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Casting the steel bell to be used as a fire alarm in San Francisco, USA, Naylor, Vickers and Co., Millsands
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Ref No:s10792
Title:Casting the steel bell to be used as a fire alarm in San Francisco, USA, Naylor, Vickers and Co., Millsands
Date Period:1800-1850

From 'Illustrated London News', 7th Jan.1860, page 12 Steel Bell Casting A number of ladies and gentlemen assembled recently at the works of Naylor, Vickers andamp; Co., Millsands, Sheffield, to witness the casting of the largest steel bell-which was, we believe, also the largest casting in steel-ever produced in this country. Fenced stages had been erected for the accommodation of the spectators in good situations commanding a good view of the operations, A large iron vessel, plugged at the bottom, was placed in the pit, above the mould, to act as a funnel, and the molten steel was poured into it from the crucibles. The emptying of the crucibles (105, containing 56lb each) into the funnel excited much interest, requiring a great amount of skill, care, and nerve. The men had all been told off into companies, each man having assigned a post and a fixed portion of the work. The carrying and emptying of the crucibles is a painful and difficult task, but it was performed with the utmost order and celerity, the whole of the crucibles being brought up from the furnaces and emptied in the brief space of six minutes. The moment that part of the process was finished the plug was drawn from the bottom of the funnel by means of a crane. The fiery liquid then ran into the mould in a copious and uninterupted stream, and the work of the casting was complete. When the metal was sufficiently cooled to permit of an examination, it was found that the huge casting was perfectly sound. The weight of the casting is 2 tons 12cwt., or 5824lb., and the dimensions are:- Height 5 feet 3 inches; diameter at the mouth, 6 feet 2 inches; thickness of the bow (where the clapper strikes), 4 inches. Messrs Naylor Vickers andamp; Co., have but recently added the casting of bells to the other branches of their trade in steel. They cast their first bell in 1855, and have since turned out no less than 1300. A large expansion in the trade us anticipated from the fact that the steel is considerably cheaper than bell metal, and, being also stronger, a much smaller weight suffices for any required result, thus making the difference between the price of the two kinds of bells even greater than is represented by the difference in the cost oof material per weight. The order for the large bell is from Messrs. Conroy and O'Connor, of San Francisco, and it is to be used as a fire alarm-bell in that city. It is believed it was lost in the earthquake of 1906. See: Sheffield Steel , by K.C. Barraclough Ref: 669.1 S Further information reveals: The Volunteer Fire Company of Snm Francisco had insufficient funds to purchase it and it was subsequently acquired by the Jesuits for $1300. It now hangs in the campanile at the north east corner of St. Ignatius' Church, San Francisco


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