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Revere bells and bellfoundries.

The famous patriot Paul Revere is also known as the second major bellfounder in America.  (He was preceded by Col. Aaron Hobart of Abington [*], Massachusetts, and a handful of other colonial artisans who made small numbers of tower bells.)  His definitive biography, the well-known "Paul Revere and the world he lived in", by Esther Forbes (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1942), describes his bell-making work on pages 385-391.
* The name of the town of Abington was mis-spelled as "Abingdon" on the proclamation which established it, and a few historic references use that spelling. 

This page provides some information about Revere's work and Revere bells, organized as follows:

Extant bells by Paul Revere and family

This section presents links to Webpages which mention surviving bells that were cast by Paul Revere, his sons or his grandsons.  They are listed in approximate chronological order, and grouped according to the changes in the name and/or the proprietorship of the business.  (There are gaps in the dates because the chronology given here is based partly on the inscriptions of dated surviving Revere bells.)  Actual inscriptions are shown in boldface type when known.

Paul Revere, Boston, 1792-1798

Paul Revere's original bellfoundry was simply an extension of the iron and brass foundry which he had set up in Boston in 1787.

Revere & Sons, Boston, 1801

At least two of Paul Revere's 16 children, Paul Jr. and Joseph, entered their father's business.

Revere & Son, Boston, 1801-11

After a short time, Paul Jr. left his father's employ.  (It is said that he went to work for bellfounder George Holbrook, but that has not been confirmed.)  Joseph Revere stayed on with his father, as a junior partner in the business.  In this same year, Revere set up the first copper rolling mill in America, in Canton.  In 1804, the foundry was moved from Boston to Canton (though the bells continued to be labelled "Boston"), and Joseph made a trip to Europe to study bell-casting.

Paul Revere & Son, Boston, 1811-1818

When Paul Revere retired from business in 1811, the partnership was reorganized under the same name but with Joseph holding 4/6 interest and Paul's grandsons Paul 3rd and Thomas Eayres Jr each holding 1/6.

Paul Revere & Son, Boston, 1818-1828

On the death of Thomas Eayres Jr in 1818, Paul 3rd sold his share to Joseph, thus leaving the latter as sole proprietor.  (Paul 3rd later became a partner of bellfounder George Holbrook.)  The name of the firm remain unchanged, even though Paul Sr had also died in 1818.  The last bell entry in the Revere stockbooks was dated 1828, though bells made after 1824 did not carry a date on them.

Revere Copper Company, Boston, 1828-

The Canton firm was incorporated as the Revere Copper Company in 1828.  Joseph Revere was president, a position he held for 60 years.  Bells continued to be made occasionally, all undated except for the last-known which was produced in 1843.

Recast Revere bells

When bells are cracked through misuse, damaged by fire, or broken by other means, they are often recast using the original metal (usually with additions).  This establishes a historical connection to the original bell, although the result cannot properly be attributed to the original bellfounder.  The following bells are documented recastings of former Revere bells.

Revere-related bells, details unclear

These links should be distributed among the sections above when details are known.

General historical links

These Weblinks lead to pages which put Paul Revere's bellfounding in the context of the rest of his life.

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This page was created 2002/08/30 and last revised on 2016/11/16.

Please send comments or questions to csz_stl@swbell.net