Comment 121878

By kevinlove (registered) | Posted August 21, 2017 at 18:51:24

What would an article about casting be without a description of those largest of cast objects, bells? Here is a video showing the bells of St. Mary's at Oxford University. The largest bell, in the foreground weighs 2,977 lbs and was cast by Ellis I Knight in the year 1639. The four largest bells were all cast in the 17th century between the years 1612 and 1641. They are regularly rung for full-circle change ringing by members of The Oxford Society of Change Ringers.

Note how the band of ringers start out by ringing down the scale, what is called "rounds." The quality of striking is not quite perfect, but bell-ringing is one of the most difficult of musical arts. We can see a band ringing here, and an excellent video of someone learning to ring here. Note how I cleverly chose a video of an all-female band to try to counteract the stereotype that bell ringers are all large men.

It never ceases to amaze me how 17th century technology of rope and wheel enables an ordinary person of average strength to swing a two-ton bell in a full circle. And to do so with such control that the bell strikes at precisely the correct place in the pattern of ringing.

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