HISTORY pages 1 – 2

History of the PACCARD Bell foundry

In 1796, the small town of Quintal, located at the base of the Semnoz Mountain in Haute-Savoie, wanted a bell for the local church and hired Jean Baptiste Pitton, a master bell-caster from Carouge (near Geneva) to make the bell.  In the late 18th century, bells were still cast on the same spot where they were to be rung, so Jean Baptiste traveled to Quintal to cast the town’s first bell.  He needed an assistant to complete the work, and Quintal’s mayor, Antoine Paccard, volunteered for the job.  After helping cast the town’s first bell, and completing an apprenticeship, Antoine Paccard began the Paccard bell casting legacy by opening the first PACCARD Bell Foundry right in Quintal.

Antoine passed the craft of bell casting on to his two sons, Jean-Pierre and Claude, who continued the work of the foundry after their father passed away.  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.

It was the next generation of Paccards - Georges, Francisque, and Victor - the sons of Jean-Pierre -who developed the


company’s reputation for casting high-quality bells.

By the end of the 19th century, the foundry had gained recognition as one of the finest bell-casting companies in the world.  Georges decided to focus on the technical aspects of making bells, and he personally directed the casting of more than 10,000 bells during his tenure.  Not only was he responsible for designing the beautiful shape of PACCARD bells, the accuracy of their tonality, the fullness of their sound, and the richness of their harmonic qualities, but George also was a key promoter of carillons, the multi-bell instrument with roots in Belgium and Holland that eventually spread across the entire western world.

By 1891, the year Georges cast the largest bell in France, "La Savoyarde," for Paris’ Sacred Heart Cathedral in Montmartre, sons Joseph and Louis were well on their way to becoming the next generation of Paccards to continue the bell-casting tradition.

After the end of World War I, business increased significantly, and the PACCARD Bell Foundry produced


large quantities of bells, including the famous "Jeanne d'Arc" bell in Rouen, and the famous "La Savoyarde."

By the mid-twentieth century, the PACCARD Bell Foundry had established itself as the world’s premier producer of carillon bells, in part because of improved molding processes developed by the next generation of Paccard bell founders, Alfred and cousins Jacques and Henri.  Under their leadership, the PACCARD carillon bell became known for having the finest tone and the best tuning in the industry.

In 1950, The United States government ordered 54 copies of the famous "Liberty Bell," one for each capital of each state.  This order proved to be an important more page 2...

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