapper springs. They should not be removed, because they help the bell to ring clearly and cleanly.

    • #14761

      Steve: Have your clapper ball made 3 1/2 inches in dia.

    • #14762

      If you are still watching this thread I may have a clapper that will fit laying around. I would need some measurements however

    • #14763

      The notch in the wheel is designed for the knot in the end of the rope pull so that the knot does not cause the rope to jump off of the wheel.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14764

      Thanks for all the good information on my Rumsey bell. And it is an 1887 bell, not 1897 as I previously said.

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