Hedderly documents in America

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Sat Jan 10 02:30:54 GMT 2004

Fellow historians,

In the course of research related to the earliest chimes made in America (see
there has been in interesting discovery which relates in part to the 
Nottingham bellfounder Thomas Hedderly, as well as to William, George 
and Edwin Hedderly. George L. Hanks, bellfounder in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, from the early 1840s (if not earlier), somehow became 
acquainted with Mr. Henry Hedderly of Indianapolis, Indiana. In 
Feb.1849, with the latter's permission, Hanks copied a great deal of 
material "from the private manuscripts of his [Hedderly's] 
Grandfather and Father who were extensively engaged in Bellfounding 
in England: his Father removed to this country [America] and was 
engaged in the same business in Philadelphia for several years."

This material from Henry Hedderly occupies the first 50 pages of a 
200-page workbook which Hanks largely filled over the next ten years 
with other material related to bellfounding. Some of the added 
material relates to his own work, such as casting two 11-bell chimes 
(only one of which is currently posted on the GCNA Website). Other 
material he gathered from a variety of sources; evidently he was very 
interested in improving his own knowledge and skills with respect to 
bell profiles. There is a small amount of material towards the end 
of the book that was added by Hanks' successors after his sudden 
death in 1859, the last dated entry being in 1865. It is not known 
[to me] why or how this book survived, but it is now in the custody 
of an historical library in Cincinnati, and I have obtained a 
complete photocopy of it.

The Hedderly material is subdivided as follows:
- Catalogue of 48 bells "cast by Mr. Thomas Hedderly at Nottingham, 
England, since 1777", with places, dimensions and weights (six pages)
- Weights and measurements of various rings of bells (or 
exceptionally heavy bells), in some cases related to recasting work 
by T.Hedderly (30 pages)
- Measurements of
8 bells at Christ Church, Phila., cast by Lester & Pack in 
1754, taken [recorded] by G.Hedderly in Dec.1793
6 bells in Baltimore, cast by Thos.Mears in 1804, taken by 
Edwin Hedderly in Apr.1816
8 bells in Boston, "taken from Wm. Hedderly"
(altogether two pages)
- Ditto for a pair and a trio of bells in Philadelphia (one page)
- Descriptions of various exceptionally heavy bells in Europe and 
Russia (three pages)
- List of 102 churches in England, with number of bells, tenor 
weight and tenor note (five pages; an early predecessor of Dove's 

If any of this material is known from other sources, please reply 
on-list, so that prior efforts are not duplicated. If any of this 
material would be of value to you, please reply on-list, and I will 
arrange to post a transcription on the TowerBells Website or to 
provide facsimile images for posting elsewhere if that is more 

This find has "made my year". :-) Some of the material related to 
Hanks' own work has already appeared on the GCNA Website, and more 
will eventually appear there.

Carl Scott Zimmerman, Campanologist
Avocation: tower bells: http://www.gcna.org/ (Co-Webmaster)
Recreation: handbells: http://gatewayringers.homestead.com/
Mission: church bells: http://www.TowerBells.org/ (Webmaster)
Voicemail: +1-314-821-8437 (home) E-mail: csz_stl at s...
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - - 19th c. home of at least 33 bell
. . . . . . . . . . . . . foundries or resellers

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