The Continental Odyssey of a Paul Revere Bell

green lawn box beside bottles and window

My personal highlights from this bell's journey: The soft heart of Jeannene Shanks for the bell, saving it from a fate as a dumbbellReviving the tradition of ringing for the Fourth of July, one garage at a time!The enterprising research of the Shank family to find the bell's originsBells symbolize our shared history and country!The … Continue reading The Continental Odyssey of a Paul Revere Bell

The Drama of Bell Founding in Andrei Rublev

The seminal film Andrei Rublev directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and co-written with Andrei Konchalovsky is regarded as one of the best films of all time. That’s nice and all, but what I’m interested in is the extended, dramatized section on bell founding. The final section shows in over 30 minutes the entire casting process of … Continue reading The Drama of Bell Founding in Andrei Rublev

Bell Ringing Methods in the Leaning Tower of Niles

Leaning Tower of Niles, IL Watching this video, you probably guessed that a computer communicates the programmed melodies to the external bell clappers, and that it keeps the bell performances on a schedule. And you are correct! And you are also correct that the Clock-O-Matic’s Apollo III bell controller can be accessed and manipulated via an onsite controller, remote, … Continue reading Bell Ringing Methods in the Leaning Tower of Niles

Hell’s Bells

In honor of the invasion of spooks and ghouls tomorrow on Halloween, I thought we’d focus on bells representing the profane. I give you . . . "Hell’s Bells" by AC/DC. That is a real, honest-to-goodness one-ton bronze bell hanging above the stage. Michael Milsom, former bellmaster at Taylor foundry in Loughborough, England, gives … Continue reading Hell’s Bells

The Long Resonance of Bronze

Loyola University, Madonna Della Strada Chapel bell, Chicago, IL

Christians once ascribed powerful properties to bells—the power to drive away demons, for example,  and still today some Christians believe they embody the voice of God. Before Christians, the members of ancient civilizations ascribed magico-sacral properties to bells too. Why were bells thought to hold so much sacred power? I never thought about this too … Continue reading The Long Resonance of Bronze

Ringing for Climate Change Action

climate road landscape people

Today’s Youth Climate Change Strike has captured the attention of the world, as well it should! My support goes out to them for real transformation at the national and global level to mitigate the environmental catastrophe awaiting us. And I’m pleased that faith communities from Cape Cod in Massachusetts will ring out their support of … Continue reading Ringing for Climate Change Action

Value of Bells: Connection to Histories

greyscale photo of concrete tower building

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 pray … Continue reading Value of Bells: Connection to Histories