Having just celebrated Independence Day in the U.S., I thought it appropriate to strike a historical note in this month’s column. I hope you will forgive the departure from my usual literary meanderings about manufacturing to take a look at an icon in American history.
While on vacation in the U.K. earlier this year, I visited the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (WBF) in London. It was something of a personal pilgrimage for me. WBF is thought to be Britain’s oldest manufacturing company, having been established in 1570 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, one bell historian has traced WBF’s roots back to Master Founder Robert Chamberlain in 1420 during the reign of Henry V.