Bells onboard ships are used for signaling, keeping time, sounding alarms, and are an important part of a ship's routine and readiness. They are used to announce the arrival and departure of important persons such as the ship's captain, a flag officer, or other important individuals or dignitaries. Bells can also be utilized to baptize a child onboard. Once a ship is decommissioned, bells are transferred to the Naval History and Heritage Command where they are placed on exhibit or on loan.
To read more about ship bells, please click here for an article by the NHHC Navy Library.
Image: 090626-N-3267C-001: USS Normandy (CG-60), June 26, 2009. Boatswain's Mate Seaman Recruit Cochran shines the ship's bell. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.
Alphabetical List of Ship Bells at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy
USS Merrimack, frigate, watch bell displayed at "Civil War: Securing the Seas for Union Victory" exhibit area. Note, the spelling of the frigate is Merrimack. The bell's cast has "Merrimac." Note, sunk by the Union Navy, she was raised, rebuilt, and brought into the Confederate Navy, serving as her first ironclad, CSS Virginia. For a side view, click here.