It took a gentle push and a firm pull of many hands to get the 1,590-pound bronze bell back into position. But last Friday, after months of work and preparation, the Old Whaling Church bell was again in its place high above downtown Edgartown.

When the 1843 bell was removed from the tower last January on the coldest day of winter, it was green and tarnished from more than a century and a half of storms, including hurricanes, and other extreme weather conditions. A 500-pound iron counterweight and the fork and frame that held the bell in place were dangerously worn from age and exposure to the elements.

On Friday the bell shone as if it were made of silver, ready to ring again and toll the hour as it had done when the clock was first installed in 1889.

Greg Blaine, an Edgartown metalworker, who had worked on the bell and its parts, told those on the crew that the bell’s silver polish was temporary; in a short time the bell will again turn greenish bronze.

Through the winter Mr. Blaine worked on the bell and its parts in his shop off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. With the help of a Bridgewater foundry and a pattern maker in New Hampshire, he completely rebuilt the four-spoke, five-foot wheel that was once used to swing the bell. An original mahogany rim was restored, and the rusted and pitted yoke and frame that held the bell were restored. All the original cast-iron parts were sandblasted and repainted.

In the future someone on the ground floor of the church will once again be able to pull a rope connected to the wheel and make the bell swing and ring as it was designed to do in the days before electricity.

Steve Ewing, an Edgartown dock builder, fashioned a new marine-grade wood crib to hold the bell and its stand in the tower.

For years, the bell has been stationary due to its poor state of repair.

Mike (Panhead) Fuss of Offshore Cycle in Vineyard Haven restored a mechanical device that allows the town clock to ring the bell on the hour in the future.

On Friday, standing 80 feet above the street inside the bell tower, Ron Way of Baxter Crane coached crane operator Phil Kelly on his cell phone. “Cable up, cable up, cable up,” he urged, as the bell rose a fraction of an inch at a time. “Swing to the left, a little. Swing to the left.”

Traffic down Main street was rerouted from 8 a.m. until early afternoon. Pedestrians with cameras stopped to take pictures. A small crowd gathered outside the Edgartown courthouse to watch the show.

Despite the use of three house jacks, a variety of different crowbars, blocks of wood, wrenches and a come-along hand cable winch, in the end it was human hands that did the work coaxing the old bell into place.

Finally at 12:30 p.m., Mr. Blaine and his crew, which included Rick Bleakney of Baxter Crane, rang the bell three times. The sound floated across town on a sunny spring day.

Chris Scott, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, which owns the Whaling Church, thanked the many people who participated in the bell restoration, including the town of Edgartown, which contributed money from its Community Preservation Act fund. “I’d love to single out the craftsmen involved — Mr. Blaine, John Anderson, who restored the wooden rim to the wheel, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Fuss and Mike Lynch of Associate Roofing,” Mr. Scott said, adding: “I continue to be impressed by the quality of the craftsmen we have on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Mr. Scott said he hopes to have the bell ringing on the hour by Memorial Day weekend.