[Bell Historians] Accuracy of weights (and Atlanta)

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at nJwLJUWajKKmu_rBWAXVIgWC643zbjjpIIlQqVbSXcLjuUTk67B2LkvHtLTOblA1eKazxXjRdOKo0_EccOqopc4kCWTl.yahoo.invalid
Sat Jul 15 10:24:36 BST 2006

As Giles says, this was aired some months ago. I did post my views, and I was rather surprised that nobody picked up on it (unless it was one of those messages that disappeared into the ether)

Basically, I don't regard them as "accurate weights". Accuracy or exactitude seems to be impossible to attain, and I share the view that it doesn't really matter anyway within a few pounds

I see them as "recorded weights". 

This is different, first in that it implies a chronology - a bell may have different weights at different times in its history (either after work or merely at different weighings). Second (and for the purposes of "Dove" etc) it has the merit that the information required is the most recent weight (and, to be semantic, whether or not it happens to be strictly "accurate"). In other words, it's about accuracy of source data first - and (since we know there are problems in establishing exact weights) accuracy of weight second. This way, at least we a) know what we're quoting, and b) give the latest available information

That said, I do think it is important a) to be sure of the source and date of any weight or set of weights, and b) to record the information accurately as part of the basic set of data about a bell or set of bells. For "Dove" (and any list or publication citing a single weight - rather than a sequence of weights - for an extant bell) the weight must always be the last recorded one (with the one exception below). 

John Baldwin's use of the "less than" symbol as a prefix to a previously recorded "exact" weight seems a very simple and sensible solution to cases (e.g. canon removal) where the weight has been reduced since the last actual weighing

For all but the extreme purist (for whom nothing other than a 100% accurate weight will do), this approach should offer a workable solution to the problem of discrepancies. Provided you know what weight comes from where (and the chronology), the "right answer" will declare itself.  

I don't know the answer at Atlanta, but 13-1-14 is the old weight of the bell when it was at Escrick. It was presumably retuned or re-weighed during the transfer process. It may have been retuned at Whitechapel (who will have recorded a weight) and again weighed again by E&S after drilling etc. Or it may have just been re-weighed, hence the discrepancy of just 2lbs. As I say, no answers here - but that's the thought process to follow


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