Category Archives: Steeples and Towers

Rigging a Brick Factory Chimney with Safety in Mind

The late, great Fred Dibnah, English steeplejack and reality TV star, featured in a number of BBC videos from the 1980’s of his industrial brick chimney operations. Check out Fred’s technique demolishing Victorian industrial chimneys – – by burning them … Continue reading

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Leaky Roof? Call the “Plumber”.

“Plumber,” from the Latin, for lead, which is the metal which enables waterproof joints, in copper. As can be seen, the valleys, parapets and tower walls at First Presbyterian all conspire to concentrate water into basins which will accumulate and … Continue reading

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Unusual Period Tower Bell Restored to Original Ringing Format.

Carl Rickershauser of Coastal Clock and Chime in Cinnaminson, NJ restored this historic and unusual (cast in France) bronze bell in the tower of the Visitation Church in Washington, DC. Older bells were often mounted in a non-factory timber frame carriage, built … Continue reading

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Gilding of Sheet Copper Statue Atop Church Bell Tower

Jack Hassler Company of Philadelphia, PA gilded the monumental hand formed sheet copper statue on the tower of the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, using 24.75 carat gold leaf. “24 carats” means that it is 24 parts out of 24 … Continue reading

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Restoration of a Hand Rung Iron Church Bell

Carl Rickershauser of Coastal Clock and Chime in Cinnaminson, NJ restored a beautiful sounding little hand rung iron bell in the tower of the Atlantic United Methodist Church in Ocean City, MD. To begin with, it had typical tower bell issues, starting … Continue reading

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Some Days are Scary, and It’s not even Halloween.

  Some days are scary, and it’s not even Halloween yet. Maybe it’s your co-workers. The better you get to know them, the scarier they are. Maybe it is the fact that you are 500 feet in the air, up … Continue reading

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Historic Tower Bell Problems

  Historic buildings originally lacked most building mechanicals familiar today, but they were often equipped with one mechanical system that performed many modern functions. In their day, tower bells broadcast information about public safety, special events, the time and even … Continue reading

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Copper Shingles Furnish a Durable Maintenance Solution for a Historic Church Spire

Steeple repair specialists are often faced with the results of long time deferred maintenance and optimistic maintenance and the First Congregational Church in Hudson, Ohio was no different. When CIS Steeplejacks of Litchfield, Ohio inspected the structure, their steeple had been … Continue reading

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Keeping Costs Down in High Places – – the Steeplejack Option

Forbidding, archaic, daunting in scale, the high places of the built environment, like any extreme habitat, have produced their own community of niche restoration specialists, the steeplejacks.  These artisans have made this world truly their own by developing minimalist rigging … Continue reading

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OLD SCHOOL: Jack Hassler Co., Inc., Founded 1900, Union Shop.

Anyone who has managed a restoration business through its first decade will understand the dedication and pride of brothers Frank and John Kenny, owners of Jack Hassler Co., Inc., now entering its eleventh.  In 1900, when steeplejack Jack Hassler founded … Continue reading

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