[Bell Historians] Bell parts = body parts

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Fri Sep 27 22:17:48 BST 2002

But the word "shoulderband" (or "shoulder band" if you don't like 
compound words) doesn't imply that there is any inscription 
involved--only that there is a band of some sort of decoration (with 
or without inscription) around the shoulder of the bell. Why call 
something an "inscription band" if there is no inscription in it?

Most of Henry McShane's bells had two pairs of bead lines (moulding 
wires) just below a rounded shoulder, but his name, city and 
trademark were centered on the waist. So there was no inscription in 
the shoulder band of his bells.

J.G.Stuckstede of St.Louis always used a quasi-triangular repeating 
motif around the sharp shoulder of his bells. If that was the only 
decoration, then that was the shoulder band, and his inscription was 
placed below that band (name on one side of the bell, place and year 
on the other side). If the customer paid for more fancy decoration, 
then the maker's inscription became part of that fancy shoulder band, 
with the triangular motif below and a vine pattern above.

After J.G. retired, his younger brother Henry took over the foundry, 
and soon eliminated the shoulder band altogether. He put just name, 
place and year in three lines below the sharp shoulder on one side of 
the bell.

The separate foundry of Stuckstede & Bro. (the sons of J.G., who 
apparently didn't get along with their uncle Henry) always used a 
more English style of shoulder band--two moulding wires, with their 
name, place and year in between.

So whether there is a decorative band around the shoulder of a bell 
is a separate question from whether (and where) there is any maker's 
inscription and/or custom inscription.

At 18:49 +0100 on 2002/09/27, George Dawson wrote:

>It is an inscription band inscription. I think shoulderband is a bad
>description as sometimes in the UK one finds inscriptions and/or decorations
>actually on the shoulder and also over the shoulder as well.

=Carl Scott Zimmerman= Co-Webmaster: http://www.gcna.org/
Voicemail: +1-314-361-5194 (home) mailto:csz_stl at s...
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - 19th c. home of up to 33 bell foundries

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