This bronze bell was forged by the E.W. Vanduzen Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1893. Originally placed in St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, this was the largest of 9 bells. A musical collection of 9 bells is delineated as a "chime of bells". The tonal pitch is the musical note C3. The church and campanile underwent demolition in 1995 when the property was purchased by Eli Lilly & Co. for expansion of their Indianapolis plant.
G.W. Coffin founded the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1837. This factory produced the finest and most ornate bells ever made in the United States. During the Civil War, the foundry produced canons for the war effort. A devastating Ohio River flood in January 1937 destroyed most of the Buckeye Foundry records.
The bell weighs 4800 lbs. with a circumference of nearly 16 ft. For comparison, the 'Liberty Bell' is smaller in size with a circumference of 12 ft. However, 'Big Ben', the nickname of the great bell in London Tower Clock, measures over 28 ft. The bronze composition is 80% copper and 20% tin. As the copper oxidizes, a slight green patina appears.
The waist of the bell is inscribed with the biblical verse Ephesians 5:14; "Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you".
The bell is enclosed in an elegant rotunda folly reminiscent
of those found in 18th century English gardens. Follies were often deliberately built as ornaments for viewing pleasure. Supporting brick and striking slender turned cedar columns hold the sculptured canopy aloft. A Chippendale style railing encircles the base. This addition accents the historic property.