The seven largest bells of the new Lowell House carillon were brought to Cambridge yesterday and stored in the construction shack adjacent to Gore Ball. The remaining 14 bells will probably be transferred to the same storage place today.
The total weight of the carillon will be about 27 tons. In order to carry such a great load the plans of the Lowell House tower were altered to give extra strength to the structure. The tower is now capable of supporting a load of 32 tons.
The work of getting the 10-ton bell off the truck trailer upon which it was moved and into the shack took a group of movers over four hours. In order to lower the huge chime to the ground, a runway had to be built from the rear of the truck and skids put under the bell to roll it down to the ground. At the first attempt the great weight splintered a pair of skids six inches by eight. While this work was going on, the driver of a passing truck stopped to read the Russian inscription on the bell. A few minutes later he exclaimed that the large bronze was cast in his birthplace.
In age, the bells vary widely. The largest was cast in 1890. A smaller one, weighing about seven tons, is the most recent, having been made in 1904, while another, the oldest of the set bears the date of 1790.
Originally the bells came from several churches and monasteries in Russia. When they were purchased they had just been removed from a small church near Leningrad and were destined to be melted for their bronze when the donor, who chooses to remain anonymous, bought them for Harvard. They will probably be hoisted into the tower by means of a derrick about the end of this month or in the early part of November.