Large Bells of America: History of Church Bells, Fire Bells, School Bells, Dinner Bells and Their Foundries
Suncoast Digital Press, Incorporated, 2016 - Bell founding - 179 pages
Bells have played a significant role in US history and, in many cases are seen as national symbols. This is especially true when it comes to the Liberty Bell, cast at a foundry in England in 1752 and shipped to Philadelphia, where it was installed in the assembly house.
Bells have also played a central role in this author's life. "I can still picture the 18-inch iron dinner bell that my mother used to call both myself and my brother to meals when we were out playing on the family farm in Iowa. Indeed, my wife and I copied this 'PA' system when we purchased our own large bell nearly 40 years ago. That was the start of a life-long passion which has resulted in my collection of American large bells, and knowledge of bells which I have been privileged to share with bell enthusiasts across the country."
Large Bells of America provides a host of information not simply for enthusiasts and collectors, but also for anyone who is interested in bells, and in the part that these American symbols have played in United States history and our cultural, Christian and church heritage.
This full-color book is divided into two parts.
In the first part of the book the author looks at the early history of bells and their physical characteristics including the components of a bell; the materials used to make bells, and the different sound qualities that these materials produce; the various shapes produced; the difference between swinging and stationery bells; how bells are tuned and much more. This part of the book also looks at such things as how the truly big bells are created and how old bells can be restored.
The second part of the book provides a comprehensive directory of bell foundries, and includes fascinating details of hundreds of foundries, including some very well-known names such as Andrew Meneely, Pass & Stow and Paul Revere, whose 1797 bell hangs in the People's Baptist Church of Boston. Indeed, there are believed to be well over 100 church bells in existence bearing the Revere inscription.
Whether you are a bell enthusiast or collector, or simply have an interest in US history and the part that large bells have played in the life of our nation, this book is a must read.