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Aspinwall Foundry, Albany, NY - An emerging history of the Aspinwall family and its bells.

Lewis Aspinwall starts a bell foundry at 18 Beaver street, April 27, 1823.
Another account says they are a foundry on Water St., consisting of a casting house 90x45.
Hanks started on Water St. 1808 in Gibbonsville, so that may be incorrect, tho the name Water St. is plausible.

On April 17, 1828, a loss of $40,000 was caused by a fire which started in the bell foundry on Beaver St (between Broadway and Green St.) and burned thru to Hudson Ave.

First bell looks very professional.  Later bells are a dull grey rather than brass tint.

Bell (on street level) at St. Paul's Church, Hwy 81, Oak Hill, NY 12460,
Inscription "L. A. ASPINWALL, ALBANY, NY 1835"
String profile is 1F1-2,3 25 inches 'F'
My unexpected guess is that this bell was probably cast by Alfred Andrew Meneely in Watervliet West Troy for Aspinwall.
A guess is that Lewis Aspinwall had an order for a bell and had Alfred Andrew Meneely cast it.  Another guess is that Lewis Aspinwall was probably present, got the hang of it, and started making bells on his own.
Bell is in Meneely profile. Color is in brass patina, not grey. Foundry is between top two strings, not in body.
Inscription on St. Mary's and Brosamer bell is considerably more primitive and in the body

32 inch 1837 bell (mounted) for sale #A-387(picture) by, 517-592-9030
String profile is 0-2F2-1, one line inscription "ASPINWALL ALBANY. 1837."
Bob Brosamer believes bell came from a factory in Springfield, Ma.

1838 bell by L. Aspinwall for 2nd Pres Church, Albany (building, site or disposition not yet located)
The same tattered note suggests a bell at Thornwood, Hawthorne and a reformed church

Assume bell was transferred to 3rd St. Marys church when completed in 1869
Bell (in tower) at St. Mary's Church, Albany, NY, inscribed
String profile is 0,2F2,0
Tower grafitti: Joe Warren Steeplejack 12/92, Joe Connors 7/20/93 and one other.

Relationship to bells currently recast from this foundry

St. George's Church, Flushing, Queens, NY
Original bell (1760?) was 400 lbs. Wm H Aspinwall
With a new structure in 1853, a larger bell was required by his brother John
It was inscribed "John Aspinwall, Gentleman"
Bell was recast at Troy, NY, still exists and was shored up after hurricane of September 10, 2010 (will ask them for pictures).

Parish Church, Queens, NY (1762?) page 161, perhaps another recast?
interesting prices for ringing this bell (for funerals?) was 3 shillings for a half ring (young child), 6 shillings (for adult?) and 9 shillings for bell and peal.

Aspinwall Ancestry is quite sketchy at this point.
Found it under Menands(a suburb of Albany).

The Albany Ancestry almost seems to not exist.  City Directories are yet to be scoured.

Apparently the family was very successful in business.
There was an L. A. Aspinwall, president of the Aspinwall Manufacturing Company of Three Rivers, Michigan. born 1842.  His father is listed as a bell foundryman, which he followed during his early manhood.  He went to Albany Academy.

There was a John Aspinwall, a successful merchant in NYC (who apparently donated the recast Queens bells).  There is a city directory type entry for him:
  Aspinwall, John N, brass 331 Fifth, h 25th N

There is an Aspinwall ancestry under  It is long, gives family trees, but little other information.

Send mail to  Carl Zimmerman  with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified by Carl Zimmerman:  8-Feb-2014
Last modified by Joe Connors:  11/20/12