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The family story about my great-grandfather, Christian Gottlob Blum (pronounced “Bloom”), was that he was born November 8, 1828, in Nagold, Germany, in the Black Forest.
Records in Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville, Illinois, indicate that he was born in Wurttemberg, Germany.
The date of his emigration to the United States is not known.
Church records show that he was married to Maria Katharina Schoettle and they were the parents of seven children, one of whom was my grandfather, Johann Heinrich Christian Blum (who later went by the English version of his name, John Henry Blum), who was born in 1863 and was baptized in Holy Cross Lutheran.
This is because of the shape of the "former" mentioned on the red Holstein Bell label--"Die and Former for Shaping Patented." As you will see also, because of the curved sides, the bottom opening is oval and the bell flares out slightly around the opening.Another feature to look for is the three-cornered fold at each side of the top of the bell.On a Blum bell, the corner was cut off with a definite point.The brazing process covered every possible chink around the large loop so that you can't see, from the outside or the inside, any evidence of the insertion of the ends of the loop.HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART -- on a Blum bell, the ends of the large loop were cut in points, not left blunt.
My family, the Blum family of Collinsville, Illinois, operated a small cowbell factory for three generations in that community.