This vintage bell is a mechanically operated doorbell. This would have been mounted inside a home, probably with a turn key lever extending to the outside. It has a cast iron, copper plated back bracket which is ornately decorated with flowers and scrolls. On the back is the patent date of Aug. 1,93. It also reads; Russell & Erwin Mfg. Co. New Britain Conn. U.S.A.. On one end it reads; Top - 99. The number may refer to a model or design number. There are holes at the top and bottom for mounting. The dome of the bell is appears to be brass which is copper plated to match the bracket. The dome it is held to the back plate by a matching domed screw. Around the screw it reads; R&E Mfg. Co. New Britain Conn. U.S.A..
Turning the dome releases the screw to remove the dome. Under the dome is a simple, geared mechanism between the two steel plates. On top of the plate is a swivel yoke containing a weight. When the mechanism is cranked it spins the weight so it strikes against the dome to send forth a loud chime. To put it back together, the screw tightens down and then the dome is turned to tighten it down completely.
Although a doorbell and operating lever were sometimes sold as a matched set, it was not uncommon for the two pieces to be sold separately, one piece to match the exterior décor and one to accent the interior of the home. This does not come with the turn key piece of hardware that would operate the mechanism but it has been checked and it does work properly using a makeshift key.
The bell measures about 3 ½” in diameter and mounting plate measures about 5 3/8” long by 3 7/8” wide. It is in very nice, original, working condition. The plating is very good condition with minor wear and discoloration. The domed screw on the dome is scarred. It appears someone used a pair of pliers on it.
As previously stated, this is only the bell and it does not come with the turnkey mechanism or screws for mounting.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
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