Please look at the bell interior pictured as you read this. You will see the small ring in the center top, from which the clapper was hung.
(On the outside at the center top of the bell you will see a rivet that holds that small ring in place.) You're looking for the ends of the large loop for the strap mentioned above, which were inserted through slits for that purpose and then bent inside the bell to keep them from slipping out again.
At no time were more than 6 or 8 men employed there.
My father, John Henry Blum Jr., was the third generation to operate the bell factory.
(“America’s Cowbells” by Gary Spickler; The Bell Tower, Official Publication of the American Bell Association International, Inc. They were made from sheet steel, cut with a flat pattern or “die” much as a garment is cut from cloth.
You probably have seen the words “Die and former for shaping patented” on the Holstein bell labels. After being cut from the steel, the bell was curved around the “former”, which gave it its form or shape, and was then riveted along each side.
--Virginia Blum Gaines January 26, 2010 There are several ways to tell if an unlabeled bell is a Blum bell. You'll notice in the picture that the bell does not have sharply creased edges that define the sides, but that it curves.
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.