Frederic Fuller in Providence, Rhode Island, cast this historic bell, #773, in 1860 for the Williamsville Manufacturing Company. It was located in the bell tower, which was part of the textile company’s first major expansion since the building of the original site in 1824. The bell was used to sum- mon Quinebaug Valley workers to work, signal fires, and mark celebra- tions.
In 1917, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company acquired the mill for the manufacture of tire cord for the emerging automobile industry. Rogers Cor- poration, founded in 1832 in Manchester, Connecticut, bought the mill from Goodyear in 1935 as it expanded to a second manufacturing location. It was converted to produce specialty paperboard used in electrical insula- tion for the growing electrical transformer industry, which was expanding due to the mass distribution of electricity throughout the United States.
“The Bell” was removed from the bell tower and was rung at noon on July 4, 1976, as part of the nationwide celebration of our bicentennial. The em- ployees presented it to Rogers Corporation for preservation and recogni- tion of the importance that the Williamsville Manufacturing Company, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Rogers Corporation have played in the cultural and economic development of the area.
On April 18, 2000, “The Bell” rang out in celebration once again at Rogers’ headquarters in Connecticut at the same time the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange was being rung on Wall Street by Rogers President and CEO Walter E. Boomer. That day, Rogers' stock began trading on the Big Board for the first time.