Last week I visited St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois to see their nine-bell chime in action. David Plank, Associate for Music Ministries, kindly led the way.
Convenience at its finest. The chime stand is located on the ground floor of the church!
The interesting part is upstairs, however. No scary ladders here, so we got to see the bells up close. They are Meneely bells from Troy, NY, cast in 1901. This foundry is not to be confused with the Meneely foundry in Watervliet, NY. The two competing bell foundries were owned by members of the same family. Clinton H. Meneely, who was the youngest son of Andrew Meneely, broke off from the family business and started his own across the Hudson River in the 1870s. The two foundries competed for business and never merged. And there were still two more bell foundries in Troy!
The largest bell has a Latin inscription that I’m unable to translate. Can anyone help out there?
No computers up here! They use this mechanism to ring the Westminster Chimes every fifteen minutes. Note the music-box-like drum that lifts the levers attached to the bell clappers. This mechanism is very old—bells have been rung in this manner for centuries in Europe.
Thanks for the lovely visit, St. Mark’s!