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Discussion Starter #1
Kiwi Trading have in their possession a large bell, possibly bronze, which is marked MARCONI, Type 3034, SL 1120, Made In England, 1938.

I'm not aware of Marconi supplying ship's bells but I wasn't around in 1938!

Can anyone throw any light on this item?
 

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On ships with 1 radio Officer there was a bell in their cabin connected to the distress system. When off watch and a SOS came through the bell would ring to alert the Officer. Could be one of those but there are many R/O on site which probably be of more help.
 

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s.s. MARCONI.... built 1917 and sunk in WW2.


1938? Might have been a replacement. It does happen once in a while.

The ship was sink but not sure how 'deep'.

Stephen
 

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On ships with 1 radio Officer there was a bell in their cabin connected to the distress system. When off watch and a SOS came through the bell would ring to alert the Officer. Could be one of those but there are many R/O on site which probably be of more help.
I don't remember them being made of bronze and I didn't think they were all that big.
 

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She was purchased by Marconi Steamship Company in 1937. It took just over half an hour (33 minutes) to sink after being torpedoed. Maybe they had time to remove the bell.
 

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"MARCONI SS was a British Cargo Steamer of 7,402 tons built in 1917 by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow for Liverpool, Brazil & River Plate Sn Co. (Lamport & Holt), Liverpool . She was powered by a steam, quadruple expansion engine of 887 nhp giving 17.5 knots. In 1934 she was purchased by Lamport & Holt Ltd and in 1937 by MARCONI Steamship Co Ltd (Kaye Son & Co Ltd). On the 21st May 1941 when on route from Manchester to Rio Grande & the River Plate in ballast and in Convoy OB-322 she was torpedoed by German submarine U-98 and sunk 270 miles Se of Greenland."

Unlikely the bell was taken from the wreck. Perhaps it was taken off the ship before the war for safe keeping.

Stephen
 

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On ships with 1 radio Officer there was a bell in their cabin connected to the distress system. When off watch and a SOS came through the bell would ring to alert the Officer. Could be one of those but there are many R/O on site which probably be of more help.
Not that kind of bell...
 

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1938 does not tally with the launch of you SS Marconi, Stephen. A ships bell with a type and serial number?

(An autoalarm bell or DF Gong - Crikey, one wouldn't sleep through either!)
 

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1938 does not tally with the launch of you SS Marconi, Stephen. A ships bell with a type and serial number?

(An autoalarm bell or DF Gong - Crikey, one wouldn't sleep through either!)


True. Possible this was a replacement for the ship. The earlier one was stolen in Suez Canal!

Would best to get a photo of the bell and how the name is carved into the bell. That would answer a couple of question.

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On ships with 1 radio Officer there was a bell in their cabin connected to the distress system. When off watch and a SOS came through the bell would ring to alert the Officer. Could be one of those but there are many R/O on site which probably be of more help.
Yup, those were the electrical Auto Alarm bells. But not that. This is a standard dome bell with a clanger - looks like a standard ship's bell.
 

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1938 does not tally with the launch of you SS Marconi, Stephen. A ships bell with a type and serial number?

(An autoalarm bell or DF Gong - Crikey, one wouldn't sleep through either!)
A type and serial number does sound very MimCo !!

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. The existence of the SS Marconi is interesting but, as commented, the date doesn't seem to tie in.

I don't have a photo of the bell but I'm told it will be appearing on eBay soon, so we should soon get to see what it's like and what sort of condition it's in.
 

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True Bob.

I wonder if Mimco did an automatic/remote fog signal outfit? Philips did an electronic version that worked through the talkback if I remember correctly.
 

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Might have been made by 'Marconi'.... see attached photo of a MARCONI DF. I would suggest Marconi were selling bells as well as other cast things... like the DF. I doubt it came from the ship s.s. MARCONI. Does not look like it has come off any sunken wreck.... just left without polishing.

Also, here is a photo of a Marconi Auto Bell from the 1920. Not a bell... more like an 'alarm'.

Stephen
 

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Fraid not. This buoy comes with a shackle so it can be hung 'free'. For the bell to work 'automatically' it must be rigid and so the clanger can work when the buoy works.

This photo shows how it is held rigid and the clangers are 'external'.


Stephen
 

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Have never seen a ship bell with a chain which seems to indicate it might not be from a ship. Maybe the clapper is chained down and the bell allowed to swing free! Hence my buoy suggestion.
 

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Possible for sure. I think the clapper would be chained from only one side though if bell went from side to side it would not strike. I think the photo of the full buoys shows how the clappers would be quite long and would make a very loud ring.

Still might have been a ship's foscle bell. The clapper may have had the chain to stop the clanger from ringing when the ship rolls. Still, on most ships the clanger is usually taken down and stowed away when at sea. Nuisance if it ringing at sea... wakes everyone!

Stephen
 
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