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Bell Foundries

Excerpted from the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889
Published in 1891 by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY

The sound of church bells made in Troy daily circles the globe. Its waves flow from thousands of belfires in America, and from others in Polynesia, Australia, Japan, China, India, Armenia, Syria, Egypt, and Africa. The first bell foundry established in Troy was built in 1825 by Julius Hanks, on the lot now covered by the Gurley Building, on the north-east corner of Fulton Street and Fifth Avenue, where he continued casting bells until about 1840.

Jones & Hitchcock (Eber Jones and James H. Hitchcock), who began casting bells in 1852, in the Peck Building, on the north-west corner of First and Adams streets, and in 1854, in their foundry on the south-west corner, were succeeded, in 1857 by Jones & Co. (Eber Jones and H. J. King; 1865, Eber Jones, Sylvanus Birch, and Octavous Jones; 1867, Octavous and Marcus R. Jones), and in 1873 by the Jones Bell Foundry Company, which, in May, 1887, discontinued business.

The plant of the Clinton H. Meneely Bell Company, on the east side of River Street, between Washington and Adams streets, embraces a part of the buildings of the bell foundry built in 1869 by Meneely & Kimberly (Clinton H. Meneely and George H. Kimberly), which, on the dissolution of the firm in 1879, became the property of the company. Of the fifty thousand church bells cast in Troy since 1825, those of the Clinton H. Meneely Bell Company have a quality of excellence notably distinct and preeminent. Clear and sonorous in sound, rich in tone, and forcible in vibration, they have secured a precedence in public favor highly creditable to the enterprise of the company. Since its organization, on January 1st, 1880, it has not only annually cast large numbers of single bells for churches in this country and for foreign missionary stations, but also many chimes of eight and nine bells, ranging severally in weight from four hundred to seven thousand pounds.