American canon-retaining headstocks

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Mon May 31 16:15:05 BST 2004

Some fairly good photos of George R. Meneely's patented rotating yoke 
(which might also be called a canon-retaining headstock) can be found 

It will be immediately obvious that for purposes of safe display at 
ground level this three-part yoke was re-assembled in a manner that 
would never have been found in a belfry. (The yoke ends are upside 
down with respect to the center of the yoke.)

It will also be obvious to English bell historians that Meneely's 
design was not intended for re-hanging English-made bells with their 
six-legged canons. Instead it was intended to hang new bells with 
Meneely's own four-legged canons. These are notable for the thick 
center post, which was drilled for a clapper bolt so that the bell 
could be rotated by any desired amount (not just a quarter turn) to 
present a fresh striking surface to the clapper.

G.R.Meneely actually patented two somewhat different designs for a 
canon-retaining rotating yoke, one in 1858 and the other in 1860. (I 
plan to post information about those patents, as well as other 
bell-related American patents, on my Tower Bells Website.) 
Eventually, of course, the Meneely foundry abandoned the use of 
canons entirely.

Carl Scott Zimmerman, Campanologist
Avocation: tower bells: (Co-Webmaster)
Recreation: handbells:
Mission: church bells: (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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