Sept 30 2005

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On Friday, September 30, 2005, we departed from our pursuit of the theatre organ and toured the Schulmerich Carillon Company's factory in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. They manufacture bronze handbells, electronic carillons, and cast bell carillons, among other bell related products, including bell towers and animated figures. It is only one of two companies in the United States and two companies in England that does this activity.
 
We were guided through the plant by Phyllis Hence, who first took us to their showroom. There we saw their newer electronic products, including a three manual carillon which controls eight different sets of bells and electronic handbells and chimes. Then, we went on to the handbell part of the manufacturing operation.   
 
These bells are forged rough by an independent contractor nearby and sent to Schulmerich for final finishing, tuning, and delivery. These operations like anything else involve computers, but the final tuning is done by ear on the part of  a "very valuable" employee. He trims the inside of each bell to be sure its pitch is correct per a computer. It is a very exacting operation.
 
It was an extremely interesting tour, because there are so few firms in this field. If you are in the area, take time to make a visit.
 
Many thanks go to the Schulmerich Carillon Company and to Phyllis Hence for a very interesting afternoon.
 
Dick Auchincloss

 

 

 

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2013-01-27 17:20:17 -0500