Index to chimes by Hooper/Blake

The Hooper/Blake foundry, now closed, provided bells for several chimes in the New England region of the USA.  See the bottom of this page for additional historical notes on the origin and development of this bellfoundry and on the various names used by it.

For an explanation of what this index contains (and does NOT contain), and of the additional details on each entry, see the Bellfoundry Indexes Advice.

Boston Copper Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1823-1830)

Operated by Paul Revere 3rd, John W. Sullivan and William Blake; Henry N. Hooper, agent
An Unknown Location           : USA - AA     1825? C [chime]

Henry N. Hooper, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1830-1832)

Henry N. Hooper & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1833-1868)

Operated by Henry N. Hooper, William Blake and Thomas Richardson (1833-1865);
operated by William Blake, Isaac H. Hooper and William P. Thurston (1866-1868).
BOSTON - MF                   : USA - MA     1850 C [chime]
CAMBRIDGE - CC                : USA - MA     1860 C  chime
   Christ Church in Cambridge (Episcopal)
BOSTON - A                    : USA - MA     1860 F  chime
   Phillips Chime
   Arlington Street Church 
PROVIDENCE - G                : USA - RI     1861 F  chime
   Grace Church in Providence (Episcopal)
BOSTON - A                    : USA - MA     1862 E  chime
   Phillips Chime
   Arlington Street Church 
CHARLESTOWN                   : USA - MA     1868 C [chime]
   First Church, Charlestown (UCC) 
   (once known as First Parish Church) 

William Blake & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1869-1888)

Operated by William Blake and William S. Blake
HAVERHILL                     : USA - MA     1869 F  chime
   Trinity Episcopal Church 
AMHERST - M                   : USA - MA     1871 C  chime
   Stearns Steeple 
   Amherst College 
NEWTON - G                    : USA - MA     1873 C  chime
   Grace Episcopal Church 
MEDFORD - G                   : USA - MA     1873 C  chime
   Grace Episcopal Church 
LAWRENCE                      : USA - MA     1874 C  chime
   St.Mary of the Assumption RC Church
SAINT PAUL                    : USA - AK     1875 C  chime
   SS.Peter & Paul Orthodox Church (OCA)
NEWPORT - CM                  : USA - RI     1881 F  chime
   Channing Memorial Church (UU)

Charles T. Robinson & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1888-1889)

Blake Bell Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1890-1900)

William S. Blake, proprietor (1890-1891)
Walter S. Grueby, manager (1893)
Bay State Brass Foundry, operator (1896-1900)
New York                      : USA - NY    <1891? - great
   City Hall
SOMERVILLE                    : USA - MA     1892 C  chime
   Mission Church of Christ
   (originally Unitarian Universalist)

Historical Notes:

The involvement of Paul Revere 3rd during the first years of this firm's operation provides a connection to the bellfounding work of his father and grandfather (see the Revere Foundry).  However, this firm was independent of that of Paul Revere & Son, which later became the Revere Copper Company.

  Paul Revere 3rd (1789-1857), son of Paul Revere Jr., grandson of patriot Paul Revere
  John W. Sullivan, possibly related to Sarah Sullivan (1797-1864), first wife of William Blake
  William Blake (1796-1871)
  Henry Northey Hooper (1799-1865)
  Thomas Richardson (1800-1867), father of William Blake's 2nd wife
  William Sullivan Blake (1830-1893), only son of William Blake
  Isaac Harris Hooper (1839-1873), only adult son of Henry Northey Hooper
  William Pierce Thurston (1828-1872), son-in-law of Henry Northey Hooper
  Charles T. Robinson
  Walter S. Grueby

Henry N. Hooper's firm cast the first Nathaniel Bowditch statue in 1847 at Mount Auburn Cemetery; that was the first life-size bronze figure cast in the USA.  (It was replaced in 1886 with a second casting.)  Henry died September 19, 1865 and is buried on Snowdrop Path (lot 1404) at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA.  (Source: cemetery records.)

Following his death, the company must have been reorganized without change of name, for the city directories of 1866-1868 list three partners as shown above.  The company continued to be described in those directories as copper dealers, as it had from the beginning. 

A Website about Civil War artillery indicates that the Hooper foundry was one of five firms which supplied an important class of weapons to the North during that war.  In particular, a page from the Civil War Artillery Encylopedia describes the "Napoleon" (12-pounder bronze field gun, light, Model of 1857), a very effective and popular weapon in its day.  From the National Register of Surviving Civil War Artillery on the same Website, one can determine that there are about 80 surviving Napoleons by Hooper.  Also surviving are more than 100 similar cannon by the Revere Copper Company, which, like Henry Hooper's firm, originated from Paul Revere's earlier brass and bronze foundry work in Boston.
Addendum: A correspondent has reported that there are some 138 surviving Hooper Napoleans, out of at least 394 that were cast, though only 376 were accepted into Federal service.  Hooper also made two "experimental" 3 inch rifles, one of "german silver." Revere made some 449 Napoleons, of which at least 443 were accepted and 186 survive.

A short description of Hooper's cannon work is included an a list of Civil War artillery manufacturers.

The Blake Bell Company made the bell in Story Chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1898.   (Source: cemetery records.)
Both William Blake (1796-1871) and William Sullivan Blake (1830-1893) are buried there, along with both of their wives and two of William S. Blake's daughters (one adopted, one natural).  Thus there were no descendants to carry on the business.

An 1875 newspaper clipping from the Boston Post reports that "The largest bell ever cast at this establishment weighed 22,000 pounds and was placed upon the New York City Hall."

An 1879 newspaper clipping reports that William Blake & Co. made a bronze tablet for the Quincy statue in front of the Boston City Hall.  Described as being composed of "statuary bronze," it might have had a slightly different composition from bell metal.

Webpages which list extant bells by Henry N. Hooper:
1846: Pinewood Lutheran Church, Burlington, Mass. (including photos showing characteristic fittings and counterweight)
1855: The Monhegan Museum, Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan Island, Maine (PDF, 105KB, includes a small b/w photo); this bell is about 52" in diameter.
1860: Monument Square (on the Common), Leominster, Mass.
1863: Orford Congregational Church, Orford, NH
1863: Sandy Cove Zion United [formerly Methodist] Church, Digby, Nova Scotia

Somewhat confusingly, there are on the Web several mentions of a bell in connection with the poet William Blake, whose relationship (if any) to the bellfounder is unknown.

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This index page was built from the database on 12-Dec-01 and last revised on 22-Sep-22.

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