Hammond Museum of Bells


Throughout history, bell-makers around the world have used their ingenuity to fashion bells for a multitude of purposes. It is, indeed, a tricky engineering feat to cast a bronze bell so it has the right tone quality without being liable to crack. Too much copper can make the bell sound dull; yet, too much tin can make it too brittle to use. In this museum, which houses the collection of Curtis and Lenore Hammond, past presidents of the American Bell Association, you can see examples of many different bell-making technologies and uses of bells, ranging from ancient Tibetan cymbals to the quarter-deck bell of the Queen Elizabeth I ocean liner.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Material Science, Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):Sounds/Music
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Before the Civil War, the U.S. Army bought 20 or so camels to see if they could be used more effectively than mules as pack animals in the West. The camels outperformed the mules but were so nasty that the Army finally released them into the desert. One of the U.S. Army-issue camel bells from this brief experiment is in the Hammond Museum of Bells.