From 1808 until 1951, four foundries in and across the river from Troy cast and shipped bells to destinations all over the world. The following excerpt from Hudson Mohawk Gateway: An Illustrated History by Thomas Phelan describes the regions bell industry:
The greatest name in Gateway bells was undoubtedly that of Andrew Meneely. At seventeen he was apprenticed to Julius Hanks and even married one of Hanks daughters. In 1826 he founded his own firm in Gibbonsville. Meneely is credited with the invention of the conical rotary yoke, later catalogued as the most desirable and perfect rotary yoke in the world. His firm remained a family-held, single-product business for well over a century, casting some of the most important bells, pads, and chains used in this country and abroad.
Some of these important bells include:
- a replacement for the original Liberty Bell (cast in 1876 for the Centennial) that
hangs today in the bell tower of Independence Hall, Philadelphia. This is not a replica of the original bell. Rather, it is a much larger bell, weighing 13,000 pounds, a thousand pounds for each of the original thirteen States.
- four bells on the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in New York City. According to Sydney Ross in his Gateway booklet entitled The Bell Casters of Troy:
These bells are 700 feet in the air, and are by far the highest hung bells in the world. Their sound has been reported by voyagers at sea, beyond Sandy Hook, New Jersey, fully twenty-eight miles from the tower, and by others on Hudson River boasts, equally as far to the north.
To this day, there are Meneely bells on every continent on the planet except Antarctica.
Read more about the bell industry in and around Troy:
- Dan Meneely's Meneely Bell Online Museum
- Dan Meneely's Prototype Meneely Foundries Site
- Spreadsheet of Entries in Troy Meneely Ledger Book (Transcribed and Augmented by Jess Brodnax)