[Bell Historians] Bellfounding story

Andrew Higson andrew_higson at bn3gV_2eSkL9zCMRMHHOcXy3vURpWY_Dk98TNv1TsKgH9jJNA4pNH4ZIcd2Rz_RsTAXCEMKvf2kgcY6A2QubPvj5AJ_j.yahoo.invalid
Thu Aug 31 13:13:01 BST 2006

A good yarn and the identities were so cleverly disguised!
The incident occurred on 22nd October 1975 and the bells involved were
one of the many ill fated Liberty bells that we were casting for WBF and
the replacement 3rd for Eastry in Kent.
The story varies a bit in that the latter bell was tuned quite a bit
before the notes suddenly did a nose dive, presumably as the bell gave
way and a replacement had to be made. The liberty bell was scrapped
without being touched further.
The culprit must have had a large locker. Some sources suggest speculum
metal should have a minimum of 33% tin, which meant that he would have
been secreting about 400lbs of tin ingot. I guess the percentage wasn't
that high, but high enough to render the bell useless - I wonder what
would have happened if the bell had been successfully tuned to the right
notes and hung.....
-----Original Message-----
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
[mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Hibbert
Sent: 30 August 2006 17:31
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] Bellfounding story

I finally met Robert Perrin last week after corresponding for years. 
I won't bore you all with discussions of bell acoustics but I will 
pass on the following story he told me . . .

A numbr of years ago, an employee of some bellfoundry in the Midlands 
hatched a plot with accomplices to steal the foundry's stock of tin. 
The theft was successful, but the employee chose to take his share of 
the proceeds not in cash but in tin, which he hid in his locker in 
the foundry. When the police arrived at the foundry to investigate 
the theft, the employee lost his nerve and threw the tin into the 
furnace just as a bell was about to be cast.

There is another alloy of copper and tin as well as bell metal, 
called speculum, with a much higher propertion of tin. Speculum is 
white and shiny and used to be used to make the mirrors of 
telescopes. The foundry staff were amazed when they took the bell 
that had just been cast out of the mould, to find that it was white. 
When upended and struck, it made no musical note, and after a few 
hammer blows, collapsed into a pile of fragments 'like glass breaking 
in a Tom and Jerry cartoon'.

The theiving employee was charged, did time, and is said to have 
later run his own business casting handbells somewhere in south 

Bill H

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