Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

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Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

Postby toml » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:13 am

I have recently received an old cast iron farm bell - originally from my grandfather's farm. The farm's main barn was made in the 1860s so the bell may be of that vintage. It is a post mount type bell, measures 19 1/4" on the OD of the bell and must weigh 70-80 lbs.

The words Frederick Town Ohio are cast into one side of the yoke of the bell. The letters C & D are cast into the other side of the yoke. The bell itself is marked with a letter D, as is the clanger. I assume from an earlier posting on this site, that these letters refer to the bell size (D) with a matching clanger, and a yoke that will take either a C or D size bell.

I learned from the same posting that the foundary is probably Frederick Town Bell Co in Ohio. I couldn't find anything on the web about the company and would like to know if any of you out there have info on this foundary. I am also interested in the age of the bell and approximate value. The bell is in good shape. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Postby Neil Goeppinger » Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:38 am

The biggest bell I've seen by this firm is 40" in diameter, but most of their bells were dinner bells. If you can post a picture I can tell you if it is pre or post Civil War, but since I don't know what years the firm was in business, it may not have been going that early anyway. You can tell by the shape if it was pre Civil War.
I collect U.S. church and fire tower bells and research the foundries which made them.
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Postby toml » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:12 am

Thanks for the help, Neil. I'll see if I can get a picture of the bell.
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Postby lucky13 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:16 pm

The Foote Foundry was established in Fredericktown, Ohio in 1851. They also made other cast products besides bells. Bell production ceased in the early 1900's. The firm is still in operation and has a website. It is the oldest continually- operating foundry in the US. Forty years ago I met a quite- elderly man who had an antique shop in Fairmount, Indiana. He told me he had worked at the Foote Foundry when he was in his teens. His job was forming wet sand into molds for the bells. He said their largest bell was 50 inches at the time he worked there.
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Postby toml » Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:43 am

Thanks, lucky13. I appreciate the info.
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Re: Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

Postby joann hansen » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:52 pm

Thank you, toml, for your info about a bell just like the one I purchased at an estate auction 8/8/09. If you (or anyone else)have more info about the maker, value, composition, history, etc., please share. I've never purchased a bell before, but always wanted one at our lake property in the UP of Michigan. The people who owned this bell were from Columbus, IN. I don't know any more than that at this time. I'm considering calling the lady to see if she has info about the bell's history.
The bell I purchased has been painted, has some rust (very little), has no cracks that I can detect, and has a pleasant tone. It's too heavy for me to lift -- probably about 60 lb. I'm wondering what I should do about cleaning & resurfacing the bell and supports. It's now a purple bell with white yoke and support bracket.
I'll need to work at uploading pictures.
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Re: Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

Postby admin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:49 pm

Dear Joann,

I just revised the directions for uploading photos to this website today! You can find the directions at:

http://americanbell.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=601

Also, if you go to the box at the top of the page that says "Search" in it, type in "cleaning bells", and click on the word "search," you'll find links to all of the postings on the "Bell Talk" forum that talk about cleaning bells. It could make for some interesting reading and, possibly, you may be able to find answers to most of your questions.

You might also want to do a search for Fredericktown Bells. We have had several discussions about them.
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Re: Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

Postby welcomejk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:03 am

There is an interesting story on the ownership of the New York Yankees baseball team and the
Fredericktown, Ohio bells. if anyone does not know the story an would like to read it, just post a reply
and I will give you the short version.
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Re: Help with Frederick Town, Ohio farm bell

Postby elseapea » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:01 am

Hi welcomejk,

I would love to read the Yankees story. Thanks!
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