Value of Bells: Connection to Histories

The fourth main value of bells I perceive is their connection to histories. The first history I mean is the particular history of Western Europe. Today we are familiar with one main use of tower bells that dates to the middle ages—to signal to faithful Christians. For example, tower bells would signal when to prayContinue reading “Value of Bells: Connection to Histories”

Bell Founding of Beit Chabab, Lebanon

A find about the last bell founder in Lebanon piqued my interest in bells in the middle east. I was intrigued by the explanation that the casting of big bells didn’t arrive in Lebanon until the Crusaders came through in the twelfth century.* Hadn’t they been making bells already for a long time? Yes, theContinue reading “Bell Founding of Beit Chabab, Lebanon”

Buried Alive, with Bells

Happy Halloween! Bells have a sinister side, too, you know. As my colleague Tiffany Ng has argued in her doctoral dissertation, in cultural representations bells have been associated with utopias and dystopias—death, decay, and all the rest of it. And we don’t even have to look at cultural representations—we can just look at the macabreContinue reading “Buried Alive, with Bells”

The Bell of the Great Chicago Fire II

Thanks, B.D., for passing along these dramatic details about the Great Chicago Fire and the courthouse bell! Donald L. Miller, author of City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America, explains the particulars. He does it so well, no need for me to paraphrase. Note the name of the watchman/bellContinue reading “The Bell of the Great Chicago Fire II”