The Verdin story
CELEBRATING 175 YEARS!
The Verdin Company’s legacy, experience, and passion to innovate have been passed down over six generations. After 175 years, we still use craftsmanship honed over the decades to produce the highest-quality bells, clocks, and towers in the world.
The early days
When two French immigrant brothers, Francis de Sales and Michael Verdin, came to the Cincinnati, Ohio area from Alsace, France in 1835, they were determined to use their iron forging skills to build clocks in America. The two brothers immediately established a tower clock business in the famous Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, where their first documented installation was a clock and bell equipment at Old St. Mary’s Church in 1842.
A milestone few companies reach
Six generations and 175 years later, The Verdin Company has grown from that modest beginning to become the industry leader in bells, bell equipment, restoration, digital carillons, and clocks. One of the nation’s oldest family-owned manufacturers, Verdin is known for innovation – including the electric clock winder in 1910, the first electric bell ringer in 1927, the largest swinging cast bell in America, and the only traveling bell foundry in the world. With a national sales force, a dedicated team of service professionals, and international recognition for craftsmanship, Verdin has over 55,000 installations in churches, universities, municipalities, and businesses across the country.
A six-generation family business
After working side-by-side with their fathers for so many years, the 5th generation has inspired and passed their own bell and clock knowledge to their sons, Robert III, Tim, and Tom. Quality products and solid customer relationships are Verdin’s most important goals. After 175 years, The Verdin Company continues to have an impact on the industry as a pioneer and innovator.
Credible, trusted partner
Attention to detail
Passion and innovation
“This is a very exciting year for The Verdin Company as we reflect on our extensive history and product innovations, and remember the pioneers who came before us and laid the foundation for our company.”
– JAMES R. VERDIN, PRESIDENT, THE VERDIN COMPANY
Verdin 175th Anniversary Bell
Enjoy the video to learn more about the Verdin 175th anniversary bell created to mark a special milestone in the history of The Verdin Company.
The Verdin timeline
Innovation is the hallmark of Verdin. Since the first installation in 1842, Verdin has pioneered multiple breakthroughs in the bell and clock industry, and acquired several bell foundries and related businesses.
Two French immigrant brothers, Francis de Sales and Michael Verdin, immigrated to the Cincinnati, Ohio area from Alsace, France in 1835, and established the Verdin & Brother company, a tower clock business on Vine and 12th Street.
First installation: Tower clock
Verdin & Brother built the clock and bell equipment for Old St. Mary’s, Cincinnati, Ohio. Today, the original face and mechanism are still in place, although the weights and pendulum were removed when the clock was electrified by Verdin 100 years after its installation. Old St. Mary’s is the oldest clock tower in Cincinnati, and one of the oldest in the United States.
Invents continuous mechanical winder
Alois Nicolas Verdin, second generation, invents the continuous mechanical winder for tower clocks. He was recognized as one of the region’s most distinguished inventors in the field of time-keeping.
Creates America’s first electric bell ringer
As electricity became more widely available, Innes Theopholis (I.T.) Verdin, third generation, invented America’s first electric bell ringer. Prior to his invention, bells were rung by hand by pulling a rope.
In 1934, leadership of the company passed from I.T. Verdin to his sons Robert Verdin, Sr., Ralph Verdin, and Forrest Verdin. Together, they modernized the company’s products and continued the trend set by I.T. Verdin of introducing electrification to many installations that were manually operated.
Introduces electronic bell carillons
These new carillons amplify bell sounds through speakers.
Acquires Vanduzen Bell Foundry
Fifth generation, James Verdin, Robert Verdin, Jr. and David Verdin take over business. Create national sales force selling tower and street clocks, cast bronze bells, bell ringing equipment and electronic carillons.
Acquires Deagan Tubular Chime Company
Purchases VanBergen Bell Foundry
Harmannus (Harry) H. VanBergen grew up in the bell business and represents the ninth generation of the vanBergen family. VanBergen was founded and cast their first bells in 1795. Harry studied casting, tuning, and playing in Europe, and his bell expertise has been developed and honed over a lifetime. He currently works for The Verdin Company.
Creates the world’s largest swinging bell
Verdin designed and manufactured the world’s largest swinging bell—the 66,600-pound World Peace Bell—to commemorate the Millennium.
Creates world’s only Bell Foundry on Wheels
To celebrate the Ohio Bicentennial, Verdin created the world’s first traveling bell foundry. The Bell Foundry on Wheels was designed to more easily cast bells on site in each Ohio county.
Purchases Stoermer Bell Foundry
The Stoermer Bell Foundry was established in Canada in 1931 when Carl Stoermer emigrated to Kitchener, Ontario.
Purchases Belltron U.S.A.
Purchases Canterbury International
Founded by Larry Snyder, Canterbury has been designing and crafting commercial site furnishings since 1962.
Acquires Schulmerich Carillons
George J. Schulmerich pioneered the field of electro-mechanical bells and carillons in 1932 with the first digital bell music. He discovered that tiny rods of cast bronze struck with miniature hammers produced audible and pure bell tones that could be amplified electronically to produce a rich, sonorous tone.
Introduces Verdin organ and piano line
Verdin’s organ product line enhances organ music by adding bell voices to existing organs.
In 2017, Verdin celebrates its 175th anniversary as a family business. Verdin has over 55,000 installations worldwide and is the oldest privately-held manufacturing business in Ohio.
Today Verdin is led by the fifth and sixth generations of Verdins – James Verdin, Bob Verdin III, and Tim Verdin. Like their family members before them, today’s fifth and sixth generations lead the company forward by blending technological innovation with old-world craftsmanship. They lead the company with creative ideas, new clock and bell products, and unparalleled customer service.