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Matthew Dow 11-01-2016 08:16 PM

Hunt for a bell
Hey y'all! As most know by now, the New Orleans Steamboat Company is in the process of purchasing the old CASINO ROCK ISLAND for conversion into an excursion boat. I have been tasked with locating a suitable calliope and bell for the vessel. We have secured a calliope, but I'm having trouble locating a bell. Would anyone on here have any ideas of where to find one? I was hoping to find a bell with ties to the river, but if someone knows of a good church bell, I would be happy to look in that direction. Thank you in advance for any help y'all can provide :)

Frank X. Prudent 11-01-2016 09:01 PM

Does S&D have a roof bell in its collection that it would be willing to loan? It might be worth a call to J.L.S. to find out. Or an even better idea is would the good people of Stanton Hall in Natchez be willing to loan out the BETSY ANN's roof bell? If so, Capt. Way would surly be smiling!

R. Dale Flick 11-02-2016 05:24 AM

*Bell looking for a home*
Steamboating colleagues:
Interesting request by Mat Dow and 'follow' from Frank Prudent. Naturally, an available bell from a boat would be first choice. Jeff Spear may know in Marietta via S&D. Capt. Bill Judd and others who 'lurk' here may have leads. I think once the word is out with a possible squib in, say, WATERWAYS JOURNAL could help. Any bells on a 'loan' basis from a museum like the Ohio River Museum in Marietta possibly a tough nut to crack once any museum accepts an item formally and legally. Any 'loaned' bell would also possibly have to be covered in insurance. An outright purchase the best route. Yet, who knows?

There's one dandy steamboat bell just around the corner here where I live from the Greene Line boat GREENWOOD now on display in the courtyard garden of a church. No way they'd let that beauty get away. The famed VERDIN bell foundry also not far away here but that would entail a new 'commission' basis order at $$$$. So sad our late Capt. John Beatty not with us as he had one great collection of old steamboat bells going way back. What ever happened to all of that a good question. Bill Judd may know. What do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Russ Ryle 11-02-2016 09:59 AM

What calliope did they secure for use on the boat? What is its heritage?

Keep your steam up!

Russ Ryle

Matthew Dow 11-02-2016 05:04 PM

Thanks for the good information, yall! I will follow those leads and see what I can manage. While we were here, we went over to St. Louis and visited the folks who have the ADMIRAL's bell. What a gorgeous bell! We also pursued the PRESIDENT's bell since her field is close by. Nothing on either, but they were fun trips to make :)

Matthew Dow 11-02-2016 05:05 PM

The air calliope from the P.A. DENNY, built by the Frisbie Engine and Machine Company of Cincinnati, OH.

Bill Judd 11-06-2016 09:03 PM

Hi all: If my information is right, Matt has been offered a E.W. Vanduzen bell, built right here in Cincinnati. If he takes it, the new boat will have quite a Cincinnati connection with the bell and the Frisbie calliope. In Dale's post he wonders about the whistle and bell collection of Capt. John Beatty. John had given that collection to Dan Webster of Warsaw ,Ky thinking they would have a good home, instead Webster held an auction and sold the Beatty collection of to the highest bidders. And there were some real high bidders!

R. Dale Flick 11-07-2016 03:32 PM

*Capt. Beatty's bells*
Thanks to Capt. Bill Judd for filling us in with the VANDUZEN bell from Cincinnait and what happened to Capt. John Beatty's fine bell collection. I remember John's bells mounted on that big flatbed truck parked on his property. John mentioned he 'thought' he possibly could have the bell from the ill-fated MOSELLE that exploded here near Fulton, Cincinnati in the 1830s. I wondered about that but did examine the bell in question. Heck, how would I have known? John said he and his late father years ago were doing a job on their salvage boat along the shore where the MOSELLE had gone KERBANG! Said they dredged it up with other old junk and debris. Then again a lot of steamboats had been built and also broken up when retired along that stretch. I don't recall at the time seeing any foundry marks etc. That made me go 'Hmmmmm.' Yet, who knows? John also had relics from his salvage job on the last ISLAND QUEEN in Pittsburgh, 1947 after she blew up, burned. There were 'tubes' of coins: silver dollars, quarters, pennies etc. that had been virtually melted together from the fire in the IQ's Purser office on the boat. Capt. Beatty also nailed it that the IQ's big roof bell bell had "totally melted, ran down in the wreckage in melted globs and stringers." I gather [?] bells have a rather tender melting point as it is. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Bob Reynolds 11-07-2016 09:18 PM

I just checked on Google for melting points of brass. Yes, it seems quite possible Capt. John was correct in his description of the ISLAND QUEEN's bell.
Metal Melting Points Guide to melting metals
Metal Melting Point Celsius Melting Point Fahrenheit
Aluminum 659 1218
Brass (85 Cu 15 Zn) 900-940 1652-1724
Bronze (90 Cu 10 Sn) 850-1000 1562-832
Cast Iron 1260 2300
Silver 1763

R. Dale Flick 11-08-2016 08:04 AM

*IQ's roof bell/Metal Melting Point*
Steamboating colleagues:
Hi, Bob. Thanks for being 'unlazy' like me to go on line for data on "Melting Point for Metals - Celsius and Fahrenheit." Bell metal 77% copper, 23% tin forming 'bell bronze.' Accounts of silver also being cast in the furnace to "sweeten" the tone. The metal in time after cooling forms a corrosion resistant sheen called 'verdigris.' So, you're right on about 'melting temperatures.' Centuries ago [Old Russia] bells had mystcal meaning with a 'voice and a soul.'

I hit internet pulling up 'ISLAND QUEEN explosion 1947 pictures.' Anybody examining those photos of the explosion, rapidly advancing fire like a blast furnace with decks collapsing can see the boat's bell and deck sagging down until all rendered black wreckage. Other steel members of the boat also melted. John Beatty raised, slavaged the IQ hull later. The hull could have been repaired, used again with the engines relatively untouched. By then with Ed Schott at CONEY ISLAND it was all over. The last IQ was certainly some boat and anybody who saw her at any age was impressed. They'll never be another like her. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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