Hardest Working Bell

Dear Sir:

FAR be it from me to question any figure offered on the authority of my learned classmate the Dean of the Faculty, but I can’t help feeling some curiosity about the basis for the estimate that the bell recently retired from Nassau Hall has probably rung more strokes than any other in the world.


Port Washington, N.Y.

The authority for the statement referred to was not Dean Brown but Professor Arthur Bigelow, Bellmaster of the University. He estimates that the old bell in Nassau Hall was rung more than 35,000,000 times. Of this number he allows only a modest 1,890,000 strikes in celebration of athletic victories, the most difficult figure to estimate. Mr. Bigelow’s figures indicate that annually the bell is rnng 257,550 times for class changes; 15,470 for curfew; 13,740 for Chapel; and 56,784 to strike the hours. “Compare this,” he writes, “to a bell founded in 1446, hanging in the tower of St. Gertrude’s Abbey, Louvain, Belgium. It is estimated to have sounded, by ringing and by carillon play, 22,970,000 times. Accordingly, this venerable instrmnent will not have caught up to our old Nassau Hall bell until sometime around the year 2206 A.D.!”