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University of North Texas  Spirit Bell story extra
Spring 2003      

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Old bell/new bell

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Bell tug project

Model A restoration

Additional Model A restoration

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Mysterious Math

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Romancing the Wind

UNT Spirit Bell


Old bell/new bell

The new and improved UNT Spirit Bell was shaped by many of the close calls faced by Talons of old.

For instance, the Talons rang the old bell by literally twirling it around using a circle-shaped crank. The 2,000-pound bell would do a complete 380-spin at speeds fast enough to take off an arm or at least a few fingers, according to Keith Swartz. And sometimes it would come completely apart. The new bell rings using a clapper with cables.

The old bell was pulled around on a fairly small trailer. It looked deceptively lightweight and would cause tow vehicles to break down. The new bell is pulled on a 9,000-pound diesel-powered tug built for heavy loads. The tug comes with a trailer that allows it to be towed for long trips. It also has green strobe lights.

Another addition to the new bell is that the clapper is removable. The old clapper could not be removed easily, which may have caused the initial crack in the original bell. The new bell is also made of a better grade of metal and truer steel than the old bell.

It all adds up to a new UNT Spirit Bell and tug that the Swartzes hope will be a campus tradition for many Mean Green generations.

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