Frequently Asked Questions
Other Handbell Manufacturers

Jerry Olson wrote:  Here are some of the handbell manufacturers that existed in the past couple centuries.  Thanks to Sue Nelson for this info compiled from books and personal communication with various foundry personnel.

To this list was added a list from Malcolm Edwards (see note at bottom of page)  and then another from Willard Markey.  The Editor welcomes corrections to the list and additions to any of the listings.
English Handbell Manufacturers      Note    American Handbell Manufacturers
Netherland Handbell Manufacturers Other Handbell Manufacturers


Cor, William & Robert -- 1696-1719 -- Aldbourne, Whltshire, Eng.    -- name within bell;
        hand-filled to pitch.

Robert Cor                Aldbourne, Wilts             1696-1724
William Cor                        "                             1696-1722
Oliver Cor                          "                             1725-1727
John Cor                            "                             1728-1750
Edne Witts                          "                            1759-17744
Edward Hemins,        Bicesster                         1760-1780
Wells, Robert (succeeded Cors) --Aldbourne, Whltshire, 1764-1799--
Robert  Wells                                                    1781-1799
Robert & James Wells                                       1791-1826
Thomas  Lester             London                         1735-1769
Thomas  Mears                                                  1787-1810
Thomas  Mears            London & Gloucester     1805-1843
Charles Mears              London                          1844-1861
George Mears                                                    1844-1861
Robert Stainbank         Whitechapel, London      1865-1884
Mears & Stainbank                                            1865-1968
Whitechapel                  London                         1968-Present
William Rose                 Lambourn, Berkshire              (18th century).
E Plumer                         Ramsbury, Wiltshire              (18th century).

John Warner & Sons             London                          1760-1924

William Base                                                               1789-1800

John Kingston                 Bridgewater                          1790-1829

William Rudder                                                           1800-1820

Symondson, Henry; Briant, John -- Hertford, Eng. --1782-1825 --  name engraved on waist of bell.
Symondson, Henry; Taylor, John --  Loughborough, Eng.--1825-1839 -- initials H.S.;
     smooth lathe finish.
John Taylor & Co Bellfounders -- Loughborough, Eng.  --1839-present  --  initials
     J.T.; thicker pattern; superior tuning.  (JT claims a bell-founding lineage back to the

John Rudhall                         Gloucester                       (19th century).

William Cary                         Bristol                             (19th century).

James Platt                           London                            (19th century).

Llewellins & James               Bristol                             (19th century).

Frederick White                Appleton, Berkshire            1875-1909
Richard White         Appleton, Berkshire            1908-1956
Dunn, William  --  c.1817-1852 -- London, Eng. -- initials W.D.; some bells silvered  -  Bells were marked WD on the crown.   The molds he used to make his bells were sold to:
George Stockmam     (1852 to 1881) -     WD on crown and GS on cap
George Welch       (1881 to 1900)     London - WD on crown and GW on cap
J. F. Mallaby        (1900 - ?)   Masham, Yorks - WD on crown and no other markings
Welsh, George  --      Bankside, London, Eng.         c.1850  -- no known existing bells.

Barwell, James  --                Birmingham, Eng. --     1870-1920   --  no known existing bells.

Warner, John --                   London, Eng. --        c.1870-1910 --  initials J.W.

James Bridgeman                 Aldbourne, Wilts         1828-1851

Philip Symondson                 London                      1847-1852

John Shaw                           Bradford                    1848-1902

William Blews & Sons         Birmingham                1850-1891

Henry Bond                        Westcot, Glos             1851-1861

Henry Bond            Burford, Oxon               1862-1905
Henry Bond II & Thomas Bond                   1905-1947
Shaw, John --         Bradford, Yorkshire, Eng.         c.1870-1900  --    wide clapper staple

James Barnwell                 Birmingham                     1870-1920

Gillette & Johnson               Croydon                       1877-1954

William Greenleaf &             Salisbury                     1884-1901
Thomas Blackburn                    "                             1890-1903

Charles Carr                       Birmingham                   1885-1923

Alfred Bowell & Son, Alfred       Ipswich                 1893-1940

Alfred Bowell & Son, Frederick  -- Ipswich   1940-1950
Moore, William  --   Salisbury - London, Eng. -- c.1900-1930  - shoulders rounded on larger bells.

W. Haley                         Walthamstow                   1922-1927

Gillett & Johnston           Croydon, Surrey, Eng.-     1948-1954

Roy Carnall                     Codnor, Derbyshire         1978-Present

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Rowland Maylan                     Brooklyn, NY             1866-1942

Edward Street                         Hartford, CT              1880-1920

J. C. Deagan Co.                    Chicago, IL                 1890-1920

David Workman                     Kansas City, MO        1954-1963

Bernard Mason (Tru-Sonic)    Southern California      1960-1964

Schulmerich Carillons              Sellersville, PA            1962-Present

Del Roper (Golden Bells)        California                    1964-1967

Malmark                        Doylestown, New Britain     1974-Present
                                                    & Plumsteadville, PA

Maas-Rowe Carillons         Escondido, CA               1986-1 995

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Petit & Fritsen                 Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands           1955-2000

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Other handbell manufactuers?

Through the years, there have been  many bell manufacturers in Holland, France, Great Britain, and the United States.

Van Bergin -  The foundry in Greenwood, SC, was established by H. T. van Bergen, a descendant of the long-established bellfounding family located in Heiligerlee, the Netherlands.  He came to the U.S.A. shortly after World War II.  The Greenwood foundry made tower bells in smaller sizes, while larger bells were imported from the family foundry in Heiligerlee, operated by Andreas H. van Bergen.  Whether separately or in cooperation, the two foundries made a considerable number of carillons (both traditional and electric action) and chimes (all with electric action).  The Van Bergin  foundry in Greenwood, South Carolina continued until the late 70's, about the same time when they began building electronic carillons and importing tower bells from Holland, I believe.

It is not clear whether either vanBergen foundry ever made English handbells.  However, J.M.Kearns sent an "old" set of handbells, unknown manufacturer, to the Greenwood Foundry to have them renovated.  The impression received at the foundry was that they had, indeed, make handbells but not at the present.

In the United States, the Maas-Rowe company in California designed and marketed handbells.  The noted feature of the bell was the adjustable clapper and spring mechanism that was thought to provide a greater variety of timbre.  Unfortunately, it seems there were limited sales and that there were design problems, causing the company to cease production of handbells.

One noted bell maker is the Deagan company who made a variety of bells in addition to handbells.  The AGEHR museum will house a number of examples of Deagan chimes and bells, including horse collar, tuned cowbells, and shaker bells.

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Malcolm further notes:  "In the heyday of handbell manufacturing in Britain in the 19th century there were many, many groups in villages and towns around the country with very large sets of handbells used for entertaining in music hall or concert situations, and the advertisements that appear at that time for handbell manufacturers clearly show that many manufacturers were producing sets up to 5-octaves in size.  There was also the obvious sale of smaller sets specifically for the use of church change-ringing groups to practice their art, with sets advertised specifically for that."
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