An early list of American chimes

Within 20 years of the installation of the first American-made chime, there seems to have been recognition that this new industry was a distinctively American accomplishment.  Late in 1869, a newspaper (or similar publication) printed a list of chimes in America as of that date, with sufficient information to enable comparison with current records.

The image below shows that newspaper item.  Its exact origin is unknown, but the combination of internal evidence with where the clipping was found is persuasive in dating it to late 1869.

At right of the image is a transcription of it, with annotations in color as follows:
-   transcribed information which is thought to be incorrect is in red, and may be footnoted (#n) with an explanation;
-   information added is in green; following a year may be a plus sign (+) indicating that the chime was later enlarged, or a letter indicating that the chime was Moved or Replaced or is otherwise Gone.

Early chime list

Chimes of the United States

    The following list includes all of the chimes of the United States at the present time [1869], arranged in order of the dates of their erection.  The first five, and the one at Burlington, N.J., were cast in England; one of the two at Buffalo, N.Y., and that at Notre Dame, Ind., in France, and the remainder in this country.
  No. of
Bells.
Total
Weight.
Year
Christ Chruch [Church], Boston, Mass. 8 7,272 1744
Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pa. 8 11,476 1754
St. Philip's Church, Charleston, S.C. #1 8 --- 1764
Trinity Church, New York city 8 14,000 1797
St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia, PA 8 7,752 1843
Notre Dame College, Notre Dame, Ind. 9 (23) --- 1856
St. Peter's Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH 18 (11) 14,000 1851 M
St. Stephen's Church, Philadelphia, PA 9 12,798 1853 G
St. John's Church, Savannah, Ga. 8 9,535 1854 R
First Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Pa. 8 8,141 1853 R
Trinity Church, Cleveland, Ohio 8 9,931 1854 G
St. Paul's Church, Buffalo, N. Y. 10 9,925 1856 R
St. Anne's Church, Lowell, Mass. 11 9,899 1857
St. John's Church, Newark, N. J. 9 5,723 1859
Christ Church, Indianapolis, Ind. 9 (8) 5,920 1859+
St. Paul's Church, Petersburg, Va. 9 6,574 1860
St. John's Church (Baptist), Paterson, N.J. #2 8 7,706 1862+
Christ Church, Cambridge, Mass. 12 (13) 18,661 1860
Church of the Nativity, Bridgeport, Conn. 10 1,803 1860 G
Arlington street Church, Boston, MA 16 14,150 1860+
Grace Church, Providence, R.I. 16 17,429 1861
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, NY 10 10,913 1862
Christ Church, Detroit, Mich. 9 9,708 1864
St. Mary's Church, Burlington N.J. 8 --- 1865
St. James Church, Birmingham (Derby), Ct. 9 6,547 1867+
St. Patrick's Church, Utica, NY 10 4,482 1868
St. Paul's Church, Concord, N. H. 9 6,407 1868
Trinity Reformed Church, York, Pa. 9 6,529 1868
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 9 6,438 1868+
First Parish Church, Charlestown, Mass. 16 14,424 1868
Catholic Cathedral, Buffalo, NY 40 (43) --- 1868? G
Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, Pa. 9 5,500 1868+
St. Peter's Church, Rochester, NY 12 8,850 1869
Church of the Holy Cross, Troy, NY #3 9 6,480 1869
First English Lutheran Church, Dayton, Ohio 9 11,000 1869

Footnotes:
#1 - The compiler of the listing apparently confused references to the ring of 8 at St.Michael's Church (1764, from England, extant) and the 11-bell chime of St.Philip's Church (cast in 1848, installed in 1850, removed in 1862).
#2 - Actually St.John the Baptist (Catholic) Church
#3 - The compiler of the listing apparently confused references to the small chime of 6 bells at the Church of the Holy Cross (1853-55, weight 4,480 lbs.) and the 9-bell chime installed at Woodside Presbyterian Church in 1869 (weight 6,640 lbs.).

Additional notes:


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This page was created 2003/12/17.

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