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  • in reply to: Books about bells #13027
    Carolyn Whitlock

    My top three favorites are:

    Collectible Bells, Treasures of Sight and Sound by Donna S. Baker, a Schiffer Book for Collectors.

    More Collectible Bells, Classic to Contemporary by Donna S. Baker, a Schiffer Book for Collectors.

    Glass Bells by A.A. Trinidad, Jr., a Schiffer Book for Collectors.

    All of these books have gorgeous color photos and are great for people who are trying to identify bells.

    in reply to: locomotive bell -need help #12983
    Carolyn Whitlock


    If you go to, you will find the directions for posting a picture. If you also look at the thread called “This is a test” under general bell topics, you will find a description of my first attempt at posting a picture. I followed the directions step by step. The only unexpected part was when I got to the copy and paste part, I was surprised to see words appear, not a picture. To my surprise, when I clicked on submit, the picture magically appeared.

    If you need more help, click on “Contact the ABA” link under the word “Talk” in “Bell Talk.” Good luck!

    in reply to: Big bell and need advice #13024
    Carolyn Whitlock

    Dear Peter,

    You are absolutely right. As you may know, I have been the ABA’s Internet Coordinator and “Bell Talk” Forum administrator for only about 5 weeks now and I still have a lot to learn. Thanks to our former administrator, I have been made aware that the Forum is different from the website.

    I do get many requests via the “contact us” part of the website asking for identification and appraisals. In that case, I am to respond that the ABA does not appraise bells. However, if an individual asks the same questions on the Forum, whoever wants to respond may do so.

    Thank you for pointing out this inconsistency on my part. It is not my intention to confuse people or give out misinformation!

    Please keep giving your wonderful input!

    in reply to: Big bell and need advice #13022
    Carolyn Whitlock

    Dear Judy,

    Welcome to ABA’s “Bell Talk” Forum. Thanks for joining us!

    Cannonmn has given you good advice. If you need some assistance in posting a picture, please check out our “How to Post a Picture” section at

    The ABA is an organization of bell collectors and bell enthusiasts. We do not do appraisals nor do we refer people to appraisers. Sorry.

    in reply to: Bells in public places #13009
    Carolyn Whitlock

    Wow! That is great! And what a great source of potential members for ABA! Thanks for posting this, Peter!

    in reply to: Now that’s initiative! #12910
    Carolyn Whitlock

    In her book Collectible Bells – Treasures of Sight and Sound, on page 128, Donna Baker describes this bell as “Sennacherib’s Army or Assyrian bell, brass. The relief around the body of the bell shows Assyrian warriors carrying heads of Hittite captives after a battle. From a seventh century relief in London’s British Museum.”

    Carolyn Whitlock

    Have you tried contacting your local newspaper about your efforts to locate this bell? This would make a great “human interest” story! Also, if the bell was stolen that many years ago, it may be that the novelty of ownership has now worn off and the person who has it may no longer want it but doesn’t know what to do with it.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: Bells in public places #13005
    Carolyn Whitlock

    The link worked both by clicking on what you entered and by cutting it and pasting it into my browser. However, in each case, what came up was incomplete and unusable.

    in reply to: Bells in public places #13003
    Carolyn Whitlock

    This is a beautiful display, Peter, but how do the bells ring? Or are they there simply for artistic pleasure?

    Carolyn Whitlock

    Congratulations, Robert! You’ve been bitten by the “Bell Bug!”

    Carolyn Whitlock

    ABA Past President Rita Walker has also chimed in. She has asked me to post an image she found on page 52 of That Vanishing Sound by L. Elsinore Springer, Crown Publishers Inc., NY, 1976. Springer says, “…only one such company ever flourished in Pittsburgh. This was the Fulton Brass and Bell Foundry, dating back to 1832. Its long and colorful existence, through generations of Fultons, made the name almost a byword where steamboat, church, factory, and other bells were concerned in western Pennsylvania. The name was also preeminent throughout the South and West, as well as in distant lands, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tribute of 1859.

    As early as 1835 a set of Fulton chimes received an award as the “finest sounding chimes,” but the firm’s greatest achievement came when it cast a two-ton tocsin for the Pittsburgh fire alarm system. This is undoubtedly the largest ever cast in the State of Pennsylvania. After years of service, its primary usefulness ended when the fire alarm system was modernized; then came the day in 1920 when its voice was heard for the very last time as it rang 1-8-4-5 strokes to mark the anniversary of Pittsburgh’s disastrous fire of 1845. Today the huge tocsin rests before the Historical Society Building – a proud but silent symbol of the city’s past.”

    Now, in the picture that Rita sent, there is an advertisement for Andrew Fulton, Bell and Brass Founder, which appeared in the Pittsburgh City Directory for 1862. It is credited to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. It reads:

    A. Fulton,
    Bell and Brass Founder,
    No. 70 Second Street, Pittsburgh
    Chime Bells
    Made to order. Counter Railings,
    Brass Castings
    Every variety finished in the neatest manner.
    Anti Attrition Metal.

    Patent Metalic
    For Steam Cylinders.
    Stop & Gauge Cocks
    of all sizes for Steamboats
    Mineral Water Punps

    Brass for all kinds of oil turning,
    He is prepared to furnish to order
    Church, Steamboat, Factory & other Bells,
    Of all sizes from 10 to 10,000 pounds
    Also, all descriptions of fittings for oil wells and refineries.

    In addition, the page shows a photograph with a caption that says:
    “Cast by a Philadelphia founder who seems little known, this one-of-a-kind bell is inscribed in memory of Robert Fulton: T.W. Levering Fecit Philadelphia A. D. 1816. Now Fulton is gone. He is no more but he left his genius to carry us from shore to shore. Union Steamboat.”

    I have just gone to Photobucket so I could add Rita’s picture but got a message saying the website is undergoing some maintenance so I can’t post it right now.

    in reply to: Polish bell blog #12845
    Carolyn Whitlock


    I just checked out your Polish Bell blog and found it to be a truly fascinating story. How romantic of you to have a bell cast as a 40th wedding anniversary present for your wife! The pictures are fantastic!

    I hope others will click on your link and read about your experience! 😀

    in reply to: Whatzit? bell. Please help identify. #12992
    Carolyn Whitlock

    Rita Walker tells me:

    Well, we’ve sold dozens of these “bells” in our time. As a matter of fact, I’m looking at my own identical one right now.

    It’s a COCKTAIL SHAKER BELL. It’s wooden handle unscrews, and lifts off which reveals a long slim clapper that’s attached. At the top of the handle/finial is a screw cap. This can be removed also.
    To use this unique piece for it’s intended purpose one pours a combination of liquors/liquids and ice into the bell itself. The wooden handle is screwed back on, and then it’s shaken so as to completely blend the contents. That being completed, the cap/finial is unscrewed, and the contents poured into a glass, all chilled and well mixed.

    George Lehmer tells me:

    It is a drink mixer. You unscrew the handle and pour the ingredients into the bell. The theory is that that silly clapper will help to mix the cocktail when you ‘ring’ the bell. Then after it is mixed you unscrew the nob on the top of the handle and pour the mixed drink out through the top of the handle. I have one or two of them, but have never experimented with making a drink.

    in reply to: Whatzit? bell. Please help identify. #12988
    Carolyn Whitlock

    I wonder if this is a cocktail shaker of some sort. It looks like it is solid on the bottom to indicate it is some kind of a container. Perhaps it was a bottle that held after shave or cologne. These are just guesses on my part. I hope someone posts an answer!


    in reply to: Old Church Bell #12964
    Carolyn Whitlock

    As a follow-up, Mr. Forbes sent me a personal e-mail asking the same question. I sent it and a picture from Mr. Forbes to many of my bell friends and got several responses. Former ABA President Rita Walker offered this information:

    The bell is Mexican all right, and my experience with similar types from that country is that they are not really what they appear to be. Most folks think they are old, but in most instances they are contemporary. It’s a copy of a religious type.
    When we visited Mexico in the late 1960’s we saw many of this type. I was in the early stages of bell-earning back then, and I asked a merchant about that type of bell. He confided in me and said that the reason they have that “old” patina is because they bury them in the ground to get them to look that way. When they are “seasoned” properly by the soil, then they are dug up and put on sale. Some of them have a raised inscription on the skirt that appears to be “1838”, and that really fools a lot of folks too.
    The pictures are not really sharp, but from what I can see the detail on the bell is not of a high quality. That in itself indicates to me that they are not what they appear to be at first glance. The clapper is probably original, and typical of the type that are placed in newer bells.

Viewing 15 posts - 511 through 525 (of 534 total)