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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 255

E. & G. R. MENEELY'S BELL FOUNDRY.
larger one, called the cope, forms the outside shell of the mould. The
inner case is first swathed with straw rope, and a coat of loam is placed
on the outside of this-when perfectly dry it forms the core. The outer
case is lined on the inside with loam, and carefully swept, to obtain the
proper thickness and surface for the casting. When the cores for a
number of bells are ready, they are placed on the even floor of the
foundry, and their copes are lowered over them by machinery, and
guided to their exact positions by gauges. The spaces between these
cases then form the moulds for the bell castings, and different sizes are
employed for bells, according to their desired weight. Large reverbera-
tory furnaces are used for fusing the bell metal, and when it has reached
a proper state of fluidity it is poured into the prepared moulds in the
usual way. The casting operation is an interesting sight at night, as
the intense heat of the metal causes numberless jets of bluish-green
flame to issue from the vent holes of the mould-covers, which appear
like domes of fire, and rival a gorgeous display of colored fire-works.
The straw ropes on the cores take fire, and burn very slowly, as the cast-
ing cools, and the shrinkage of the metal thus goes on gradually, and
prevents sudden and undue straining.  Great care and practical ex-
perience are necessary to conduct these operations, although apparently
simple. The metal must be perfectly fluid, and of the same temperature
at every part of the mould, to produce a homogeneous casting. For-
merly, when entire loam moulds were employed for bells, these were
packed in pits beneath the surface of the foundry floor, to enable them
to resist the great pressure of the fluid metal. Serious explosions fre-
quently occurred then, by the confined air within these packed moulds
becoming highly heated ; and inferior, porous castings, were also very
common. These evils are now avoided with the iron vent casings.
After the bells are cast, they are scoured bright in rotary frames,
in which a sand cushion is brought to bear upon the surface of the
metal. Each bell is tested as to its tone and quality, and if the least
imperfection is detected it is condemned. No inferior article is allowed
to pass outside the foundry gate. After this, the bells are fitted with
clappers and yokes, and mounted on frames. In this foundry all bells
weighing 400 pounds and upwards, are fitted with Meneely's Patent
Adjustable Yoke (patented 1858 and 1860), which obviates the danger of
cracking the bell in consequence of the clapper striking continually in
one place. By this contrivance bells can be easily adjusted so as to pre-
sent a new surface to the action of the clapper.
This firm have been* particularly successful in the manufacture of
chimes and peals of bells, of which a large number have been made
at their foundry and placed in some of the finest church edifices in the
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