[Bell Historians] Re: Historical methods of bell tuning

Susan & Christopher Dalton dalton.family at wJosKtK0-os2Oz6xJX0bYYZpBUzjC5otcaSWkIrmt9vQAUYWdFUkSezVszhapnQqYXfjKg7m1b49x7cwMB0.yahoo.invalid
Fri Aug 4 12:55:39 BST 2006

>> One associated question that fascinates is when bellfounders became 
>> aware of partial tones. The Hemonys and Van Eyck knew, of course, but
>> the practical application of the knowledge died with them. The
> earliest
>> written reference I have found is Helmholtz (1877), who appears to be
>> quoting other earlier German sources. Does anyone know if any UK
>> founders were aware of partial tones in the 18th or early 19th
>> centuries?
>> Bill H

Nothing written;  but on the evidence of the bells themselves John Wallis of
Salisbury understood the three octaves (nominal/fundamental/hum) at the
beginning of the 17th century and Thomas Osborn of Downham Market certainly
did at the end of the 18th.  Then his grandson William Dobson produced that
curious single-page chart now among the records at Whitechapel.

Pre-1890s, in this country anyway, I am afraid we have to confine ourselves
to inspired guesswork.



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