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Bells of Thanksgiving (1976)

Liz Wally

Sound | 1976

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  •  Paccard Bell Foundry 
  •  Bell founders draw plans for bells 
  •  Bell founders remove the bell from the inside and outside mould 
  •  Bell founders test the sound of the bell’s ring 
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Produced by the Thanks-Giving Square Foundation, this short documentary examines the historic Paccard Bell Foundry in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, and the bells made for Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas. Pierre Paccard narrates the film, describing the process of bell founding that has been in his family since 1796. Beginning with drawing plans, the founders then create an inside mould, a core, and an outside shell, a cope. They heat bronze with wood ovens reaching around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit until the metal becomes liquid. The founders then pour the bronze in between the core and cope. After the bronze cools, they remove the moulds and test the sound of the bell’s ring. Dedicated in 1976, Thanks-Giving Square is a public-private complex in downtown Dallas. In encompasses three components: a landscaped garden, sections of the underground Dallas Pedestrian Network, and the Bullington Truck Terminal. The square’s Bell Tower houses three bells, designed in the form of the Liberty Bell, that ring every hour.