Paul Revere, Bell Founder

Did you know that Paul Revere cast bells? I know, right!? He warns of enemy troops AND casts bells—he’s a patriot after my own heart.

And really, he did it all. From the Massachusetts Historical Society, we learn he was at one time or another a silversmith, engraver, revolutionary propagandist, soldier, cannon founder, dentist, hardware store proprietor, coppersmith, and bell founder. Well, ok, the jobs of silversmith, cannon founder, coppersmith, and bell founder are all variations on the same profession of metalworking.

Revere established his metalworking business not long after the American Revolution. His first bell was cast in 1792 for his own church, the New Brick Church in Boston. This first bell was a little iffy, but he kept at it and his bell-making enterprise lasted in the family for over forty years. Just check out this list of all the known Revere bells.

Revere didn’t have a standard bell profile that he used, so his bells can look quite different from one another. These two examples show striking similarities in the pattern of line decorations, but the profile shape is different. Notice how the earlier bell flares out more at the mouth (opening at bottom).

Collections of Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum.
Collections of Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum.
Photo courtesy of St. Paul's Church, Newburyport, Massachusetts
Photo courtesy of St. Paul’s Church, Newburyport, Massachusetts

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