East Hampton (them Chatham), Connecticut has long been known as Belltown. Beginning in the 19th century, many bell manufacturers set up shop there. All but one of those factories, Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co., has shut down. Bevin, the only American company still producing only bells, has been making the news recently. Last year there was an article in The Hartford Courant* and last week a story aired on NPR.
Today, while gathering manuscripts to catalog, I found a patent issued to Isaac A. Bevin for an improved gong bell.
A great find during this holiday season, as Bevin makes all the bells for the Salvation Army. Clicking on the image will enlarge it, though it may still be difficult to read. All are welcome to view it in person. Come visit and research!
*My apologies if you have difficulty accessing the Courant article. You may have to log in to iConn with a Connecticut library card number in order to view it.
A note of interest:
The original “Bevin Bros.” were William, Abner, Chauncey and Philo…They were indeed brothers and were 4 of the 5 sons (there were also 4 daughters) of Isaac and Anna Bevin…
Interestingly, although Isaac A. Bevin was the only brother who was not officially a part of the bell business, he did ultimately receive multiple patents for bells that the company went on to produce…One of his most well known patents was granted in 1876 for a bell toy…
Incidentally, his middle name was Avery…This was his mother Anna’s maiden name…She was a direct descendant of Christopher Avery… This was the first time (of what would become many, including three currently living generations) that the name Avery was given to a Bevin as a first or middle name…
Thank you so much for the additional information! I will add it to the catalog record for the patent (the record will soon be added to our online catalog, http://chs.kohalibrary.com).
I was late to work the day the story aired on NPR because I was just standing next to the radio listening to it. I was therefore very excited to encounter the patent in the course of my work just a few days later.
Happy New Year,