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Ship Bells History

October 6th, 2010

Brass Ship Bells

The origin of the ship’s bell is one that is rooted firmly in tradition in modern times. The ship’s bell was once an integral part of keeping order, warning, time keeping, alarms, and was even used in religious ceremonies. Due to their use in maritime affairs, the ship’s bell has become commonplace and even symbolizes the United States Navy.

The first metal bells were created during the Bronze Age. China in particular had learned to develop high quality bells from metal. Among the first time that a ship’s bell was recorded in use was aboard the British Ship Grace Dieu in 1485. The ship carried what was known as “wache bells”.

It soon became commonplace for the ship’s bell to be used as a warning device to signal its presence during times of heavy fog. The bells ability to ring loudly through the thick, protruding air made a great detection method for notifying other ships in the area. Due to this use of the ship’s bell it became maritime law that all ships have a working bell stocked at all times. The Americans began to utilize the bell in the same fashion during the Revolutionary War. USS Constitution, the oldest surviving ship in American history, was itself equipped with a bell that weighed 242 pounds.

The use of the ship’s bell even helped the American Navy to excel in the War of Independence. This is due to the Jamaica Fleet – enemy of America – using their ship’s bell during a period of intense fog. Their use of the bell was loud enough for the Americans to hear, and led to what became the biggest prize catch of the War of Independence. The total number of prizes and cargo amounted to roughly one million dollars.

The ship’s bell is also an important part of keeping the crew on their toes in cases of emergency. A proper loud signal device was needed in order to signal the attention of the crew. In the case of a fire, the ship’s bell would be rung as fast and loud as possible for five seconds. The next few rings would be done in such a way as to tell the location of the fire. One ring would signal that it came from forward, two would signal that it came from amidships, and three would signal that it came from aft.

In modern times, the ship’s bell is still used for timekeeping and for alarms, as well as for its ceremonial uses. US Navy ship’s bells recovered from the past can be seen honorable positioned in the Naval Historical Center. Sometimes these bells are loaned to ships that are on a historical quest, or to museums for display and research. The use of the ship’s bell is a very prolific one that still rings loud and true to this day. Whenever one thinks of a ship, it is hard to imagine it without the crew and their use of the ship’s bell.

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Types Of Ship Bells

September 22nd, 2010

Ship's Bells

There are several different types of ship’s bells. Throughout history the ship’s bell has been used for a multitude of tasks, ranging from timekeeping, religious ceremonies, and alarms. The ship’s bell has even become a prized possession of many model ship collectors. These model ship bells can come in many different types, such as chrome or brass. The ship’s bell is a significant part of nautical culture, and remains a symbol of tradition to this day.

In the days prior to the invention of the chronometer, it was necessary for the crew aboard a ship to keep accurate time somehow. This was first done by using a half-hour glass. The person in charge of keeping track of the drops of sand would strike a bell every time he turned over the glass to signal the start of the next half-hour. Once a full hour was completed, he would strike the bell two times. Every hour after that would see an additional two bell strikes added on to it. The process would go like this until the end of the watchman’s four hour shift, after which the process would begin anew. These types of ship’s bells are even in use today for the United States Navy’s daily routine.

Among the types of ship’s bells is the religious ceremonial ship’s bell. This began in the British Royal Navy as a customary practice of baptizing their children underneath of the ship’s bell. Commonly, the ship’s bell would also be used as a christening bowl for the ceremonial proceedings. After completion of the baptism, the child’s name was typically written on the inside of the ship’s bell. This is a significant religious ceremonial practice held by the Royal Navy at the time. The bell would continue to remain in use by the ship until it was decommissioned, at which time the religious bell would be stored with the Department of the Navy. Ship bells have an even more religious background, as sometimes these types of ship bells would be loaned to churches. However, in modern times these bells are stored with municipalities or museums instead.

The long tradition of the ship bell’s use is what is attractive to many model ship consumers. Fans of nautical history must have the ship’s bell to decorate their nautical room, lest it run the risk of not feeling authentic. Model ship bells come in many types as well. For instance, there are brass anchor bells, brass hand bells, bracket bells, aluminum ship’s bells, chrome bells, and many many more.

The ship’s bell is indeed a significant part of both the British and American Navies history. These types of ship bells still play important roles in our Navies today. It is not likely that we will see the tradition of the ship’s bell become discontinued any time soon.

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Ships Bell

August 17th, 2010
Brass Ships Bell 7"

Brass Ships Bell 7"

If you are looking for ship bells then you have come to the right place. Handcraftedmodelships.com is a premium provider of all things nautical, including ship bells. We at Handcrafted Model Ships recognize the history and significance of ship’s bells, and take that into account with every single one that we produce. Ships bells are typically brass made, with an engraving of the ship’s name on it. The cook aboard the ship would usually be tasked with maintaining the shine of the ships bell. The striking of the ship’s bell is indicative of the time, and is used to keep the sailors aboard on time for duties. A ship’s bell uses a system of eight bells, each bell signifying half-hour intervals on a sailor’s four hour watch. At every half-hour, the ship’s bell is struck in a series of pairs to make counting easier. At Handcrafted Model Ships, you will be able to find authentic examples of ships bells that are quality made, and available for lower than retail prices.

History and Importance

Ship bells are steeped in naval tradition and have many uses. For one, the ship’s bell is commonly used to baptize children. Following the baptism, the children would have their names engraved on the bell. The importance of the ship’s bell is still seen today. Whenever a ship is past its prime and broken up, the ship’s bell becomes a keepsake. Furthermore, the ship’s bell is used as a tool for identification if a ship is wrecked at sea.

Authentic Replicas

Handcrafted Model Ships makes it a priority to craft the finest authentic replicas of ship bells possible. Our ship bells are made to be shining examples of real life ship’s bells. These items make great accessories for nautically themed rooms. Each nautical decor item is manufactured to be as authentic as possible. For this reason, Handcrafted Model Ships makes ship bells with solid polished brass for an exuberant finish. You will be hard pressed to find an authentic replica anywhere else. Further, our ship bells are modestly priced, and and won’t set you back as much an amount as other model ship retailers.

Quality

Handcrafted Model Ships makes beautiful ship bells of high quality solid brass. The result is a heavy, real feeling replica. Each handle is a polished hardwood that gives a luxurious look to the ship bell. For this reason, Handcrafted Model Ships is the leader in quality when it comes to producing fine ship bells. Each ship bell we produce is crafted carefully from hand my master artisans with years of experience. However, even though our products are higher quality than other online retailers, we are always very mindful to giving you the fairest pricing available. There are not many other places where you will be able to get a quality, authentic product at such low prices!

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