Dating brass bells
Bellfounding is the casting of bells in a foundry for use in churches, clocks, and public buildings.
The term also usually includes the tuning of the bell.
High-quality bells are normally made by casting bell metal (a high-tin bronze alloy) in a mould appropriate for the intended pitch of the bell.
Further fine tuning of such bells is performed on a lathe where metal is cut from the inside of the bell in order to produce a true tone with correct harmonics.
The next century brought advances in all aspects of bellfounding where a better understanding of principles of bell design contributed to the introduction of a superior shape.The process in East Asia dates to about 2000 BCE and in Europe dates to the 4th or 5th century.In Britain Archaeological excavations of churchyards have revealed furnaces, which suggests that bells were often cast on site in pits dug in the building grounds or within the church.Before the nineteenth century, bell founders tended to be itinerant, travelling from church to church to cast bells on site.More centralized foundries became dominant with the coming of railways which allowed easy transportation of bells, such as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and John Taylor & Co of Loughborough.