Fashioned as either small ornaments or large enough to be heard for miles, bells have long been a part of human history and culture. First appearing around 2000 B.C. as simple percussion instruments, they continue to celebrate special events to this day with their sweet melodic ring. The largest bell displayed here was made in Sheffield, England in 1860 and is so marked all around the outside cast in steel, by Naylor, Vickers & Co. This 27" diameter bell still retains its original headstock and wheel with the company's signature curlicue spokes. This company advertised their bells to "have a very pure melodious sound, peculiar to cast steel; and as the elasticity of this material seems to produce more powerful vibrations, their sound penetrates to a greater distance." Our example was most likely intended for a church. The smaller 25" diameter cast steel bell is unmarked and represents the kinds of bells used by schools to call students to class or signal fires and emergencies. The smallest bell is made of bronze and was most likely used on a ranch, school or possibly to signal activity at a mine.