Index to carillons and 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]
   (unknown)

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]
   (unknown)
CAMBRIDGE - CC                : USA - MA     1860 C  chime
   Christ Church in Cambridge (Episcopal)
BOSTON - A                    : USA - MA     1860 F  chime
   Phillips Chime
   Arlington Street Church 
     (Unitarian-Universalist)
PROVIDENCE - G                : USA - RI     1861 F  chime
   Grace Church in Providence (Episcopal)
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 C  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
NEWPORT - CM                  : USA - RI     1881 C  chime
   Channing Memorial Church (UU)

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

Blake Bell Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1890-1898-?)

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:

Henry Northey Hooper was born July 16, 1799.  His 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.)  He 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 partial biography of Isaac Harris Hooper, second son of Henry N. Hooper, includes the 1850 census report of his father's household.  Therein Henry [senior] is identified as a "Copper Dealer", suggesting that perhaps bellfounding was not his primary interest or source of income.

A partial biography of Henry N. Hooper [junior] does not mention his family.  However, from his age and the above census report he must be the oldest son of Henry N. Hooper [senior].

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 fascinating story about two "Napoleons" in California reports Hooper's work as a supplier of Civil War artillery.  Interestingly, it also states that gunmetal is a "mixture of 90% copper and 10% tin".  That differs significantly from the 80:20 (or 78:22) mix which is typical of bell metal, though both gunmetal and bell metal are forms of "bronze".

A Hooper cannon is pictured and described in a page about a Civil War monument in Rhode Island.

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

In a different line of work, there is (as of 16 July 2002) an advertisement for a magnificent 12-arm chandelier made by Hooper about 1848.  Priced at $15,000, this is a bargain which might disappear any minute, so look now.  For more about Hooper's lamps, at a lesser price, see this book advertisement.

Hooper also supplied lighthouse equipment.

The Blake Bell Company made the bell in Story Chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1898.
  (Source: cemetery records.)
Both William Blake and William S. Blake 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.


Webpages which list extant bells by Henry N. Hooper:
1838: United Methodist Church, Savage, Maryland (building photo); see the History page for photos of the bell by "Henry N. Hooper & Company", acquired about 1954 from its original owner, the Savage Mill.
1846: Pinewood Lutheran Church, Burlington, Mass. (including photos showing characteristic fittings and counterweight)
1849: Courthouse / Town Hall, Plymouth, New Hampshire
1851: St.Joseph's Catholic Church, Marysville, California
1855: The Monhegan Museum, Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan Island, Maine (PDF, 105KB, includes a small b/w photo); this bell is about 52" in diameter.
1858
1860: Monument Square (on the Common), Leominster, Mass.
1860: City of Medford, Mass. (includes photo)
1863: Orford Congregational Church, Orford, NH
1863: Sandy Cove Zion United [formerly Methodist] Church, Digby, Nova Scotia

Webpages which list extant bells by William Blake or the Blake Bell Company:
1878 - Blake: First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church, Fitchburg, Mass.
1898 - BBCo: The Firehouse Gallery (formerly Massasoit Engine Company), Damariscotta, Maine.

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.


Return to Indexes to bellfoundries.


This index page was built from the database on 12-Dec-01 and last revised on 16-Nov-16.

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