Like violins and pianos, the quality of sound produced by a bell reflects its maker. Seventeen of Cornell's bells came from the Meneely Foundry in Watervliet, N.Y., including the nine given by Jennie McGraw, which marked the university's inauguration. A pair donated in the 20th century came from Padccard Foundry in France. In 1998, all of the bells were sent to Meeks, Watson & Company in Ohio, for tuning.
While the bells were in Ohio, a renovation of the clock tower included construction of a new practice room and installation of a specially designed stand that balances the sound of the bells.