For an explanation of what this index contains (and does NOT contain), and of the additional details on each entry, see the Bellfoundry Indexes Advice.
DETROIT - STS : USA - MI 19?? C chime St.Stephen's (Polish) Catholic School DETROIT - TE : USA - MI 1??? C chime Trinity Episcopal Church Hoboken : USA - NJ 18?? - great (unknown) UTICA - STJ : USA - NY 1??? C chime St.John's RC Church GARDEN CITY : USA - NY 1876 C chime Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation HALIFAX - STM : CANADA - NS 1879 C (chime) St.Mary's Cathedral Basilica (RC) READING - STP : USA - PA 1879 C chime St.Paul's Catholic Church Newark : USA - NJ 1881 - great Fire Department ORANGE - STJ : USA - NJ 1881 C chime St.John the Evangelist Catholic Church BROOKLYN - STMY : USA - NY 1882 C chime St.Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church CHELTENHAM : USA - PA 1882 C [chime] St.Paul's Episcopal Church RICHMOND - C : USA - VA 1882 C chime Talbott Chime Centenary United Methodist Church PORTSMOUTH : USA - NH 1882 C chime Christ Episcopal Church WARREN - P : USA - PA 1882*C chime Beech Street Bells Park * (made for St.Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church, Buffalo, New York) BALTIMORE - STV : USA - MD 1883 C chime St.Vincent de Paul Catholic Church HYDE PARK : USA - MA 1883 C chime Church of the Most Precious Blood (RC) STILLWATER : USA - MN 1883 C chime St.Michael's RC Church WESTBOROUGH : USA - MA 1883 C chime St.Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church NEW ORLEANS : USA - PA 1884 C [chime] World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition SAINT JOHN - IC : CANADA - NB 1884*F chime Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception * installed here in 1885 BUFFALO - STM : USA - NY 1885 C chime St.Michael's Catholic Church CORNWALL : CANADA - ON 1885 C chime The Mountain Chime Trinity Anglican Church OMAHA - T : USA - NE 1885 C chime Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal) PHILADELPHIA : USA - PA 1887 C [chime] Ebenezer P. Percival SAINT CATHARINES : CANADA - ON 1887 F non-trad# St.George's Anglican Church VICKSBURG : USA - MS 1888 C chime St.Paul Catholic Church COVINGTON - T : USA - KY 1888 C chime Trinity Episcopal Church NEW BEDFORD - STL : USA - MA 1888 C chime St.Lawrence Martyr RC Church PROVIDENCE - STMAY : USA - RI 1888 C chime St.Mary's Catholic Church ANNISTON : USA - AL 1889 C chime Church of St.Michael & All Angels (Episcopal) DANBURY - STPE : USA - CT 1889 C chime St.Peter's Catholic Church BEAVER : USA - PA 1890 C chime Trinity Episcopal Church originally in Rochester, PA EXETER : CANADA - ON 1890 F chime Trivitt Memorial Church (Anglican) and Precious Blood Mission (RC) WEST CHESTER : USA - PA 1890 C [chime] Holy Trinity Episcopal Church WILMINGTON -- FA : USA - NC 1890 C chime Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church GLOUCESTER CITY : USA - NJ 1891 C chime St.Mary's Catholic Church KEY WEST : USA - FL 1891 C chime St.Paul's Episcopal Church WAYNE : USA - PA 1891 C chime St.Mary's Episcopal Church BALTIMORE - STA : USA - MD 1892 C chime St.Alphonsus Catholic Church PITTSBURGH - STS : USA - PA 1892 C peal St.Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church TAMAQUA : USA - PA 1892 F chime Trinity United Church of Christ DELAWARE - STM : USA - OH 1893 C chime St.Mary's Church (RC) FREDERICK - E : USA - MD 1893 C chime Trinity Chimes Trinity Chapel Evangelical Reformed Church (UCC) OCEAN CITY - T : USA - NJ 1893*C chime Ocean City Tabernacle * made for a different site BLOOMINGTON : USA - IL 1895 C chime St.Patrick's Catholic Church CHICAGO - STJCH : USA - IL 1895 C chime St.James Catholic Church KANSAS CITY - IC : USA - MO 1895 C chime Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) DES MOINES - STP : USA - IA 1896 F trad* Cathedral Church of St.Paul (Episcopal) PORTLAND - STL : USA - ME 1896 C [chime] St.Lawrence Congregational Church (formerly Union Congregational?) MCDONOGH : USA - MD 1898 C (chime) Tagart Memorial Chapel McDonogh School CHAMBERSBURG : USA - PA 1899 C chime First United Methodist Church (was First Ev.United Brethren Church) ELIZABETH : USA - NJ 1899 C chime St.Patrick's Roman Catholic Church DETROIT - STAN : USA - MI 1901 C chime Basilica of Ste.Anne de Detroit FARIBAULT - OMS : USA - MN 1902 C chime Bishop Whipple Memorial Chime Bishop Whipple Memorial Tower Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour (Episcopal) GLEN MILLS : USA - PA 1902 C chime Glen Mills Schools Library (formerly Smith Memorial Chapel; originally House of Refuge Chapel) LOUISVILLE - WS : USA - KY 1902 C chime Parr Memorial Chimes (in memory of Maria Marmaduke Parr) Walnut Street Baptist Church (SBC) ROANOKE - G : USA - VA 1902 C chime Greene Memorial Methodist Church ROCHESTER - STMI : USA - NY 1903 C chime St.Michael's Catholic Church BLOOMINGTON - 3 : USA - IN 1905 C (chime) Student Building Indiana University CAMBRIDGE : CANADA - ON 1906 C chime Central Presbyterian Church BALTIMORE - CC : USA - MD 1908 C (chime) New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral (formerly Christ Episcopal Church) JANESVILLE : USA - WI 1907 C chime First Congregational Church, UCC KNOXVILLE - SP : USA - TN 1907 F chime Second Presbyterian Church LOS ANGELES - STA : USA - CA 1907 C chime St.Agnes Catholic Church NORWALK : USA - OH 1907 C chime St.Paul's RC Church SHENANDOAH : USA - PA 1907 C chime St.George's Catholic Church (Lith.) BALTIMORE - CC : USA - MD 1908 C chime New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral (formerly Christ Episcopal Church) FALL RIVER - CH : USA - MA 1908 C [chime] City Hall MONTPELIER : USA - VT 1908 C chime Trinity United Methodist Church BRIDGETON : USA - NJ 1909 C chime Iglesia la Luz del Mundo (was Central United Methodist Church) CHARLOTTE - CM : USA - NC 1909 C chime Grace Covenant Church (was Chalmers Mem'l Assoc.Ref.Presby.) GRAND RAPIDS - STA : USA - MI 1909 C chime Cathedral of St.Andrew (RC) PHILADELPHIA - STJL/1 : USA - PA 1909 C chime Wanamaker Mausoleum Church of St.James-the-Less (Episcopal) BALTIMORE - STJ : USA - MD 1910 F chime St.John's Episcopal Church--Huntingdon DECATUR : USA - IL 1910 C chime The Conklin Memorial Chimes First United Methodist Church MIDDLETOWN -- : USA - NY 1910 F chime St.Joseph's Catholic Church SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS : USA - IN 1910 C chime Church of the Immaculate Conception St.Mary-of-the-Woods College WATSEKA : USA - IL 1910 C chime Watseka United Methodist Church CHATTANOOGA : USA - TN 1911 C chime St.Paul's Episcopal Church FORT WORTH - TS : USA - TX 1911 C chime Harrison Chimes First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) (including Taylor Street Presb. Church) SYDNEY : CANADA - NS 1911 C chime St.Andrew's United Church DENVER - ICC : USA - CO 1912 C chime Immaculate Conception Cathedral (RC) NASHUA - STP : USA - NH 1912 C chime St.Patrick's Catholic Church NIAGARA FALLS - CC : CANADA - ON 1912 C chime Christ Church (Anglican) NIAGARA FALLS - Z : USA - NY 1912 C chime Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA) PHILADELPHIA - CS : USA - PA 1912 C chime Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (was Church of the Saviour) WILMINGTON - W : USA - DE 1912 F chime Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) DUBUQUE : USA - IA 1913 C chime St.Luke's United Methodist Church FORT WASHINGTON : USA - PA 1913 C (chime) St.Thomas' Episcopal Church HAMILTON - STG : CANADA - ON 1913 C chime St.Giles United Church (was St.Giles' Presbyterian Church) ROSEMONT : USA - PA 1913 F chime Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) VAN WERT : USA - OH 1913 C chime St.Mark's Lutheran Church (ELCA) HELENA : USA - MT 1914 C chime St.Helena's RC Cathedral MOUNDSVILLE : USA - WV 1914 C chime Simpson United Methodist Church (was First M.E. Church) COLUMBUS - OSU : USA - OH 1915 F chime Orton Hall Ohio State University DE LAND : USA - FL 1915 C chime The Eloise Chimes Hulley Tower John B Stetson University FORT DODGE : USA - IA 1915 C chime First United Methodist Church GLENDALE - CC : USA - OH 1915 F chime Christ Church - Glendale (Episcopal) HUNTINGDON : USA - PA 1915 C chime First United Methodist Church MALDEN : USA - MA 1915 C chime First Baptist Church of Malden (ABC) SAN RAFAEL : USA - CA 1915 C chime First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) TALLAHASSEE : USA - FL 1915 F chime Lewis Chime St.John's Episcopal Church HASTINGS - FM : USA - NE 1916 C chime First United Methodist Church SAINT JOHNS : USA - MI 1916 C chime Redeemer Church - St.Johns Campus (was First United Methodist Church) SIOUX CITY - F : USA - IA 1916 C chime First United Methodist Church WALTHAM : USA - MA 1916 C chime Beth Eden Baptist Church (ABC) WEST NEWTON : USA - MA 1916 C chime First Unitarian Church WINCHESTER : USA - VA 1917 C chime Glaize Memorial Grace Evang. Lutheran Church (ELCA) BALA-CYNWYD - STM : USA - PA 1918 C chime St.Matthias Catholic Church ALLIANCE : USA - OH 1919 C chime Christ United Methodist Church (formerly First Methodist Church) KANSAS CITY - IB : USA - MO 1919 C chime Independence Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) KEY WEST : USA - FL 1919 R chime St.Paul's Episcopal Church UPPER MONTCLAIR - STJ : USA - NJ 1919 C chime St.James Episcopal Church HIGH POINT : USA - NC 1920 C chime Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church KANSAS CITY - V : USA - MO 1920 C chime Visitation of the Blessed Virgin RC Church LANCASTER - G : USA - PA 1920 F chime Grace Lutheran Church (ELCA) OIL CITY : USA - PA 1920 C chime Christ Church (Episcopal) PHILADELPHIA - CS : USA - PA 1920 R chime Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (was Church of the Saviour) PITTSBURGH - H : USA - PA 1920 C [chime] Highland Presbyterian Church URBANA - 1 : USA - IL 1920 C chime The Senior Memorial Chime Upper belfry Altgeld Hall University of Illinois BIRMINGHAM - HM : USA - AL 1921 C chime The McCoy Tower Bells Highlands United Methodist Church JOHNSTOWN : USA - PA 1921 C chime First Lutheran Church (ELCA) NEW ORLEANS - HN : USA - LA 1921 C chime Holy Name of Jesus Church (RC) SAINT LOUIS - HC : USA - MO 1921 C [chime] Holy Communion Episcopal Church SALISBURY - TM : USA - MD 1921 C chime Trinity United Methodist Church SHREVEPORT - FB : USA - LA 1921 C chime First Baptist Church (SBC) NORTH MANCHESTER : USA - IN 1922 C chime Manchester College OKLAHOMA CITY - FUMC : USA - OK 1922 C chime First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City BOSTON - AS : USA - MA 1923 C chime All Saints Church (Episcopal) LEHIGHTON - Z : USA - PA 1923 C chime Zion United Church of Christ (UCC) (was Zion Reformed Church) READING - W : USA - PA 1923 C chime Wesley United Methodist Church (was Windsor Street Methodist Church) RED BANK : USA - NJ 1923 C chime St.James' Catholic Church SAN ANSELMO - SFTS : USA - CA 1923 C chime San Francisco Theological Seminary WATERLOO : USA - IA 1923 F chime First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) MEDFORD - STJ : USA - MA 1924 C chime St.Joseph's RC Church NEWNAN : USA - GA 1924 C chime Newnan Presbyterian Church OXFORD - 1 : USA - OH 1924 F chime Molyneaux-Western Bell Tower Miami University BALTIMORE - ML : USA - MD 1925 C [chime] Martin Luther Ev.Luth. Church (ELCA) CATASAUQUA - F : USA - PA 1925 C chime Edwin Thomas Memorial Chimes Catasauqua Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) (was First Presbyterian Church) MONONGAHELA : USA - PA 1925 C chime First United Methodist Church MUNCIE - FP : USA - IN 1925 C [chime] First United Presbyterian Church FALKIRK : SCOTLAND-ST 1926 C chime "Auld Kirk" Presbyterian Church LONGVIEW : USA - WA 1926 C chime Longview Community Church PHILADELPHIA - W : USA - PA 1926 C chime Wynnefield Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) WARREN - FM : USA - PA 1926 F chime First United Methodist Church CHEYENNE : USA - WY 1927 C chime St.Mark's Episcopal Church EMMAUS : USA - PA 1927 C chime St.John's United Church of Christ (UCC) (was St.John's Reformed Church) PLATTSBURGH - STJ : USA - NY 1927 C chime St.John the Baptist RC Church WEST NEW YORK : USA - NJ 1927 C chime St.Joseph of the Palisades RC Church CHATHAM : CANADA - ON 1928 C chime First Presbyterian Church COLUMBIA : USA - PA 1928 C chime St.John's Evang. Lutheran Church (ELCA) HARRISON : USA - NJ 1928 C chime Holy Cross Catholic Church KEARNY : USA - NJ 1928 C [chime] Holy Communion Episcopal Church BEAVER FALLS : USA - PA 1929 C chime McCartney Library Geneva College GETTYSBURG - STJ : USA - PA 1929 C chime St.James Lutheran Church (ELCA) PITTSBURGH - E : USA - PA 1929 C chime First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood (was Edgewood Presbyterian Church) WILKINSBURG - STJ : USA - PA 1929 C chime St.James Catholic Church BALTIMORE - STM : USA - MD 1930 C chime St.Matthew's United Church of Christ (was St.Matthew Evangelical) CARLISLE : USA - PA 1930 C chime First United Church of Christ (UCC) (was First Reformed Church) DELAWARE - OW : USA - OH 1930 C chime Stuyvesant Hall Ohio Wesleyan University ATLANTA - FP : USA - GA 1931 F non-trad* Devereaux McClatchey Carillon First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta BALTIMORE - OS : USA - MD 1936 C chime Our Saviour Lutheran Church (LCMS) EAU CLAIRE - G : USA - WI 1938 C chime Grace Lutheran Church (ELCA) MIDDLETOWN -- : USA - VA 1938 C chime Grace United Methodist Church (originally Grace M.E.South) BALTIMORE - STJ : USA - MD 1952 E chime St.John's Episcopal Church--Huntingdon BALTIMORE - CL : USA - MD 1958 C chime Christ Lutheran Church (ELCA)
McShane Bell Company 11460 Dorsett Rd, Suite 200 Maryland Heights, MO 63043 Tel: 410-636-4390 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.mcshanebell.com
The McShane Bell Foundry was started by Henry McShane (1833-89). He had arrived in this country in 1847 as an immigrant from Dundalk, Ireland; his occupation prior to arrival was recorded as "currier". After being employed in the Baltimore brass foundry of Clampitt & Regester (later Regester & Webb) for several years, he set up his own bell and brass foundry in 1856.
Also arriving from Ireland just before or after Henry were five siblings, at least one of whom joined him in the foundry business for some years.
Names the firm has held:
McShane's Bell Foundry (1856-7)
McShane & Bailey (1857-63)
Henry McShane & Co. (1863-1891)
Henry McShane Manufacturing Co. of Baltimore City, Inc. (1891-1904)
McShane Bell Foundry (1891-1904)
McShane Bell Foundry Co. (1905-2019)
McShane Bell Company (2019-present)
In 1889, McShane cast a new bell for the Baltimore City Hall. Weighing 7100 pounds, this is the largest McShane bell known to be still in service, although not the largest that they ever made. A news article (5Jan2008) on restoration of the striker for this bell tells more about it, but unfortunately has no photo.
At one time, the McShane foundries also produced piping, plumbing fixtures, etc. After part of the foundry burned in 1893, the non-bell work was moved to a newly-constructed facility in a previously undeveloped area on the shores of the nearby Patapsco River. When the railroad followed the foundry to the area in 1895, it needed a name for the railroad stop. William James McShane, vice-president of the company, gave it the name Dundalk, after his father's birthplace. Thus began the modern town of Dundalk. However, the McShanes did not stay there long, because in 1900, the pipe foundry was sold to the Central Foundry.
That sale was the first step in what eventually became a wholesale breakup of the McShane Manufacturing Company; it may have been caused by the financial recession of the late 1890s. Nevertheless, the company had helped establish modern-day Dundalk's identity as a factory town. A McShane Way still runs north from Dundalk Avenue, though the last remaining segments of the Dundalk foundry were razed in 1981. And the change in ownership had little effect on the operations of the bell foundry; its products retained a consistency of style and quality throughout all of the vicissitudes of the business.
In November 1903, the McShane Manufacturing Company went into receivership. Although the bell foundry retained the McShane name, it took some time for the breakup of the larger firm to be completed, because wasn't until December 1904 that the bell portion of the McShane Manufacturing Company was sold for $20,000 by the receivers -- property, foundry equipment, tools, patterns, blueprints and even office stationary. The purchaser was Wilson M. Cary, Jr., scion of an old and distinguished Baltimore family. (The "Jr." suffix distinguished him not from his father but from his uncle; it was dropped after his uncle's death, and replaced by "Sr." when he named a son after himself.) Cary had previously been manager of The Wilson Distillery Company of Baltimore, of which his father was secretary and treasurer (i.e., chief executive officer).
Apparently the foundry itself was unaffected by the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, though there are reports that many records were destroyed. Certainly the capability of the foundry to produce chimes was not materially affected, as the index above demonstrates.
The receivership that had begun in 1903 ended in June of 1905, but further changes were to come. Later that year, the revitalized McShane Bell Foundry Company purchased the brass foundry assets of its former parent, and in February 1906 those assets were dismantled and moved to the bellfoundry, which was expected to continue its operations on a larger scale than before. In the following years, the bellfoundry regularly advertised in The Baltimore Sun for both male and female employees in occupations that seem more suited to brass foundry work than to the making of bells.
The purchase of the brass works may have been made possible by the addition of outside investors, because a 1908 newspaper article identified Alan P. Smith as vice-president of the McShane Bell Foundry Company.
In 1908, the Baltimore Sun published a half-page article about the oldest businesses in Baltimore, listing those over 50 years, which included the McShane Bell Foundry Company, 1856.
In July 1914, the foundry effectively swapped its former property on the southwest corner of Holliday and Centre streets with a property on the south side of the Baltimore Belt Line railroad, east of Harford road; the swap involved Frank M. Gorsuch, trading as the Baltimore Hub Wheel and Manufacturing Company, and was reported in The Baltimore Sun on Sunday 19 Jul 1914 (p15).
The following year, a local newspaper report about the production of munitions for war (The Baltimore Sun, Sunday 29 Aug 1915, p14) mentioned that Wilson M. Cary, Jr., was president of the company at that time. But his tenure in that position is unclear.
In 1933, the McShane Bell Foundry Company (described in a newspaper article as a plumbing supply company) petitioned the circuit court for power to dissolve itself, which presumably was equivalent to bankruptcy. The following year, another newspaper article announced that the foundry property, located on Harford road at the B&O RR, had been sold by the trustee to D.C.McAleer for $28,250. Dennis Charles McAleer (1885-1940) was identified in the 1930 census as a building contractor, widowed, with four teenage children. He was also a director of the Metropolitan Savings Bank of Baltimore, and it is probable that he continued working as a building contractor after acquiring the bellfoundry property. Certainly his son James was working in the foundry in 1936.
Upon the death of Dennis C. McAleer in November 1940, the company was inherited by his sons, Dennis R. and James E. McAleer. In 1942, they sold it to William R. Parker Sr., who had a tool and die machine shop next to the bell foundry. Thereafter, ownership passed down to Parker's son and grandson.
In 1946, another fire destroyed the foundry building, and a foundry work was quickly charged with arson. Thereafter, Parker Sr. and his wife, Edith Meyers (who ran the front office) moved the foundry to a two-story structure on East Federal Street, near Penn Station.
Advertisement from 1950 in a Baptist newspaper
In 1956, a very large newspaper article was published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the foundry.
In 1965, Parker Sr.'s eldest son, William R. Parker Jr., joined the family business there.
A long newspaper article from 1975 describes the busines and mentions many bells made by McShane, as well as a few chimes.
In 1979, after the company lost its lease on the Federal Street property, the Parkers relocated the business from what is still called the Bell Foundry Building in Baltimore to an industrial park in Glen Burnie, a suburb of Baltimore. (It has also been reported that the company retained ownership of the old foundry premises in the city for a time, but used them only rarely.) Although the foundry equipment was included in that relocation, very few bells were actually cast there. The company's focus seems to have been primarily on the sale and maintenance of automated bell ringing equipment, though they did install some new bells, possibly made for them by Taylor of England.
A 1983 newspaper article indicated that McShane was making bells in Glen Burnie.
A full-page newspaper article from 1991 again described the business.
A business article from Jan.2018 recounted the history of the McShane company, and included a large photo taken in the Glen Burnie shop.
In 2019, the last of the Parkers sold the company piecemeal; the molding cases & strickles and some other foundry equipment went to the Sunderlin bellfoundry, while the intellectual property rights and records were acquired by the owner of Americlock of Saint Louis; the two companies now share the same address (see above).
Records of the production of bells by this foundry are incomplete, but a Dec.1905 newspaper article about the production of a chime included statements indicating that nearly 35000 bells had been made since 1856, and many battleships of the USNavy were equipped with them.
A bit of history related to the McShane foundry in Dundalk (payment required for access).
In 1888, The McShane Bell Foundry (Henry McShane & Co., Proprietors) published a 120-page catalog of their work, and in 1890 they supplemented it with an additional 30 pages of testimonials. The catalog advertised the "finest grade of bells for churches, academies, factories, fire alarm, court houses, tower clocks, etc." as well as "chimes and peals and bells of all sizes mounted in the most approved manner and fully warranted." They cited medals won at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876, and the Paris (France) Exposition of 1879. Also advertised in the catalog are light house and fog-alarm bells, locomotive bells, plantation and farm bells, steamboat and ship bells, altar gongs and chimes, and hand bells (wood-handled, for schoolteachers, etc.). Several pages are devoted to various attractive features of McShane bells, viz., materials used, methods of molding and casting bells, design of fittings, inscriptions, transportation, and so forth. There is the usual discussion on how far bells can be heard. There are recommendations for methods of hanging in towers, for design of belfries, for regular lubrication, and on how to ring. There are tables of sizes and weights of bells - from 6200 lbs down to 400 lbs for churches and similar uses, from 350 down to 100 lbs for factory and academy [school] bells, and from 100 lbs down to 25 lbs for plantation and farm bells. Numerous illustrations include McShane's rotary yoke, McShane's improved friction rollers (for "large Bells of 1,400 pounds and heavier"), tolling hammers, and various chimes in their frames. All bells of 100 pounds or more were shipped with a three year warranty "not to fracture by regular usage". There is a long illustrated article about The Centennial Chimes, McShane's first, produced in 1876; and there are reproductions of newspaper articles about several of the subsequent chimes produced by this foundry.
In 1925, McShane published a booklet about tubular tower chimes. It mentioned the acquisition of Walter Durfee's business in this field (see our page about tubular bells) and described what McShane proposed to sell. However, it did not list any actual installations. A very few are known to have been installed, but no surviving installations have yet been found.
In 1928, McShane published a high-quality booklet about chimes. A brief introduction included illustrations of two types of bell frame, an electric keyboard, and a "hand console with electric attachment". The latter incorporated electric solenoids into a traditional chimestand, thus providing both types of action very efficiently. The introduction was followed by 73 pages, each describing one chime with the following details:
In 1930, The McShane Bell Foundry Co., Inc., published a 40-page catalog of their work, describing themselves as "Founders of superior church bells, chimes and peals, and Bells of All Sizes for fire alarms, court houses, tower clocks etc." It opened with a full-page engraving of the foundry, which was then located on the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road at Harford Avenue. Even allowing for artistic exaggeration, it was quite a large plant, and it had a chime with swinging tenor bell mounted in an open frame atop one of the buildings. Unfortunately, this catalog did not include any list of actual installations. But it did contain engraved illustrations of the full range of bells and bell instruments that they were prepared to produce, along with installation instructions and a general history of bells.
It is highly probable that McShane published other catalogs.
For 43 of the chimes described in the 1928 booklet, there was a custom inscription for each bell of the chime. For most of the remainder, there was at least a custom inscription on the tenor bell.
Although dates of installation are not explicitly stated, they can in most cases be deduced from the custom inscriptions or from the quoted letters. It then becomes evident that the chimes are listed in order from newest to oldest, and the remaining dates can be interpolated. Comparison of these dates with information from other sources shows that this booklet describes every chime which McShane had installed from late 1908 up to 1928. It's not clear why McShane did not list any of the approximately 65 chimes which the foundry produced over the course of more than three decades prior to 1909. Perhaps they implemented a significant improvement in tone quality in 1908-9 (though the quality of their castings was always excellent). It might have been that their records of older chimes were less complete. Or it might simply have been that a span of 20 years produced a nicely sized booklet. Whatever the reason, it seems highly probable that those McShane chimes for which the year of installation is presently unknown were made either between 1890 and 1909 or after 1928.
The relationship between pattern weight and note (or "tone") for the 73 chimes
produced between 1909 and 1928 is as follows:
|4,200||C||2||10 or 11|
|3,500||D flat||5||12 to 15|
|3,000||D||26||10 to 16|
|2,500||E flat||13||10 to 14|
10 or 11
|Number of bells||Number of added semitones|
|10||1 or 2|
|11||1 or 2|
|13||2 or 3|
|15||4 or 5|
Return to Indexes to bellfoundries.
This index page was built from the database on 26-Sep-01 and last revised on 23-Feb-22.
Please send comments or questions about this page to email@example.com.