[Bell Historians] Dove inexactitudes

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Tue Oct 1 18:28:44 BST 2002

I agree wholeheartedly that the "tuned or finished weight - without 
fittings" is an ideal which we strive to know. But then what should 
we do if that weight is not available but we have in hand an exact 
weight which we know was measured differently? And what should we do 
about the difference between bells with canons and bells without, 
when the presence of canons affects the weight but not the profile?

And just to throw another spanner in the works: Why is it, really, 
that we are so concerned about tenor weight? Is it not that this 
relatively simple number does better than anything else at giving us 
a rough estimate of how much effort it takes to ring a certain set of 
bells? Without this, the timing of a peal or quarter is meaningless, 
for example.

Notice particularly the word "rough". Getting finicky about pounds 
and ounces doesn't help the estimate of effort, because we haven't 
considered things like bearing type and condition, tuck-up in the 
yoke, roping, etc., &c. The fact that those items are less important 
than tenor weight certainly doesn't make them unimportant at all. 
Perhaps for purposes of Dove (and of peal reporting) we should only 
state the tenor weight to the nearest half-cwt and leave the 
pound-counting to the bellfounders and statisticians. Or, if that's 
not the direction you want to go, should we instead be _adding_ 
information about bearings, crowns, draught, and so forth?

At 16:22 +0100 on 2002/10/01, Chris Pickford wrote in part:

>I agree (Carl's final paragraph) about the use of indicators to 
>denote what weight we're talking about, EXCEPT that in "Dove" we 
>should always be dealing with the tuned or finished weight - without 
>fittings. So his suggestion could be useful where a range of weights 
>are discussed - but not in "Dove"
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <mailto:csz_stl at s...>Carl S Zimmerman
>To: <mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com>Bell Historians List
>Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 4:02 PM
>Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Dove inexactitudes


>I'll also take this opportunity to propose a further extension of
>Chris's idea. That is to include with any exact weight a character
>which indicates how that weight was obtained (if known). For
>example, "C" might indicate cast weight, "T" = tuned, "F" = with
>fittings, etc. Not being in the business of weighing bells, I have
>no idea how many such alternatives there might be, nor whether other
>people would really find them useful. But this could be informative
>without consuming much space.
>=Carl Scott Zimmerman= Co-Webmaster: 
>Voicemail: +1-314-361-5194 (home) mailto:csz_stl at s...
>Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - 19th c. home of up to 33 bell foundries

More information about the Bell-historians mailing list