Saturday, March 26, 2011

FARM BELL WHAT IS IT AND WHY WE WANT ONE

Nope, not talking about a cowbell,  but a "Farm Bell".  I've also seen them called "Country Bells" or "Homestead Bells" and even "Yard Bells".  Whatever you call them, it's a great reminder of a bygone era, and something cool to have on a modern day place in the country.


Sometimes they are mounted on old worn posts like the one above...


...or mounted to the wall or side of a building or barn like this...


...or maybe take an antique bell and put on a new post like this...


...or an old metal post such as this one.

It is not clear when or where these bells first originated, but their debut appears to have first come into widespread use in the United States in the 1800's.  As farms and ranches appeared, and of course got larger and employed more people, there needed to be a way to call all the farmhands and workers to the dinner table....speaking of......


...here is another form, perhaps more familiar to those who watch old westerns.  This is the more common "Dinner Bell" seen around chuck wagons and campfires.  These came into being because they were simple to make, usually by the iron smith or farrier that worked on the ranch.  They were also lightweight, didn't take up much room, and were easy to carry with them on the chuck wagon.  

However, I like the ones at the top better.  These were not ONLY dinner bells, as the triangle was, they were also used as a means to call anyone back to the main house.  Being a cast iron / forged metal bell, they were usually very loud (and could be made in multiple sizes).  They were usually rung by pulling on a rope that caused the clapper inside to strike the bell, although some had a forged handle that could be used to rock the bell back and forth.


For approaching storms or bad weather, they could be used to warn others; if a visitor or traveling salesman came calling, the residents of the house could call the appropriate person back; if there was a fire nearby it could be used to call for water or firefighters; in fact, it is even believed that they were used to warn nearby neighbors of impending Indian attacks on their homesteads!


They sell them all over the place.  Amazon even has one.
However, we like this one sold at Lehman's the most.  Unless of course we could find an antique one.  Anyone have any suggestions for that?


I doubt we'll be worrying about Indian attacks, LOL, but with 10 acres, if I'm at the other end and 2nd Man needs me to come back for some reason, how cool would this be to let me know??


Oh, I bet you're saying "why not take a cellphone, wouldn't that work just as well"?  Sure, but would it be as much fun?  I don't think so!

2 comments:

Kelly said...

I have one in my entry way. Never use it :)

1st Man said...

Well not as a doorbell! You have to watch out for Indians! or Tornadoes! or Fuller Brush salesman.....