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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of Troy,   pp. 249-257

Page 256

country. At least eight bells, representing the octave of the natural
scale, are requisite to constitute a full chime, and, ordinarily, a ninth-
bell is added, tuned a flat seventh above the tenor (largest) bell, by
which addition a secondary chime in the key of the fourth is produced,
and the range of tunes that may be played is largely increased. Not
unfrequently a still larger number of bells are employed, the additional
number being toned above the octave of the tenor, in order to obtain
greater range in the higher notes. Peals of bells (as distinguished from
chimes) consist of from three to four bells attuned with each other at
harmonic intervals, which will not admit of a tune being played upon
them, but, when rung, either successively or simultaneously, produce a
fine effect. It is however usually anticipated, when peals of bells are
procured, that they shall form part of a future chime : the intermediate
bells to be added as may be desired. In constructing a chime, the tenor
bell is taken as the model and unit of measurement of the whole, certain
relative dimensions giving the different tones with theoretic exactness.
This result does not, however, always follow in practical casting, since
it is almost impossible to control the contingencies of the operation so
that the conditions of each casting shall be absolutely uniform-any
variation in which tends to affect the tone. When the tone of a chime
bell thus proves to be incorrect, it is laid aside to be sold as a single
bell, and the operation of casting is repeated, care being taken to vary
the conditions as may be required ; so that when the chime is com-
pletud each bell is in its perfect condition as it comes from the model,
the quality and force of its tone not being impaired as in the English
mode of tuning by having a belt of metal clipped from the side. The
usual mode of placing a chime in the bell tower is, to mount the tenor
bell in the centre of the bell-section, it being provided with yoke, wheel
and frame, so as to be rung as an ordinary church bell, as also to be
used in the chime. The remainder of the bells are suspended stationa-
rily about the tenor from frames or beams of oak, in such relative po-
sitions as shall best conform to the capacity and construction of the bell-
section and most equally distribute the weight. When chimed, the bells
are all played upon by one person, by means of cords attached to the
clappers and led down to the ringer's room below, there connecting with
levers arranged in the order of a key-board, and worked by the hands or
the feet as may be desired.
Messrs. Meneely have published a pamphlet for gratuitous circulation
which gives a good deal of general and specific information on the
subject of Bells.

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