Surlingham / canon retaining headstocks

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Wed May 19 16:13:36 BST 2004

When were those headstocks made?

In the USA, Meneely (West Troy) patented in the 3d quarter of the 
19th century a cast iron canon retaining yoke (headstock) which made 
it possible for the bell to be rotated to present a fresh striking 
surface to the clapper. I've seen a few of these, one being in a 
church in Honolulu.

The Hooper/Blake foundry in Boston, Mass., used a cast iron canon 
retaining yoke of a different design, which did not permit rotation. 
I've seen one of these, on a late 19th c. bell in Hampton, Virginia.

Unfortunately my notes on single bells aren't sufficiently organized 
for me to be able to recover the exact details of either of these at 
the moment. So much little time...

At 07:35 +0100 2004/05/19, David Bryant wrote (with subject "Ash stays":
> > Moore, Holmes and MacKenzie fitted stays to the centre of their
>> somewhat unorthodox headstocks at the end of the nineteenth
> > century. The four at Surlingham, Norfolk used to be fitted thus
>> (anyone know if they still are?).
>Yes, they are. The bells were augmented to six by topping and tailing by
>Eayre and Smith - treble hung in empty pit in frame, tenor in new pit
>beneath. The fittings of the four old bells were conservatively restored.
>These are the first cast iron canon retaining headstocks (I don't count the
>Crediton headstock as a proper canon retainer, as it is basically a copy of
>a timber one, and would have had canon straps).

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