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    • #11387
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Jane V. in Virginia asks:

      What can you tell me about the William Peters Foundry? Our 1658 courthouse bell says William Peters, Balt. 1848. Can you tell me anything about this foundry?

      -01255-

    • #15669
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      I have never heard of the William Peters foundry of Baltimore, so it must have been a foundry which made other things and only produced a few bells. I have records on over 350 U.S. foundries which made large bells, but this is a new one for me. Is the inscription on the bell, or on the yoke above the bell, and do you have any estimate of the diameter of the opening of the mouth of the bell? If it is on the bell, it is likely a bronze bell. If so, a magnet will not stick to it. Bronze is the better material for a bell.

      The largest bell foundry in Baltimore was the McShane Bell Foundry started in 1856 by Henry McShane.

      A picture would be wonderful, but just the answer to the above questions will be enough. Thank you for sharing this “new find” with us. — Neil

    • #15668
      hjlong3
      Participant

      Carl Scott Zimmerman, elsewhere in this Bell Forum, listed the William Peters Foundry of Baltimore between 1842-1856+. He may have more information about this founder.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #15667

      From the Baltimore city directories:
      1837 – [not found]
      1842 – Peters Wm. brass founder, cor Pratt and Concord sts
      1845 – Peters Wm., brass founder, 8 W. Pratt St
      1847 – Peters Wm. brass founder, Concord st cor. Pratt
      – advt: WM. PETERS, BRASS & BELL FOUNDER/ Pratt street, near the Bridge.
      Composition Spikes of all sizes constantly on hand.
      Castings of all sizes executed at the shortest notice.
      Also, a large lot of Grindstones, both hand and water, wholesale and retail.
      1852 – Peters Wm., brass and bell. 8 w. Pratt
      – advt: WILLIAM PETERS’ BRASS AND BELL FOUNDRY,
      No. 8 Pratt Street, near the Bridge,
      Also dealer in Wrought Iron Pipes, Leather Belting, Metallic Gum Packing, Composition Spikes, Nails, &c. &c.
      1853 – WM, PETERS, BRASS AND BELL FOUNDRY, No. 8 PRATT STREET, NEAR THE BRIDGE
      1853 – PETERS WILLIAM, brass founder & hardware dealer, S w Pratt
      1855 – PETERS WILLIAM, brass founder and hardware dealer, 10 w Pratt
      1856 – Peters Wm. brass founder and hardware dealer, 10 w Pratt
      – also classified under both Bell Founders and Brass Founders
      [Later directories are not available online.]

      In summary, William Peters operated a brass foundry in Baltimore from 1842 (or earlier) until at least 1856, probably in the same location for the entire period. Like many other enterprises of the time, he had several other lines of work as well, including the casting of bells. However, the evidence from the directories isn’t sufficient to show what kinds of bells he made.

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