Chambers, Newton and Company.

TedSteeleteds.bells at TedSteeleteds.bells at
Thu Jan 31 18:41:10 GMT 2013

Attached is a very poor photograph of a small bell. It was taken in 
haste with my phone through the glass of a display cabinet and is 
blurred by reflections amongst other faults. It shows what was the bell 
that hung in Sheffield's first General Infirmary, which later became the 
Royal Infirmary. It is now displayed in a cabinet in the foyer of the 
Royal Hallamshire hospital. I am curious to know whether the founders 
were known for bells or were just general founders. While it is nothing 
special to look at these little oddities always attract my interest. I 
would speculate that given Sheffield's history as steel city this bell 
would have been produced by a general founder, but if anyone does have 
any information about the company I would be interested to hear it.

The bell is dated 1793 and has the maker's name, Chambers, Newton and 
Co. vertically on the side, which itself seems a rather unusual 
arrangement. An internet search reveals a company in Chapeltown, 
Sheffield that was called Newton Chambers and had been founded in the 
early 1800s. They became well known for building gasometers and later 
Churchill tanks. Perhaps they were successors to the firm that made the 
bell. A further search reveals that "It was in 1789 that George Newton 
and Thomas Chambers entered into a partnership that would result in the 
founding of one of England's largest industrial companies of that era, 
Newton, Chambers & Co". Assuming that this is the same company I wonder 
why the names are the other way round on the bell.

The bell looks rather corroded around the crown, might it be a steel 
bell, or even iron? I strongly suspect the latter. The clapper, lying 
next to it, is about twelve inches long.

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