Ships bells

Ship’s bell
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Ship’s bell on USS Chancellorsville
A ship’s bell is used to indicate the time aboard a ship and hence to regulate the sailors’ duty watches. The bell itself is usually made of brass or bronze and normally has the ship’s name engraved or cast on it.
Contents
1 Timing of duty periods
2 Other uses
3 Name of the ship
4 Number of bells
5 Cook and boatswain
6 Baptizing children
7 Mourning the dead
8 See also
9 References
10 External links
Timing of duty periods
Unlike civil clock bells, the strikes of the bell do not accord to the number of the hour. Instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch. In the age of sailing, watches were timed with a 30-minute hourglass. Bells would be struck every time the glass was turned, and in a pattern of pairs for easier counting, with any odd bells at the end of the sequence.
The classical system was:

Bell from the Titanic
Number of bells Bell pattern Middle watch Morning watch Forenoon watch Afternoon watch First dog watch Last dog watch First watch
One bell 1 0:30 4:30 8:30 12:30 16:30 18:30† 20:30
Two bells 2 1:00 5:00 9:00 13:00 17:00 19:00† 21:00
Three bells 2 1 1:30 5:30 9:30 13:30 17:30 19:30† 21:30
Four bells 2 2 2:00 6:00 10:00 14:00 18:00 22:00
Five bells 2 2 1 2:30 6:30 10:30 14:30 18:30 22:30
Six bells 2 2 2 3:00 7:00 11:00 15:00 19:00 23:00
Seven bells 2 2 2 1 3:30 7:30 11:30 15:30 19:30 23:30
Eight bells 2 2 2 2 4:00 8:00 12:00‡ 16:00 20:00 0:00
† British usage after the Nore mutiny[1]
‡ Before the introduction of time zones, noon was not struck by the glass, but when the captain or officer of the deck confirmed local noon by the sun, using a sextant.

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