Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells ? when Ohio abbreviation went from O.to OH

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    • #11968

      I know my bell is from Fredericktown Ohio. I know it was made by L D Rankin. I know the company started in 1851 and changed names in 1912. So I know I have a bell that was made by the original founder. I have about a 60 year window as to when the bell was actually made. My neighbor who is very old told me that the Abbreviation for Ohio changed from O. to OH. Knowing approx. when that year was could help me determine how old my bell is. Around the whole circumference of the bell at the bottom(outside) reads in raised letters–NEW COMPOSITION BELL SECURED & MADE BY L D RANKIN FREDERICKTOWN O. [O.]- the O. just might tell me how old it is. This bell is approx. 16″ in diameter, it”s black(weathered) and has both of the mounting brackets that make it swing and ding. It is missing the metal piece that swings inside the bell that makes it go ding dong , but I found an Amish man who thinks he has one in his archives. Can anybody help this bell ROOKIE???Hope So– BrightRed

    • #16781

      Both my Fredericktown O bells came off school houses built in the 1880’s. I’ve never seen one with Oh to my recollection, just O. Rankin died in 1867. That is probably as narrow a time frame as you are going to find.

    • #16782
      Carolyn Whitlock

      On May 28, 1987, the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication announced the Standard for Codes for the Indentification of the States, The District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas of the United States, and Associated Areas. This standard (5-2) provides a set of two-digit numeric codes and a set of two-letter alphabetic codes for representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the outlying areas of the United States and associated areas. This revision supersedes FIPS PUB 5-1 in its entirety. http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/fip5-2.htm

      According to The Gregg Reference Manual, Ninth Edition by William A. Sabin, (2001), section 527, “When abbreviating state names in addresses, use the two-letter abbreviations (without periods)…” It goes on to say, “In all situations other than addresses, use the following abbreviations (with periods and spacing as shown).” It then goes on to list the traditional abbreviations. At the bottom of the list is a note that says, “NOTE: Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, and Utah are not abbreviated.”

      So, according to these sources, there was no standard abbreviation for the state of Ohio prior to 1987, when the U.S. Postal Service created two-digit abbreviations for each state for use in addresses.

      You have probably already done an Internet search for the L. D. Rankin Bell Factory in Fredericktown, Ohio. For others reading this, a brief history of the Company appears online on the website for the Fredericktown Area Historical Society. You can find it at http://www.fredericktownhistory.org/?page=loadHistory&index=71.

      Apparently, one source of acquiring Fredericktown bells was through the Sears catalog. Your 60 year window may turn out to be the closest you can come to determining the age of the bell. Good luck!


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