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Large Bells of America

History of Church Bells, Fire Bells, School Bells,
Dinner Bells and Their Foundries

by  Neil Goeppinger

Commentary and Research Notes

(with errata for the second printing)

NOTE:  If you have not yet read the announcement for this book, please do so before continuing on this page.  Otherwise, this will not be as useful to you as it should be.

The first printing of this important book contained numerous typographic errors, many of which were corrected in the second printing of the book.  Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish between the two printings except by checking for the presence of these typos.  This page presumes that you have already checked the page of Errata for the first printing and that if your copy is from the first printing, then you have already posted the corrections from that page to your copy of the book.  Thus whether you have a corrected copy of the first printing or a copy of the second priinting, the rest of this page is now relevant to you.  Pagination of the two printings is identical.

A few additional errata were discovered after the second printing; these are included with the commentary below, along with the uncorrected errata from the first printing.

Contents of this page:
  Part I (commentary and errata) -
      Chapter 1,     Chapter 2,     Chapter 3,     Chapters 4-5
  Part II (research notes, commentary and errata) -
      Alphabetic sections:   A-B,   C,   D-H,   J,   K,   L-M,   N,   O-R,   S,   T-W
  Appendix 1 - Manufacturers Listed by State (commentary)
  Appendix 2 - Bibliography (commentary)
  Appendix 3 [new] - Partial Index of Principals

Bell identification tip:  If the first part of a maker's inscription is obscured, and the visible part could be the last name of a person, see Appendix 3 (added here) for possible clues to the complete inscription.

Commentary on Part I

From the Webmaster; all page numbers refer to the book, which the reader of this page should now have in hand.

Title page
Contrary to custom, the subtitle from the front cover does not appear here.
Chapter 1
p.6, fig.12
The lineage depicted here is a business lineage, and possibly also a stylistic lineage, not a genealogical one.  For the lineage of the Hanks and Meneely families, see our Hanks-Meneely genealogy
p.6, fig.12, lower left outer column
Julias should be Julius.
p.7, second paragraph
Watervillet should be Watervliet.
p.7, end of second paragraph
Some historians dispute the alleged connection between the Benjamin Hanks lineage and the Nancy Hanks Lincoln lineage.  Nancy Hanks parentage, and even her maiden name, are not firmly documented.  See the Wikipedia article on Nancy Hanks Lincoln heritage for further information.
p.7, third paragraph
Philena Hanks was a first cousin of Julius, not a niece.
p.8, third paragraph
I have never seen a bell with both place names on it; perhaps Neil has.
pp.7 & 13
I am highly suspicious of the estimate of 10,000 bells for the lifetime production of the Holbrook foundry.  Although the length of that lifetime might seem to support such a number (82 years, comparable to the 80 years of the Meneely/Troy foundry, which produced about 12,400 bells), I have not seen any evidence that the Holbrooks distributed bells as widely and prolifically as the Meneelys did.  Furthermore, Holbrook never made any chimes, though such sets of bells contributed significantly to the numbers of bells produced by both Meneely foundries.  That large number might be credible if it included small bells such as servant call bells or horse car bells, which could be manufactured rapidly in large quantities.  These could have been supplied to locksmiths and bellhangers - the nomenclature of the day for those who commonly installed call bells in houses, hotels, etc.
p.13, second paragraph, first line
"Stickney's" should be "Stickneys'" (plural possessive form, not singular).
p.15, first line
Bells installed at lighthouses were commonly called fog bells, because they were rung in foggy conditions when the light could not be seen very far.  In the days of sailing ships, in the windless conditions associated with fog, the sound of a fog bell could be heard from a long distance at sea.
p.15, second line
Bridge bells were more likely to be used to warn people that a drawbridge or turnbridge was about to open to allow river or canal traffic to pass through, just as railroad crossing gongs still ring today.  For example, the Meneely/Troy foundry supplied a total of 19 bells of approximately 100 pounds each to the city of Chicago for use as bridge bells, undoubtedly for the early versions of the many canal and river bridges in that city.
p.15, Locations of American Bell Foundries
A number of bell and brass foundries, most notably that of Andrew Fulton, operated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from the early 1800s, supplying not only church bells but also ship's bells for the vast number of steamboats that were built there to carry merchandise and raw materials up and down the Ohio River.
Saint Louis, Missouri, became a major center for bell production after the Civil War, as railroads enabled the shipment of all kinds of durable goods from there to the towns and cities that were springing up all over the Midwest.  From 1863 through 1878 there were never less than four bellfoundries in operation simultaneously in this city, and in some years there were as many as seven.  Thereafter there were two to four bellfoundries in operation simultaneously up until the Great Depression.
Chapter 2
p.18, fig.43
This might better be captioned "Bell Fittings," as it identifies important parts of the equipment associated with a bell, and normally supplied by the bell's manufacturer.
p.19, Components of a Bell
The text identifies a crown as an extension of the top of a bell, used for fastening it to a yoke or something else.  But it doesn't identify two other types of extension that have the same function, though they are pictured and described elsewhere in the book.  One is the TANG, a flat extenstion with a hole cross-wise through it; this is mentioned and described at the bottom of page 29, and seen in the photo on page 153.  The Holbrook bell pictured on page 7 and page 107 has a tang, fitted into a socket carved into the wooden yoke (headstock) with a single cross-pin to secure it.  The Wilbank bell pictured on page 168 has a wider tang with two holes.  The other type of extension is the NECK, a tapered cone that wedges into a tapered socket in a cast iron yoke.  It is effectively described, though not named, on pages 33-34.  The mounting for the Hooper bell shown in fig.75 could be described as a hybrid of neck and tang; I would call it a cylindrical neck or cylindrical tang.  There are also several variants of the crown, which do not seem to have distinct names.  They differ in the number and orientation of the cannons, the presence or absence of the argent, etc. There is also a major variation on the crown called a BUTTON TOP - a solid flange on top of a short thick neck.  It does not seem to be illustrated in this book, but was commonly used on European-made cast steel bells.
p.19, para.1
It is true that in some places, bells were hung by chains through their crowns and rung by a clapper rope.  However, it was (and is) far more common for the crown to be used to attach the bell to a headstock so that it could be swung.  The earliest method of attachment was blacksmithed straps, bent through the loops of the cannons and affixed to a timber headstock; but eventually these straps were superseded by various kinds of bolts.  Even today, bells can be made with crowns and hung by this method.
p.19, para.6
Yoke is a distinctively American term, derived from the similarity of shape to the yoke of a draft animal (ox, horse or mule).  In European terms, the American yoke would be called a tucked-up headstock (as opposed to a straight headstock).  "Tucked-up" refers to where the top of the bell is with respect to the axis of rotation when swinging (which is always through the gudgeons).  German-made swinging bells, some of which have been imported to America, are almost always hung from straight headstocks.
p.19, para.6
The use of A-frames to support American swinging bells began about the middle of the 19th century, as iron-casting technology was improving.  Prior to that, bell makers commonly shipped a bell with a yoke and a pair of bearing blocks, leaving to a local carpenter the job of building a timber frame to support the bell, and integrating it into the structure of a bell tower.  With A-frames (or the cheaper equivalent of a vertical post with brace rods - see fig.47), the bell manufacturer could mount these supports on a timber base and ship a complete assembly to the destination.  There it just needed to be hoisted into the tower and set on an existing floor or equivalent support.
p.20, para.2
Prior to the development of the clevis in the 19th century, American bellfounders followed the old European tradition of using a cast-in CLAPPER STAPLE, possibly made of wrought iron, to support the clapper.  The clapper was usually connected to the clapper staple by a heavy leather strap.
p.20, para.3
Limiting springs, sometimes called CLAPPER SPRINGS, served two other purposes besides the one described by Neil.  First, they prevent the clapper from lying against the bell, and thus damping the sound.  Second, they prevent the clapper from double-striking, i.e., bouncing off the bell and then striking again before the bell swings back.  It should be noted that clapper springs are only required on bells with a falling clapper, not those with a flying clapper.
p.21, para.2
Outside tolling hammers might exist, but I have never seen one.  What is common on the outside of a bell is a clock hammer, operated by a weight-driven tower clock.  It is shaped very much like a tolling hammer, but it is mounted so that the hammer head just clears the soundbow on the side of the bell opposite to the wheel.  (In this way, the bell is free to swing without interference from the clock hammer.)  The hammer arm rests on a flat spring, and the end of the other arm is connected to a pull wire that goes down through the floor of the belfry to the clock room.  There it is connected to one end of a center-pivoted clock-strike arm, the other end of which rides on a toothed cam wheel.  As the clock approaches the time when the bell should strike, a cam tooth slowly causes the clock hammer to be lifted off the spring.  When the clock-strike arm falls off the other side of the tooth, the clock hammer falls; its falling weight overcomes the spring rest just enough to strike the bell once before settling on the rest again.  The configuration of the cam wheel and other parts of the clock control when and how many times the clock hammer strikes the bell.
p.21, para.3
While I have not seen an American-made steel bell with a crown, some of the steel bells made in England or Germany do have either crowns or button tops.  Some have reeds and lettering as well.
p.25, para.2
The great bell of St.Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Cincinnati is further described here, where a different weight is reported for it.  (At least three different weights for this bell can be found in the literature.)
p.25, Form Follows Function, second paragraph
Fig.79 is an even better illustration of the point than fig.40; there is hardly any hint of a soundbow in the shape of the bell.
p.27, paras.1 & 2
The idea that the sound of a bell comes primarily from its mouth is a common misconception that is easily disproved.  Ring a handbell, then point its mouth straight at your ear.  Now turn your wrist 90 degrees so that the side of the bell is toward your ear.  You will hear that the bell sounds louder, even thought the sound continues to decay.  The reason for this is that the mode of vibration in a bell is circular, and the sound waves that are emitted from the inner sides of a bell tend to cancel each other.  This is more obvious in a relatively narrow-mouthed bronze bell than in a relatively wide-mouthed steel bell.  When watching a swinging bell in an open tower, the visual image reaches the eye much faster than the audible sound, but the brain wants to match the sight and sound at the moment they are received, thus producing an incorrect impression of when the bell sounds loudest in its swing.  A swinging bell sounds louder than a non-swinging bell because the clapper hits the bell with much greater force.  Trying to achieve the same loudness from a stationary bell is very likely to break the bell because a tied clapper is not free to bounce after it strikes.  It is actually much easier to keep a swinging bell in motion than it is to make the same amount of sound just by moving the clapper.  (A fire bell is a different matter, because there is so much more adrenaline involved!)
p.29, para.4
The concept of rotating a swinging bell to obtain a fresh strike point was very much a New World invention, and probably sprang out of the fierce competition between bellfoundries selling into all the new settlements that were springing up across America in the 19th century.  Published testimonials from satisfied customers frequently contain remarks to the effect that "our new bell is better than all the others in town!"  And the bellfounders wanted their customers to be assured that they could easily keep that pleasant sound.  As a result, several different rotary mounting systems were developed, patented and advertised, even if in practice they were seldom used.  However, I have seen a few bells that had been rotated twice - always in Catholic churches, where the bells had been very heavily used.
p.29, last paragraph
For a long time, we thought that the Vanduzen 4-bolt mounting system was unique to that firm.  Recently a couple of Meneely/Watervliet bells have been discovered with an identical mounting.  It is not yet known whether the Meneelys were experimenting with Vanduzen's mounting system or whether these bells have been remounted on Vanduzen fittings at some time in their history.  In any event, it makes the bell-hunting campanologist much more cautious about identifying a bell solely with binoculars, though they remain an essential research tool.
p.30, para.1
Garrett should be Garratt.
p.31, fig.79 caption
"Sears Robuck" should be "Sears, Roebuck".
Chapter 3
p.33, Iron and Steel Bell Restoration, last paragraph
"U-shaped cups" refers to the open plain bearings used on most small steel bells (whether mounted on forks or A-frames) and on many small bronze bells.  These plain bearings could operate for many years without any lubrication at all, because their loading (in terms of pounds per square inch of contact surface) was very low, so frictional wear was minimal once the gudgeon and bearing cup had worn each other smooth.  Middle-sized bells with plain bearings often had hold-down straps bolted across the tops of the bearing cups to prevent the bell from jumping out of its bearings if the rope was mis-handled.  More complex bearings (e.g., roller boxes) required regular lubrication for easy operation.
p.33, Bronze Bell Restoration, first paragraph
I heartily agree with Neil's recommendation against removing the patina of a bronze bell.  To me, it's like making your granny get a facelift because you don't like looking at her wrinkles.  An old bell ought to be respected for what it is, rather than making it look like new.  (A brass railroad bell or a chrome-plated fire engine bell is different - it's a piece of equipment which was regularly polished while in use.)
p.36, para.2
The Website of Prindle Station is www.prindlestation.com.
Chapter 4
The two-part molding method, using a perforated metal cask to hold the outer part, is accurately described.  This is a relatively modern method, first used in the 19th century.  The much older method of building a false bell on the core and then building the outer mold on top of the false bell is still used by some foundries.  Details of this method can also be found in the literature.
Chapter 5
p.41, second paragraph, second line
Brasamer's should be Brosamer's
p.41, fourth paragraph, last line
Brasamers should be Brosamer's

Research notes for Part II

From the Webmaster and the author; all page numbers refer to the book, which the reader of this page should now have in hand.  Errata and commentary are included.

NOTE:  On the page number references that follow, if the author's exact name for a bellfoundry is used then the associated items apply solely to that particular foundry entry.  If a generic or family name is used, or any other form that does not match any of the author's foundry names, then the associated commentary applies to several related foundry entries.

p.55, Tips for the Use of this Bell Foundry Directory
The database from which this Part of the book was produced served well for many years as an efficient and effective means of compiling and organizing information about all of the various names found on bells or in documentation about their makers.  Its one shortcoming is that finding and connecting the various names used by a single foundry (or its various proprietorships) over the course of its existence is somewhat awkward.  The Successor field identified in the author's second Tip is helpful in this respect, as is the corresponding Predecessor field.
A
p.57, Cyrus Alger
Source:  Shepp should be Shep.
p.57, James P. Allaire
Other Facts: Sanger should be Saenger.
p.57, figure caption
Allarie should be Allaire.
p.58, American Bell Foundry Company
Predecessor:  Globe Furniture Company
Commentary:  Advertising material from this company also gives its name as The American Bell and Foundry Company, and proudly identifies its products with the trade name The Bowlden Bell.
Note that Other Facts gives the address as Northfield, Michigan.  I do not know whether this is a typo, or whether the company moved from Northville to Northfield, or vice versa.  Both places do exist, although Northfield is a township with no developed center.
B
p.60, John Bailey
See also Bailey & Hedderly, page 104.
p.61, Bartholomew & Brainard
Source:  Shepp should be Shep.
See also Ward, Bartholomew & Brainard
p.62, photo
This photo may be incorrectly proportioned; it appears to be too short for its width.
p.63, C. S. Bell & Company
Other Facts:  The last sentence does not belong with this entry but with the following one (The C. S. Bell Company).
Commentary:  Table of weights of C.S.Bell church and school bells (supplied by N.G.)
Table of weights of C.S.Bell fire alarm bells (supplied by N.G.)
p.63, The C. S. Bell Company
Address:  This does not mean that Hillsboro became Tiffin.  The firm that bought the Hillsboro general foundry business (but not its bell business) relocated to Tiffin.  Hence it is not the Successor of the Hillsboro firm with respect to bells.
Successor:  Prindle Station, which bought the farm bell molds after the closure of the Hillsboro foundry.
Other Facts:  Parts of the middle of this section belong with a successor firm, not here.
p.65, Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company
Source:  Elsnore should be Elsinore.
p.65, Arthur Lynds Bigelow
Commentary:  Bigelow was Professor of Engineering at Princeton University, and a renowned carillonneur.  For an index of carillon and chime bells made by Bigelow, as well as more about the history of his work, see our Bigelow index page.
p.66, M. C. Bignall & Co.
Address:  806 & 808 N. 2nd, St.Louis, Missouri
Years in Operation:  1876-1878
Successor:  Goulds & Ostrander should be omitted.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
Commentary:  This firm, a partnership between Moses C. Bignall and Nelson O. Nelson, was a manufacturer of pumps and a distributor of brass goods and railway supplies (per city directories).  It might have been a distributor of bells, since the successor firm at the same address did that, but it is unlikely to have been a manufacturer of bells.
pp.66-67, William Blake
Commentary:  For an index of chimes made by the Blake foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Hooper/Blake index page.
p.68, William Blake & Company
Predecessor:  The immediate predecessor of Wm.Blake & Co. was Henry N. Hooper & Co., which operated the same foundry from 1830 to 1868.
Successor:  Blake Bell Company
p.69, Bleymeyer Foundry
Commentary:  Bleymeyer is undoubtedly a mis-transcription of Blymyer (q.v.), since it does not appear in the Cincinnati city directories of the day.  Source attributions of this name should be interpreted as Blymyer Manufacturing Company.
p.69, Henry Bloemker
Commentary:  Bronze bells by him survive in the St.Louis area.
p.69, Blymyer Manufacturing Company
Predecessor:  Blymer should be Blymyer; it is undoubtedly a mis-transcription of Blymyer (q.v.), since it does not appear in the Cincinnati city directories of the day.
Successor:  should be Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company.
p.70, B. N. & Company
Commentary:  In the 19th century, business names ending in "& Co." were always formed from the last names of the active principals, with the "& Co." representing the existence of silent partners or investors.  Thus the B and N are undoubtedly the initials of the principals.  Since the name "B. N. & Co." does not appear in Cincinnati city directories, but "Blymyer, Norton & Co." does, and steel bells with those markings on their yokes are identical in style, the former is undoubtedly an abbreviation for the latter.  Furthermore, that style is exactly the same as those marked CIN B F CO, for Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company, the ultimate successor of Blymyer, Norton & Company.
p.70, The Bowlden Bell
Commentary:  This trade name was used and proudly claimed by The American Bell & Foundry Company, Northville, Michigan, according to their advertising materials.  (See p.58.)
p.71, Bradley & Cochran
Compare the same name on page 80.
p.72, Buckeye Bell Foundry
Commentary:  The name Buckeye Bell Foundry seems to have been used throughout the history of this foundry, regardless of changes of ownership.  For an index of chimes made under Vanduzen ownership, as well as more about the history of this foundry, see our Vanduzen index page.
p.72, Burd & Tilden
Years Known in Operation:  1842
Founder:  Principals were William Burd and Richard S. Tilden
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.72, Burd, Tilden & Burd
Years Known in Operation:  1842-1845
Founder:  Principals were William Burd, Richard S. Tilden and John W. Burd.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
Other Facts:  The 1848 advertisement quoted here was actually that of Burd, Rucker & Co.
C
p.75, Caughlan & Piquett[e]
Piquette should be Piquett
pp.77-78, Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company
Years Known in Operation:  1885-1925
Predecessor:  Blymer should be Blymyer.
Source:  add: Cincinnati city directories (annual)
Commentary:  In the city directories for Cincinnati, an 1884 advertisement for The Blymyer Manufacturing Company includes Bells among the many kinds of durable goods that they produced.  In the 1885 directory, the Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company first occurs, with an advertisement identifying it as "Successor (in Bells) to The Blymyer Manufacturing Company" (which continued to exist).  Clearly, BMCo spun off its bell-making business into a separate company.  D.W. Blymyer was president of CBFCo and also a partner in Blymyer Mfg. Co.  In 1919, an advertisement for The Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company boasts of "Blymyer Church Bells."  The last city directory in which CBFCo was listed was 1925.  There is no evidence that a separate firm named Cincinnati Bell Company ever existed, so the use of CIN BELL CO on bells must have been a form of abbreviation.
The John B. Morris Foundry Company was indeed a Cincinnati firm, but the 1918 city directory identifies them as proprietors of the Eagle Iron Foundry and Machine Works, which occupied a full city block that was nowhere near the Cincinnati Bell Foundry Company.  None of the principals of the Morris firm have been found to be associated with any of the Blymyer firms.  It is conceivable that the Eagle foundry could have been a subcontractor for CBFCo, but that does not seem to be sufficient justification for them to claim proprietorship of it.  So this remains a mystery for the time being.
p.79, The Cleveland Bell Mfg & Foundry Company
Other Facts:  On the last line, "bah" should be "bas".
p.79, James Cochran
Successor:  Cockran should be Cochran (twice).
p.79, Fenton & Cochran
see page 89
p.80, Bradley & Cochran
Compare the same name on page 71.
p.80, C. A. Coffin
Commentary: Although I am credited as a source for this information, I cannot now find any record of what I may have sent to Neil years ago.  At present, I do not believe there was ever a person named C. A. Coffin associated with the Buckeye Bell Foundry, nor even such a resident in the city of Cincinnati.  An advertisement in the 1866 city directory makes it very clear that the partnership of Vanduzen & Tift was the direct successor of G.W. Coffin & Co. as the proprietors of the Buckeye Bell Foundry.  G.W.Coffin retired from business at that point, and lived for several years thereafter.
p.80, G. W. Coffin
Successor:  Vanduzen & Tift (see preceding Commentary)
Other Facts:  I have been unable to find any documentation verifying the existence of a person named W. A. Van Duzen (or Vanduzen), whether in Cincinnati or in Ezra W. Vanduzen's family tree.
The last sentence seems to imply that Vanduzen & Tift were not involved with the foundry before they bought out G.W.Coffin.  On the contrary, they had been partners with him in that enterprise since at least as early as 1860, and so would merely have bought out his share of the partnership when he retired.
Commentary:  G.W.Coffin produced bells which were far more ornately decorated than anything made by any other American bellfounder.  The photo on this page does not show his most ornate style, which had fancy sculptural reliefs repeating around the waist of the bell.
p.81, Concordia
Commentary:  This may be a donor's inscription rather than a maker's inscription.  Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, has a J.G.Stuckstede bell from 1881 with just the word "Concordia" on the waist; and there are several other Concordia seminaries.
p.82, Melvin C. Corbett
Commentary:  Corbett later became a carillonneur; he was a long-time member (and sometime secretary) of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.
p.82, Cordry Caughlin Co.
The name should be "Cordry, Caughlan & Co."
Founder:  Caughlin should be Caughlan.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.83, Curtis
Source:  Presumably that bell is bronze.
D
p.83, S. Davis
Years Known in Operation:  1836
p.84, J. C. Deagan, Inc.
The inclusion of Deagan, who made large tubular bells for tower chimes, is somewhat perplexing, because other known American makers of such bells are omitted.  For more about tubular tower bells, see our tubular bells page.
E
p.88, Eagle Bell & Brass Foundry
Address:  Delete "- 1900".
F
p.89, Fenton & Cochran
see page 79
pp.91-92, Fredericktown
On page 91, under Frederick Town, the location of the Fredericktown Bell Co. is given as Cory, Pa.; but on page 92 it is given as Corry, Pa. - the spelling found in current road atlases.
G
(no additions)
H
pp.99-101, Hanks
Commentary:  Almost all of the Hanks men mentioned here were related - see our Hanks genealogy page for details.  (The relationship of Arthur Hanks, of Hanks & McGraw, has not been established, so he cannot be found there.)  However, whether they were related to Nancy Hanks Lincoln is uncertain, because her parentage is in dispute.  (See our Commentary on p.12, above.)
p.100, Benjamin Hanks
Address:  As the Other Facts makes clear, the Hankses did not move from Connecticut to New York until 1808.
Other Facts:  Duxburry should be Duxbury (twice).
Hank's should be Hanks' (twice).
p.100, Hanks & Meneely
Commentary:  While Andrew Meneely was apprenticed to Julius Hanks in the Gibbonsville foundry, I do not believe that Hanks was involved with that foundry after Andrew Meneely took it over in 1826.
p.101, Hanks & McGraw
Years Known in Operation:  1842?-1844?
Founder:  George L. Hanks, Arthur Hanks & James McGraw
Source:  add: Cincinnati city directories
p.101, George L. Hanks
Other Facts:  What was transferred from St.Peter in Chains to St.Teresa of Avila was a chime of 11 bells, made by George L. Hanks in 1851 with the assistance of Francis Mayer, who moved from Cincinnati to St.Louis, Missouri, later that year.
Commentary:  For an index of chimes made by George L. Hanks, as well as more about the history of his foundry, see our Hanks/Niles index page.
p.102, William Harpke
Years Known in Operation:  1865-1869
Successor:  Harpke & Dauernheim
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.102, Harpke & Dauernheim
Predecessor:  William Harpke
Successor:  Harpke Manufacturing Company
Years Known in Operation:  1870-1887
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.102, Harpke Manufacturing Company
Years Known in Operation:  1888-1891
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.104, Bailey & Hedderly
Other Facts:  New Platz should be New Paltz.
See also John Bailey, page 60.
See also New York Bell Foundry, page 136.
p.106, Henry-Bonnard Company
Other Facts:  "bah" should be "bas".
p.106, Hillsboro Ohio Bell Company
Commentary:  This is probably a generic reference to The C.S.Bell Company, rather than a separate company name.
p.108, James Homan Foundry
Other Facts:  "scraped" should be "scrapped".
pp.108-109, Hooper
Commentary:  For an index of chimes made by the Hooper foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Hooper/Blake index page.
p.108, Hooper, Blake & Richardson
Source:  add: Boston city directories (annual)
Commentary:  This partnership was in fact not a separate operation, but the proprietors of Henry N. Hooper & Company (see opposite page) from 1833 to 1865.  It was dissolved, and the company reorganized without change of name, on the death of Henry N. Hooper in 1865.
p.109, Henry N. Hooper & Company
Year Closed:  1868
Years Known in Operation:  1830-1868
Predecessor:  Boston Copper Company
Successor:  Wm. Blake & Company
Source:  add: Boston city directories (annual)
p.109, lower figure
This is almost certainly an illustration of the 13-bell chime made for Christ Church, Cambridge, in 1860; possibly it was made from a photograph.  It shows the chime set up in the yard of the foundry, surrounded by the workers and management.  A narrow sign just above the topmost bells reads, "Cast by Henry N. Hooper & Co. Boston".  Two things are especially notable about the chime as shown here. 
Firstly, the chime-playing mechanism, located on the upper deck with four top-hatted gentlemen, is a taut-rope chiming rack.  (That could be loosely described as an Ellacombe rack, though the construction is somewhat different.)  Oddly, only 10 ropes are visible below the deck, and only 10 note names are shown on the top rail of the rack. 
Secondly, eight bells are hung for swinging - possibly a diatonic octave on the tenor (which is in the independent frame at left).  While this might seem to suggest, or to be inspired by, the idea of change-ringing (e.g., at Old North Church in Boston), these bells clearly have no stays, and thus could not actually be rung full-circle.
J
p.111, Jackson Bell and Brass Foundry
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
Commentary:  While the partnership of Mayer & Ruppenthal lasted for about four years (see p.123), they apparently used the Jackson name for only two or three years.
p.112, Cyril Johnston
Commentary:  He doesn't belong in this book; he was the head of the Gillett & Johnston bellfoundry in England, which never cast any bells in America (though it exported many to America and Canada).
pp.112-114, Jones
Commentary:  Table of weights of Jones bells (supplied by N.G.)
For an index of chimes made by the Jones foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Jones index page.
p.112, Jones & Company
Year Established:  1857
Years Known in Operation:  1857-1887
Other Facts:  "it's" should be "its".
J
p.115, Kaye & Company
Other Facts:  Belleview should be Belleville.
Source:  add: Louisville city directories (annual)
p.116, George H. Kimberly
Other Facts:  Kimberely should be Kimberly.
p.116, Daniel King
Commentary:  It seems odd that both the Founder and the Successor appear to be the same person, especially when there is a separate entry for him (see next page).
pp.118-119, Kupferle
Commentary:  There were two men named John Kupferle who worked in the bell and brass industry in Saint Louis.  One of them had middle initial C, and lived until 1908; the other did not, and died in 1875.  They were born a year apart, and thus could not have been brothers.  Although at times they were difficult to distinguish in the city directories (especially because there was in the city a third John Kupferle, who died in 1863), the lineage of the businesses in which they were involved is straightforward.
p.118, Kupferle & Boisselier
Source:  Bellville should be Belleville.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
L
p.122, Louisville Foundry
Other Facts:  Rickets should be Ricketts.
M
p.122, P.P.Manion
Commentary:  Peter P. Manion was an Irish immigrant; he and his brothers were blacksmiths.  Within a few years after his arrival in Saint Louis, his shop had grown into a large-scale business that was involved in salvaging metal from wrecked steamboats (hence the "Wrecking" in his company name) and re-working it into new heavy equipment for steamboats and other purposes.  He undoubtedly salvaged and re-sold the bells of wrecked steamboats as well, but it is doubtful that he ever manufactured any.  He did buy eight bells from Henry Stuckstede of St.Louis, and he donated a Stuckstede bell to a local church in memory of his daughter.
p.123, Emil C. Mayer
Address:  Covent should be Convent.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
p.123, Francis Mayer
Address:  Covent should be Convent.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
Other Facts:  Append to the last sentence the following: "in the St.Louis area.  It can be seen at the museum of the St.Louis (Missouri) Fire Department."
Commentary:  Francis Mayer must have been trained in Germany.  In 1848, he was working in the bellfoundry of Timothy Dyre of Philadelphia to cast the first chime made in North America (for Charleston, SC).  In 1850-51, he was working in the bellfoundry of George L. Hanks of Cincinnati to cast the second and third chimes made in North America (see our Hanks/Niles index page).  Some of the early bells that he cast in Saint Louis are profusely decorated.
p.123, Mayer & Ruppenthal
Founder:  Emil C. Mayer and Jacob Ruppenthal
Predecessor:  No Data.
Source:  add: Saint Louis city directories (annual)
Commentary:  After this partnership split up, Emil C. Mayer took over Francis Mayer's foundry on Convent Street.  Francis Mayer then worked as a moulder for Emil C. Mayer for two years before disappearing from the St.Louis city directories.  It is not known whether the two men were related.
p.124, Wm. McKenna & Son
Successor:  Unknown, but not Emil C. Mayer (of Saint Louis, MO).
pp.124-126, McShane
Commentary:  Table of weights of early McShane bells (supplied by N.G.)
Table of weights and prices of 1983 McShane bells (supplied by N.G.)
For an index of chimes made by the McShane foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our McShane index page.
p.124, Henry McShane & Company
Predecessor:  McShane & Bailey
Years Known in Operation:  1863-1891.
Source:  add: Baltimore city directories (annual)
p.126, McShane Bell Foundry Company
Predecessor:  Henry McShane Manufacturing Co. of Baltimore City, Inc.
Successor:  (none)
Years Known in Operation:  c.1904-present
Source:  add: Baltimore city directories (annual)
p.126, McShane & Bailey
Predecessor:  McShane's Bell Foundry
Successor:  Henry McShane & Company
Years Known in Operation:  1857-1863.
Source:  add: Baltimore city directories (annual)
p.127, Meeks & Watson
Name:  Though the firm is commonly known as Meeks & Watson, its official name is Meeks, Watson & Company.  See their Website at MWBells.com.
Commentary:  For an index of carillons made by Meeks & Watson, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Meeks, Watson & Co. index page
pp.127-129, Meneely (West Troy / Watervliet)
Commentary:  Table of weights of Meneely (West Troy) bells (supplied by N.G.)
For an index of chimes and carillons made by Andrew Meneely's foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Meneely/Watervliet index page.
p.127, Andrew Meneely
Other Facts:  on the next-to-last line,  "it's" should be "its".
See also West Troy Bell Foundry
Commentary:  The foundry did not begin making chimes until several years after Andrew Meneely's death in 1849.
p.128, Andrew Meneely & Son
Predecessor:  Phelina should be Philena.
Other Facts:  "thier" should be "their".
Some historians dispute the alleged connection between the Benjamin Hanks lineage and the Nancy Hanks Lincoln lineage.  Nancy Hanks parentage, and even her maiden name, are not firmly documented.  See the Wikipedia article on Nancy Hanks Lincoln heritage for further information.
p.128, Meneely & Company
Commentary:  The earliest known chime made by this foundry is dated 1854.  The first complete chime made in America was cast in 1848 by Francis Mayer working with Timothy Dyre at the latter's bellfoundry in Philadelphia.  This Meneely foundry did produce the first American-made carillon, but it was not the first carillon in America, several having been imported from Europe in prior years (see our North American carillon history).
pp.130-132, Meneely (Troy)
Commentary:  Table of weights of Meneely (Troy) bells (supplied by N.G.)
For an index of chimes made by Clinton H. Meneely's foundry, as well as more about the history of the foundry, see our Meneely/Troy index page.
Actual production of this foundry was at least 12,400 bells, but certainly not 25,000.  See our Meneely/Troy foundry production analysis for more information.
p.134, Montgomery Ward
Other Facts:  Robuck should be Roebuck (twice).
Commentary:  The practice of contracting for the manufacture of goods under one's own name is now commonly called private label manufacturing.
p.134, More, Jones & Company
Other Facts:  Roger Plaquet of ABA has reported seeing horse car bells made by this firm.
N
p.135, National Bell Foundry
Other Facts:  Calhoon should be Calhoun (twice).
p.136, Niles Bell Foundry
Predecessor:  George L. Hanks, dba Cincinnati Bell Foundry
Commentary:  It is doubtful that the name "Niles Bell Foundry" was actually used, as the foundry appears to have been an integral part of the industrial complex known as Niles Works.  The Niles Works had been started and operated by brothers James and Jonathan Niles, but they retired from business a year or two before the demise of George L. Hanks and the acquisition of his bell foundry.  For more about the history of this foundry, see our Hanks/Niles index page.
p.136, N. O. Nelson Mfg Company
Name:  Copmpany should be Company.
Years Known in Operation:  1884-1889
Predecessor:  N. O. Nelson & Company.
p.136, N. O. Nelson & Company
Successor:  N. O. Nelson Mfg Company.
p.136, New York Bell Foundry
See also John Bailey, page 60.
See also Bailey & Hedderly, page 104.
pp.136-7, Niles Bell Foundry
Commentary:  For an index of chimes made by the Niles Works, as well as more about the history of this foundry, see our Hanks/Niles index page.
O
(no additions)
P
p.140, Perin & Gaff Mfg Company
Years Known in Operation:  1875-1882.
p.141, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Name:  Navel should be Naval.
R
p.141, Rankins Snyder H. Co.
Name:  This is undoubtedly the Rankin-Snyder Hardware Company, which operated in Louisville KY from 1883 to 1903 (according to the city directories).
pp.143-146, Revere
Commentary:  For more details, see our page on the Revere foundry.
p.147, H. W. Rincker Foundry
Year Established:  1846
Year Closed:  1858
Founder:  Heinrich Wilhelm (Henry W.) Rincker
Predecessor:  None.
Successor:  None.
Commentary:  H.W. Rincker was the eldest of the siblings in his generation of the Rincker family of German bellfounders.  (That family foundry is still in existence - see the Rincker foundry Website.  For an index of chimes and carillons made by them, as well as more about the history of both the German and the American foundries, see our Rincker index page)
p.148, Charles T. Robinson & Company
Years Known in Operation:  1888-1889
Commentary:  Charles T. Robinson apparently seized control of the foundry that had been operated by Blake & Company sometime in early 1888; the Boston city directory for that year not only lists both firms at the same address, but it contains advertisements from both of them using the same Hooper & Co. graphic!  The Robinson firm claimed to be the successor of the Blake firm.  This did not last long; though William S. Blake was apparently unemployed as of the time the 1889 directory was compiled, by the time of the 1890 directory compilation Robinson was gone and William S. Blake was back running the foundry, this time under the name of Blake Bell Company.  For more about the complex history of this foundry, see our Hooper/Blake index page.
S
p.150, Schmidt & Wilson Brass Foundry
Other Facts:  Sain should be Saint.
p.151, L.H. & G.C. Schneider
Commentary:  The hypothesis is correct; in 1862, the partnership of L.H. & G.C. Schneider was operating a brass foundry at 271 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.  The principals were Lewis H. Schneider and Gottleib C. Schneider.  Further research into the city directories would probably show how long this foundry was in operation.
p.151, Schulmerich
Commentary:  Before entering the handbell business, Schulmerich was a producer of electronic devices that attempted to imitate carillons.  For many years they were also the American representative of the Eijsbouts bell foundry of the Netherlands, so their name may appear on some Eijsbouts bells.  It is also possible that the Liberty Bell replica mentioned here was made for Schulmerich by Eijsbouts.  The company was dissolved in 2014; its electronic division was sold to Verdin, and its handbell division was reconstituted as a new enterprise.
p.151, photo caption
Schulmarich should be Schulmerich.
p.152, Sellew & Company
Commentary:  The local principal of this company in St.Louis was Ralph Sellew; the other principals were his brothers, who operated a similar enterprise in Cincinnati.
p.152, Semple, Birge & Company
Commentary:  This firm was primarily a manufacturers' agent and distributor of agricultural machinery and related products.  It seems likely that they sold bells made by others.
p.152, Sheriffs & Loughrey
Commentary:  This bell and brass foundry was in business from 1869 to 1872; its principals (John B. Sherriff and Hugh Loughrey) were involved in similar enterprises both before and after this period, with various other partners.
pp.155-158, Stuckstede
Commentary:  Table of weights of large Henry Stuckstede bells (supplied by N.G.)
Table of weights of small Henry Stuckstede bells (supplied by N.G.)
For an index of chimes made by the first Stuckstede foundry, as well as more about the history of both Stuckstede foundries, see our Stuckstede index page.
Both Stuckstede foundries used the Germanic profile of angular sound bow, but their work is easily distinguishable by significant differences in shape of yoke, shape of A-frames, and style of lettering, as well as the firm names. 
p.156, Henry Stuckstede & Co.
Founder:  Henry Stuckstede
Commentary:  Although The Henry Stuckstede Bell Foundry Company was incorporated in 1888, they continued to use the name Henry Stuckstede & Co. on their bells until 1891.
See also Western Bell & Metal Company
p.156, J.G. Stuckstede & Bro.
Predecessor:  J.G. Stuckstede
Successor:  Henry Stuckstede & Co.
p.157, Stuckstede & Bro.
Commentary:  Table of weights of Stuckstede & Bro. bells (supplied by N.G.)
The sons of J.G. Stuckstede were originally named John Henry (called Henry) and John Herman (called Herman), following the Germanic tradition of using both honorific and personal given names.  When both were Americanized to John H., it caused considerable confusion, so John Herman reversed his given names to become Herman J.
T
(no additions)
U
(no additions)
V
p.160, Van Bergen Bell Foundry
Commentary:  H.T. VanBergen was a brother of A.H. VanBergen, who continued to operate the family foundry in Heiligerlee, Netherlands.  The two brothers worked together on some American chimes and carillons, with the larger bells being cast in Heiligerlee and the smaller ones in Greenwood.  For an index of chimes and carillons made by both foundries, as well as more about the history of the foundries, see our Vanbergen index page.
p.160, photo
Commentary:  The larger bells, which have fancy shoulder bands and button tops, were cast in Heiligerlee; the smaller ones, with straight necks and no decoration, were cast in Greenwood.  These 15 bells are most likely the chime that was made for Ousley Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961.
pp.161-2, Vanduzen
Commentary:  For an index of chimes made by the Vanduzen foundry, as well as more about the history of this foundry, see our Vanduzen index page.
p.161, W.A. Vanduzen
Commentary:  This entry is very puzzling, because there appears to be no mention of a W.A. Vanduzen in the Cincinnati city directories of the day.  The first mention of any Vanduzen connected with foundry work occurs in 1853, when E.W. Vanduzen was identified as a bell founder (living across the river in Newport).  By 1860, Ezra W. Vanduzen and Cornelius Tacitus Tift were partners in G.W.Coffin & Company.  and after the retirement of G.W. Coffin, they were the principals of Vanduzen & Tift.  Ezra's middle name was Williams, after his paternal grandmother's maiden name, so it is highly unlikely that he changed his name from W.A. to E.W.  It's a mystery!
p.161, Vanduzen & Tift
Founder:  Ezra Williams Vanduzen and Cornelius Tacitus Tift
(see preceding Commentary)
p.163, Veazey & White
Other Facts:  "firms bells" should be "firm's bells"; Weslyan should be Wesleyan.
p.163, The Verdin Company
Other Facts:  mobil should be mobile; "firms equipment" should be "firm's equipment"; it's should be its.
Commentary:  The Verdin family history as makers of tower clocks (sometimes called town clocks) dates back to 1842, though the corporate history is not that old.
W
p.164, Ward, Bartholomew & Brainard
Compare Bartholomew & Brainard
Address:  Since there is no Hartford in Massachusetts, it seems likely that this should be Hartford, Connecticut.
p.167, J.W.Wilbank & Son
Source:  Brasamer should be Brosamer.
p.168, E.A.Williams & Son
Other Facts:  bouy should be buoy.
p.170, Witte
See also Schmieding & Witte
p.170, F. A. Witte
Other Facts:  "Never the less" should be one word.
p.170, Witte Hardware Company
Years Known in Operation:  1881-1900+
Founder:  hardward should be hardware
Manufacturers Listed by State (Appendix 1, pp.171-176)
p.173, Missouri
All of the firms listed in this state were located in the city of Saint Louis.  Further information can be found on our page about Saint Louis Bell Foundries.
Bibliography (Appendix 2, p.177)
Forbes, Esther
See especially p.384ff.
Partial Index of Principals (Appendix 3, added)
The people listed below were principals in various foundries, but in most cases their last name was not the first part of the foundry name, so they cannot be easily located in the alphabetic list of foundries in Part II.  A few were involved in multiple foundries, some of which are not obvious; these are marked "see also" or "etc." to indicate the non-obvious foundries with which they were associated.  Also included are the last names of persons whose existence is implied by a partnership name, but whose full name is unknown.
Aldrich, Evangeline - California Bell Foundry
Allen, ? - Hall & Allen
Azpeitia, Julio E. - Bay City Foundry
Brainard, ? - Bartholomew & Brainard
Bartlett, ? - Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company
Beggs, ? - Smith & Beggs
Birge, ? - Semple, Birge & Co.
Blake, William - see also Hooper etc., Revere etc., Boston etc.
Blymyer, John S. - Bates & Blymyer Co.
Boisselier, G.E. - Eagle Bell & Brass Foundry; Kupferle etc.
Booth, ? - Holmes, Booth & Haydens
Brainerd, ? - Bartholomew & Brainerd
Brown, John - Baker, Holmes & Brown
Brown, ? - American Bell Company
Caughlan, Adam C. - Cordry, Caughlan & Co.
Chapman, Amiel - East Hampton Bell Company
Cochran, James - Bradley & Cochran [alphabetized under both names], Fenton & Cochran
Collingridge, William - Kentucky Brass & Bell Foundry
Day, ? - Blymyer[,] Day & Company
Dauernheim, Louis/Lewis - Caughlan & Dauernheim; Cordry, Caughlan & Co.
Davis, ? - Harrison and Davis
DeRome, ? - Whyte & DeRome
Dimick, Daniel B. & Harry V. - American Casting Company
Dow, Julian E. - American Casting Company
Forbes, Mrs. Armitage S. C. - see also California Bell Foundry
Frank, ? - Lawson & Frank
Free, ? - Hedges, Free & Company
Fulton - see also Chaplin-Fulton
Gaff, ? - Perin & Gaff Mfg Company
Gergely, John & Steven - Square Deal Bronze Foundry
Gibbs, ? - Bucker-Gibbs
Goff, Louis & Eugene - East Hampton Bell Company
Goodyear, Jesse - Doolittle & Goodyear
Grainger, William - Phoenix Foundry
Hanks, Arthur - see also Brass & Bell Foundry (Cincinnati)
Harpke, Wm. - see also Central Bell & Brass Foundry
Harris, George H. - American Casting Company
Harmon, Frank S. - American Bell Foundry Company
Haydens, ? - Holmes, Booth & Haydens
Hernandy, Gil - South Bay Bronze
Hitchcock, James Harvey - Jones & Hitchcock Troy Bell Foundry
Holmes, Robert S. - Baker, Holmes & Brown
Hosack - Commings & Hosack
Hubbard, ? - Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company
Ives, ? - Odell & Ives
Johnston, ? - Frank and Johnston
Kimberly, George - Meneely & Kimberly
Kupferle, John - see also Eagle Bell & Brass Foundry
Lamb, ? - Blake, Lamb & Company
Lawson, ? - Collingridge, Lawson & Co.
Long, ? - Gallagher, Long & Miller
Loughrey, Hugh - Sherriffs & Loughrey
Harris, George H. - American Casting Company
Macy, ? - Field & Macy
Manning, ? - Jenny & Manning
McGraw, James - Hanks & McGraw
Meehan, Ross - Ross Meehan (under R)
Meredith, ? - Gilbert & Meredith
Meyer, ? - Godfrey & Meyer
Miller, ? - Gallagher, Long & Miller
Mills, ? - Bogue & Mills Manufacturing Company
Moores, William P. - Good & Moores
Nelson, Nelson O. - also M.C.Bignall & Co.
Newsom, ? - Hardy & Newsom
Norton, ? - Blymyer[,] Norton & Company
Oothout, Jonas Volkert - Meneely & Oothout
Ostrander, John J. - Bignall & Ostrander
Parker, Levi - Brass & Bell Foundry (Cincinnati)
Piquett, David - Caughlan & Piquett
Ralston, William M. - Chaplin-Fulton Manufacturing Company
Regester, Joshua - see also Clampitt & Regester
Reno, ? - Fulton & Reno Company
Revere, Paul 3d - see also Boston etc.
Ricketts, L.M. - Louisville Foundry
Rucker, ? - Burd, Rucker & Co.
Russell, ? - Pugh & Russell
Ruppenthal, Jacob - Jackson Bell and Brass Foundry; Mayer & Ruppenthal
Spencer, ? - Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company
Stow, Charles, jr. - Pass & Stow
Sullivan, John W - Revere etc., also Boston etc.
Thomas, Lyman - East Hampton Bell Company
Tift, Cornelius T. - Vanduzen & Tift
Tift, John W - Revere etc.
Tilden, Richard S - Burd etc.
Vandercook, Henry - Lusk & Company
Watson, Richard - Meeks & Watson
White, ? - American Bell Company
White, Alfred B. - Veazey & White
Whittermore, ? - Hall & Whittermore
Wilson, ? - Schmidt & Wilson


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This page was created on 2018/01/03 from parts of the original announcement page, and last revised on 2018/01/06.

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