First let me correct one of the URLs that I listed in yesterday's post.
It should have read:
Sorry for any inconvenience that may have caused.
Due to the tremendous response to the posting, I have entered all the
known Deagan Tubular Bell Carillon installations using copies of the
factory records. I did not count the installations, however, it took
quite a while to enter them in HTML format. That link is:
As explained on the pages, only the number of tones and the year
of installation are listed after the city and state. A number of
carillons have been removed from their original locations and
re-installed elsewhere, thus preserving them. I did not list those
The player mechanisms used on Deagan Tubular Bell Carillons took two
forms: A regular spooled roll the same as used by player pianos and
other instruments (most common) and endless rolls similar to Link
Nickelodeon rolls. In later years these endless rolls were
discontinued and June Albright Howard would no longer produce endless
rolls as the special spooling and shipping equipment had been removed
from the factory.
It is hoped that the information on the original installations will
help preserve those that are still in place. Through the years, well
meaning people have tried to "improve" on the original design and the
results were less than satisfactory. That included the installation of
solid state relays, electronic players, and other more modern devices.
One such installation started chiming every time a police car used its
radio near the building!
Restoration of Deagan Tubular Bell Carillons has many interesting
stories, but none matches the cooperation between St. Patrick's Church
in Miami Beach, Florida and Corpus Christi Cathedral in Corpus Christi,
Texas. St. Patrick's had junked their bells, but the dampers were
still in place. Corpus Christi Cathedral had junked the dampers
(actually another bell company did the dirty deed), so St. Patrick's
dampers are now in Corpus Christi and the cathedral's chimes are once
again playing using all Deagan equipment.
If a church elected to install a new electronic set of chimes from
another manufacturer, all portions of the Deagan control equipment were
removed by the new installers. It is not unusual to find the bells
still hanging in the belfry with all control equipment removed.
To put things in perspective, Deagan recommended that the belfry be
able to support a weight of 14,000 pounds or roughly 550 pounds per
tone. The 32-tone set in Andalusia, Alabama, (all 17,600 pounds of it)
which I removed in 1988, was sitting on a floor so rotten that the six
men who helped in the removal all wondered just when we would all end
up in the basement, chimes and all! We collectively breathed a sigh of
relief when the last bell was lowered to the ground.
Before removal of the bells, we had to board up the stained glass
windows in the vicinity of the belfry. The windows were each insured
for one million dollars, however, none of us wanted to explain to an
insurance adjuster just how we had damaged a window! The state board
of insurance in Texas has no classification for "bell men", so I was
always carried on my liability policy as a steeple jack. I routinely
furnished the location with a certificate of insurance for two million
dollars. I never had to file a claim, thank goodness.
One of the biggest problems in restoring a Deagan Tubular Bell Carillon
is finding an electrician who understands direct current. Almost
always a licensed electrician is hired to pull the necessary new wires
in the conduit and make the connections. Getting them to understand
that they are dealing with direct current is usually a problem. Many
times they just pulled the wire and left the connections to me. I am
sure they did not inform the local code compliance office of that fact!
Enjoy the list and happy hunting!
Sweltering 22 blocks north of the Alamo in San Antonio!