Welcome to Bevin Bros.
If our name rings a bell, it’s because we have been crafting high-quality, authentic Bevin Bells since 1832. And every bell has always been made right here in America. Now in our sixth generation of family ownership, Bevin Bros. is the only dedicated bell manufacturer in the United States. Devoted to the art and science of producing exceptional bells with a brilliant sound, the Bevin family still oversees all operations in East Hampton, Connecticut. Each bell we make is backed by two centuries of experience, quality and trust, in addition to a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can be sure that our goal is to be here in another 200 years, celebrating with bells on.
And, because we’ve been at this longer than anyone else, we have the most extensive variety of quality bells in the world. Add in our customizing work, and you could say we have all the bells and whistles.
Discover Our History
The history of Bevin Bros. and of the US bell industry is nearly two centuries old. Since the very early 1800s, the Bevin family has been crafting bells in the same little town in central CT. With an unwavering commitment to quality and the same deeply rooted values that launched this business, our bells have withstood the test of time, and continue to deliver the same wonderful sound and bring the same joy to users. You probably don’t realize how well you know us. Bevin Bros. makes most of the bells that the Salvation Army bell ringers use with their iconic kettles during the holiday season; it was a Bevin Gong Bell that opened and closed the NYSE for nearly seven decades; a Bevin Bell gave Clarence his wings in the iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life” movie; Good Humor trucks ignited the taste buds of children growing up as they rang their Bevin Bells throughout the neighborhoods; and many a prize fight featuring legend Muhammad Ali was marked by the gong of a Bevin Bell.
We are based in East Hampton, CT, also known as Bell Town, because of its roots as the center of bell manufacturing in this country. Once home to more than 30 bell-related companies, Bevin Brothers is the only one remaining. Check out more about our history below.
1808 The Beginning
William Barton is credited with the start of East Hampton’s bell making in 1808. According to Barbara Feist (a direct descendent of William Barton) as she writes in Ring Out for Belltown, “When the first bell hit the market, East Hampton was only 65 years old.” She further proclaims, “East Hampton (to be) the oldest bell producer in the America.” Throughout the past 200 years, more than thirty bell companies have flourished in East Hampton. Companies such as Starr Bros., N.N. Hill and Gong Bell were prominent. Bevin Brothers was the second bell company in town and is now the last one still in business. Of note, William Barton (East Hampton’s first bell maker) and the four, original, bell making Bevin brothers (Abner, Chauncey, William and Philo) are buried in East Hampton’s Lakeside Cemetery. Click here to read more on the history of New England Village “Belltown USA”.
William Bevin learned the art of bell making while working as an indentured servant to William Barton when Barton lived and worked in Cairo, New York. Bevin agreed to the terms and tenure of the indenture under the condition that he could use the craft where and when he desired after he left. William Bevin returned to East Hampton, and with brother, Chauncey, continued to make bells, coffee mills, kettles, and cranes. Another brother, Abner, who had also worked in the Barton shop, joined William and Chauncey and, in 1832, they started the Bevin Brothers bell factory, A fourth brother, Philo, later joined the others and, in 1868, Bevin Brothers was incorporated as the Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company.
The brothers made sleigh, hand, house, cow, sheep, door and ship’s bells. They also made up to twenty different sizes of common sleigh bells of the globe, band, or rim variety. Bevin Brothers was reported to produce the first bicycle bells ever made. The first foot bell ever used in an automobile was also produced by Bevin and was patented in 1897.
The bell industry flourished through the civil war. The economy in New England was vibrant as goods were produced to supply the troops in the field. In 1901, electric power came allowing bell makers to have a reliable source of power.
On May 27th, 2012 our 6th generation family business was dealt a heavy blow. Despite the valiant efforts of more than 200 firefighters, our historic 19th century factory was completely destroyed. 2012 will go down as the most challenging one thus far in our history. When we lost almost everything in the devastating fire on Memorial Day weekend, we were not immediately sure that we would be able to rise from the ashes.%5Cn%5CnHowever, with the support, encouragement, prayers and patronage of so many folks, we were able to rise up and once again produce bells in America, just 1/4 mile from our original location. Through continued family management and resources, Bevin Brothers looks forward to celebrating our 200th anniversary in 2032.
A Family Company
Now in our sixth generation of leadership, the Bevin family has owned and led Bevin Bros. since it’s founding in 1832.
- First Generation: Abner G. Bevin
- Second Generation: Chauncey G. Bevin
- Third Generation: Stanley A. Bevin
- Fourth Generation: Chauncey G. Bevin II
- Fifth Generation: Stanley R. Bevin
- Sixth Generation: Matthew G. Bevin (current owner and President); Cici Bevin (General Manager)
About Our Bells
There is a functional nature to the products that Bevin Brothers produces, and innovation has been a hallmark of the company. Sleighs were a primary mode of transportation during the cold winter months and were extremely quiet. This imposed a safety hazard to unsuspecting pedestrians who shared the same rustic roads. Law mandated that sleighs have bells to warn those nearby. At one point, we made up to 20 different sizes and styles of sleigh bells alone. Bells were used to call parishioners to church, to call employees to work, to signal a fire and, when attached to a wagon wheel after a 360 degree revolution, to indicate distance. Bevin Bros. is also credited with inventing the first bicycle bell in 1865, and the first foot bell for the very early horseless carriages. Isaac Bevin patented the first mass-produced bell toy.
Today, the factory continues to produce over 50 different sizes and styles of bells – and every single bell is still made with great pride in East Hampton, CT. Our bells are seen cheering on sports teams, runners and skiers; they are used in nursing homes by residents needing assistance; they adorn Christmas trees and appear in crafts and other decorations; they still call the family for dinner; draw attention to the thousands of Salvation Army kettles each holiday season; act as a warning system in coal mines; announce the arrival of ice cream and food trucks across the globe; among many, many other uses. In fact, we are the only remaining US manufacturer solely dedicated to making bells.