Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

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Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby admin » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:39 pm

Ellen asks:
I am interested in knowing if the American Bell Association has any information on the mid-19th century Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register. In 1851-2, the foundry was located on 53 Holliday Street. I believe the foundry became became Register & Sons in the 1880s or perhaps earlier.

I am particularly interested in learning about the ship bells that Clampitt and Register produced during the mid-19th century. I would like to find out if it founded bells for steamships built in John Robb’s Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ellen


This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA's Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby Neil Goeppinger » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:52 pm

Hello Ellen, I do not have answers to your questions regarding steamship bells made by Clampitt & Register, but I will give you what information I have and you can add it to what your have already discovered.

In 1845 the firm was listed in a Baltimore business directory as being located at 47 Holliday St., near the city hall in Baltimore. Perhaps the address you have was for the foundry and this address was their office and mailing address.

Later, when the name changed to J. Register & Sons Co, Baltimore, the J. stood for Joshua, so I assume Joshua Register was one of the partners in Clampitt & Register.

I have a small brass bell by Clampitt & Register. It's about 16" or 18" in diameter. -- Neil
I collect U.S. church and fire tower bells and research the foundries which made them.
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby epenjones » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:05 pm

Amazing what one finds on the internet! I was just in the bell tower (known at the church as the Christmas Tower) of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore looking over the ringer mechanism, and observed that the bell was cast by "Clampitt & Register, Baltimore 1854". Did a search, and found this listing. I too would like to know more about this foundry. I took pictures, but can't seem to figure out how to include them here. Also,there is a building on the southeast corner of Calvert and E Federal streets which is known as the Bell Foundry, just north of Mt Royal on Calvert. I don't know if this was/is a bell foundry or they just liked the name?
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby hjlong » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:14 am

The 1881 History of Baltimore City lists the bell foundry of Joshua Register on Holiday Street as one of 2 bell foundries, including the McShane Bell Foundry.
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby Carl Scott Zimmerman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:33 pm

Elias Clampitt began a brass foundry in Baltimore some time between 1837 and 1842, when it was located at "27 n Frederick st" and he lived at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard streets.

By 1845 he was in partnership with Joshua Register/Regester - both forms of the latter name appear at random throughout subsequent business directories through 1856, often in different parts of the same directory.

The partnership was located at 47 Holliday in 1845 and 1847, at 51 Holliday in 1852, and at 53 Holliday from 1853 through 1856.

Later directories are not yet available to me.

Other bell founders listed in the early Baltimore directories include the following:
William M. Ives (Odell & Ives), 1833-56+
William Peters, 1842-56+
James Russell, 1837-56+
Baker, Holmes & Brown (William Baker, Robert S. Holmes & John Brown), 1856
Some of these did not advertise themselves consistently as bell founders, but always did so as brass founders. Other brass founders never advertised themselves as bell founders.

I'm inclined to think that the "correct" spelling is Regester, and would be interested to know whether anyone has ever actually seen the spelling "Register" on a bell.
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby epenjones » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:59 am

Although I spelled it Register in my earlier post, I have reviewed the photographs I took of the bell in the Emmanuel Church tower and the spelling cast into the bell is "Regester".
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Re: Baltimore Bell Foundry, Clampitt & Register

Postby Neil Goeppinger » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:59 pm

Ellen, I came across some new information on Clampitt & Register. In either 1847 or 1848 the firm was located at 53 Holiday Street. In 1850, Henry McShane was 19 years old and living at the home of Joseph Regester and working as a brass founder. The firm of Clampett & Register soon disloved with Regester forming a partnership at the same location with William George Webb. They did business under the name Baltimore Bell and Bras Works, still at the 53 Holiday Street location under the proprietorship of Regester and Webb. They had a pit capable of casting 10,000 pounds and a large furnace for heating metal.

Henry McShane split off and formed his own firm in 1856 when he founded Henry McShane Brass and Bell Foundry on Concord Street, between Lombard and Pratt in downtown Baltimore.

This information came from the Winter/Spring 2000 issue of Timepiece Journal of the American Clock and Watch Museum, Inc. Carl Scott Zimmerman told me about the article. -- Neil Goeppinger
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