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The USS MAINE Memorial Bells!

1901 Version

Contributed by Bill Nelson 
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Click here to see the 1904 version
A unique piece (or pieces, really) of USS MAINE memorabilia that appears from time to time are the bells made from metal from the USS MAINE. Bronze from the wrecked vessel was used to create a number of items, including several series of bronze bells. The bell below is from the first series produced, which were made to be sold at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, held in 1901. Coincidentally, it was while visiting this exposition that President William McKinley was fatally wounded by Leon Czolgosz. Literally, this bell may have tolled for him!

The handle of the bell reads "Remember the MAINE/ Designed for the Pan American Exposition Buffalo 1901.

When the bells were offered for sale, each was fitted with a red, white and blue ribbon.

If you click on the image of the bell, you will hear a recording of the bell ringing. It was recently recorded by Bill Nelson to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the Spanish American War. The recording is a 55k .wav file. If you cannot click and play the recording, save it and then play it through your "sound recorder" program included in your Windows multimedia package!

1901 bell made from the Battlehship MainePaper accompanying the 1901 bell


Nelson, Bill (personal correspondence)

McClure, Alexander K., and Charles Morris, Lld., The Authentic Life of William McKinley. (Washington DC: W. E. Scull, 1901).

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