[Bell Historians] re: Big Ben

Neil Skelton neil.tcct at 81FF9u6EkzbebK1hPn3Ng_D-Mg1HwPCYHltKzkcoaf1ekQMXjsAPIVm_bhxG81nTTqMA1IyAE83qEjoO40w.yahoo.invalid
Fri Nov 2 11:48:23 GMT 2007

Yet another book (an excellent read) 'The Triumphs of Big Ben' by John Darwin, one time Resident Engineer and Parliamentary Works Officer for the Palace of Wetminster. Published by Robert Hale 1986. On page 80 concerning the Warner bell: "On 17 February 1858 a large iron ball, weighing one ton 448 pounds was dropped on the bell repeatedly from a height of thirty feet, for a period of two days, until it was completely broken into fragments which could be loaded into carts. It was then found that, where the crack had started, there was a flaw in the metal, at the point where the two streams of molten metal from the two furnaces had met but had not fused together, leaving gas pockets not visible on the surface of the metal." Thus the conclusion drawn by Denison was that the casting of the bell was at fault and not the weight of the heavier hammer used to strike the bell. At the time there was a popular jingle in London which ran:

Poor Mr Warner is put in a corner,
For making a bad Big Ben.
Good Mr Mears, as it appears.
Is to make us a new one - when?

Neil Skelton.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John David 
  To: bell hist 
  Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 10:17 AM
  Subject: [Bell Historians] re: Big Ben

  When this book first came out I asked on the list if there was any truth in the story (which I have seen in print somewhere, and which was one of the reasons I bought the book) that the Warner bell had to be broken up (with the over-weight clock hammer) because it was too big to get up the clock weight shaft. There were no replies - perhaps it was a silly question -  but does anyone have the dimensions of the two bells and the shaft to either confirm this story or leave it not proven? 
  JOhn David

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