Roland the Alarm Bell

In my last post I mentioned that the largest bell in the municipal belfry of Ghent, Belgium—called Roland—signaled the beginning of the Brabant Revolution with its tolling in 1789. The role of Roland as an alarm bell for the liberty of all of Flanders actually dates back much earlier—to 1537.* At that time, present-day BelgiumContinue reading “Roland the Alarm Bell”

Belgian Bells to Stanford

The folks at Stanford rhapsodized about their bells even before they had arrived! This poem was published in the Stanford Illustrated Review, vol. 42, no. 8 in 1941. The carillon was installed later that year in the spring, and it was obtained from the Belgian exhibition at the New York World’s Fair in 1939-40. “TheContinue reading “Belgian Bells to Stanford”

Inscriptions

Inscriptions on bells can be a real hoot. Some depart from the standard message to praise and thank God. John Potter Briscoe in Curiosities of the Belfry (1888) provides some good fodder. Some are downright morbid. Prepare to die. Remember death. Some confidently state their abilities. All tho my voice be shrill & small, IContinue reading “Inscriptions”

The Harkness Chimes at Yale

Ah! When I hear those bells, I feel nostalgic for my college days! Or when I hear that glee club sing or marching band play! And THAT, my friends, is my dissertation in a nutshell. I’m sure I’ll come back to the topic of bells and nostalgia more on this blog. As part of myContinue reading “The Harkness Chimes at Yale”