• Came from Southern Railway steam locomotive Number 1248.
  • Locomotive was a PS/PS-2 class passenger locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive
    Works in 1910. The bell was mounted on the front above the headlight.
  • Locomotive was scrapped in 1949 and the bell was donated to the Camp Logan Lodge in
    Western North Carolina. There it was part of an outdoor display until it was acquired by
    the Museum in 2011.
  • These types of locomotives were used in passenger service into and out of Aiken during
    the heyday of the Winter Colony.
  • After a visit to England in the 1920s, where he saw English locomotives painted a green
    color, Southern president Fairfax Harrison ordered all Southern Railway passenger
    engines, including 1248, painted green – Virginia Green. Lettering, numbers, and
    striping were done in gold.

Some general information on bells

  • Large steam locomotive bells were made of cast metal — usually bronze or brass. While
    the bell itself was one piece, the bell assembly typically consisted of the cradle, which
    attached to the locomotive body, the yoke, which fit into the cradle and attached to and
    swung with the bell, the clapper, which was the metal piece that struck the bell on the
    inside causing the ring, and the “pull-arm”, which was a lever to which a pull rope was
  • In his book “Railroad Collectibles”, Stanley Baker writes, “About 1840, bells became
    standard equipment on engines, but their main function was to warn both humans and
    animals to watch out for the coming train. In the very early days, a man on horseback
    rode ahead of the locomotive waving a flag and shouting ‘The train is coming.’ When a
    bell was added, it was the fireman’s job to ring it, and many a fireman would develop
    such a distinctive touch on the bell that his friends and family would become familiar
    with its tone and cadence. When President Lincoln’s body was carried by train from
    Chicago to Springfield in 1865, the engine’s muffled bell tolled the entire distance.”
    (Baker, pg 161.)
  • For more information contact Roy McLain at 803-649-7329