History of the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is a huge bronze bell that symbolizes freedom in the United States of America. This historic bell is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The bell was originally cast in 1752 in London, England. It was commissioned as a bell for the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall).

The Crack: The bell first cracked during a test ringing. After cracking, the bell was recast twice in 1753 in Philadelphia by John Pass and John Stow (the old bell was broken up and melted down, more copper was added to the metal alloy to make it less brittle, and the bell was re-cast).

The restored bell was probably rung at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia (on July 8, 1776). It rang to announce many important events in early American history, including Presidential elections and deaths.

The bell cracked again on July 8, 1835, while being rung at the funeral of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The crack’s dimensions are 24.5 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.

Inscriptions on the Bell: Across the top of the bell is the inscription, “PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV X.” This is a quote from the Old Testamentent of the Bible, Leviticus chapter 25, verse 10. Under this reads, “BY ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENSYLVANIA [sic] FOR THE STATE HOUSE IN PHILADA.” Lower on the bell are the inscriptions, “PASS AND STOW,” the last names of the founders who cast the bell (John Pass and John Stow). Beneath this is “PHILADA,” short for Philadelphia. The lowest inscription is the Roman numerals MDCCLIII (1753), the year the bell was re-cast.

The Name “Liberty Bell”: The bell was originally called the State House Bell or the Province Bell. The bell was first called the Liberty Bell around 1839 by abolitionist (anti-slavery) publications.

Facts and Figures about the Liberty Bell:

Year the bell was originally cast 1752 (it was re-cast twice in 1753)
Where the Liberty Bell was originally cast Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, England (cast by Thomas Lester)
The Phildalphia re-casters, 1753 John Pass and John Stow
Strike note of the bell E-flat
Height of the bell 3 feet
Circumference around the lip 12 feet
Weight of the bell 2080 pounds (just over a ton)
Size of the crack 24.5 inches long by 1/2 inch wide
Composition of the bell 70% copper, 25% tin, trace amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver
Original name of the Liberty Bell State House Bell or the Province Bell (because it was the bell of the Pennsylvania State House and the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania)
When the bell was named the Liberty Bell around 1839
Type of wood in the yoke of the bell American Elm
Current location of the Liberty Bell Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Source: enchanted learning

Speak Your Mind

*