Headstocks are more than mere carriers of bells

Even Leonardo da Vinci gave great thought to the matter of how bells might be made to swing better. He invented the precursor of ball bearings.

 

Headstocks are traverse carriers above the bell which enable a bell to swing through its laterally attached ball bearings. Depending on the era, the shapes of headstocks have changed in accord with fashion. Sometimes headstocks were ornamented with symbols and inscriptions.

 

The shape of a headstock also influences the sound and resonance of a bell. Thus, for example, a bell with a high wooden headstock swings more slowly and the bell tones have more time to resonate than with a simple wooden headstock without weight above.

 

Bells which swing in the ‘selfsame frequency as the tower’ and thus can easily damage the tower, can be brought to change their swinging frequency through a different headstock, thus eliminating the danger to the tower.

 

 

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