[Bell Historians] weighing bells

David Bryant davidbryant at h...
Tue Jan 25 12:38:07 GMT 2005

>Someone told me recently that at one time (period unspecified) bells were
>not weighed, but the weight was calculated from the diameter and height. 
>this ever done?

You can usually get to within half a hundredweight or so by careful 
estimation, but not much closer. Depends how accurate a weight you wanted, 
but given that until recently bells were usually charged entirely on weight 
of metal I think this highly unlikely - the bellfounder would want to charge 
as much as he could, and the church wouldn't want to pay over-the-odds so it 
would be in both their interests to weigh the bells. I seem to recally 
reading somewhere of a case where the medieval founder Robert Norton of 
Exeter was involved in a dispute with a church who claimed that the bell or 
bells which he supplied weren't as heavy as he claimed.


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