ARTICLES & ESSAYS
This is a collection of articles, essays, and the like that have been written
by people at the Foundry over the years for various purposes and publications.
The contents of this section of the website will expand over time as new
pieces are written and older ones unearthed.
THE FOUNDRY IN THE MEDIA
When a company and its premises are as historic as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry,
and as unusual (there are currently only two bell foundries casting bells in the
UK), they will naturally attract the attention of the news and documentary
media. Indeed, barely a month seems to go by without some TV or radio crew
descending on the foundry. What you may not know is that the foundry has also
been associated with several drama productions over the years.
CASTING AND TUNING BELLS
This page provides a link to a site containing videos showing the making of moulds,
and the casting and tuning of bells.
BIG BEN, THE LIBERTY BELL & OTHERS
Some very famous and significant bells have been cast by Whitechapel over the centuries.
This page lists the most notable and will take you to individual pages devoted to the stories
of Big Ben, the Liberty Bell, and others.
There are currently only six radial bellframes in the entire world, and
Whitechapel designed and built five of them. This article explains just
what a radial bellframe is, the many advantages of the design, and looks
at each of those five jobs in turn.
DUCTILE IRON & ITS USE FOR BELL CLAPPERS
Wrought iron, the traditional material clappers were made with, passed its peak in the 19th
century. As time passed, it became increasingly difficult to find, and the quality of what was
available more uncertain. SG cast iron was an acceptable substitute in many cases, but for some
applications an alternative material with similar mechanical characteristics to wrought iron
needed to be found. Enter ductile iron....
ON THE MATTER OF PULLEYS
An article on the humble pulley, those little wheels that
smooth the passage of the bellrope through the hole in the belfry floor and
accommodate the change in the position of the rope as the bell passes from handstroke
to backstroke and vice versa? How much could there be to say about them?
A lot more than you might imagine, actually.
WERE YOUR BELLS CAST AT THIS FOUNDRY?
The markings on Whitechapel bells have changed considerably over the centuries. This piece offers
a simple guide to determining whether or not we made your bells.