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HISTORY pages 1 – 2

History of the PACCARD Bellfoundry


The first PACCARD bell was cast in 1796. At that time, having the need of a bell, the commune of Quintal - on the hillside of the Semnoz Mountain (Haute-Savoie) - applied to a master bell-caster from Carouge (near Geneva), by the name of Jean Baptiste Pitton. It was still the time when bells were cast on site. Jean-Baptiste Pitton required an assistant, the mayor of the community proposed himself and that was how Antoine PACCARD, first of the name, completed his apprenticeship and created the first PACCARD Bell Foundry in Quintal .

When he died, his sons Jean-Pierre and Claude PACCARD carried on the work in the foundry. Because of the rapid growth of this new industry, Claude decided to move the factory from Quintal to Annecy-le-Vieux, closer to the railway, in 1857.

     

Georges, Francisque and Victor, Jean-Pierre's sons, made the company prosper so much so that, by the end of the 19th century, it had gained a worldwide reputation. Georges dealt with technical supervision. He directed the casting of 10000 bells. The beauty of the PACCARD bell shape, the accuracy of its tonality, the fullness of its tone and its harmony are all thanks to him. In France, he was the main promoter of carillons, an idea which came originally from Belgium and Holland and which spread across the western World.

In 1891, he cast the biggest bell in France, "La Savoyarde" , for the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Montmartre, in Paris. Georges PACCARD worked with his sons, Joseph and Louis, guiding them with his advice.

     

After the end of the First World War, the foundry produced a large number of bells, several of which are very famous, such as the "Jeanne d'Arc", in Rouen, the previously mentioned "Savoyarde" or the famous "Liberty Bell".

Thanks to Alfred PACCARD and his cousins Jacques and Henri, the PACCARD Foundry became the World specialist in carillon bells : its fame comes from its molding processes and especially from its mastery of tone and tuning. In 1950, The united States government ordered 54 copies of the famous "Liberty Bell", one for each capital of each state. This order set up the PACCARD Bellfoundry into the American market. more page 2...

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