The Bell That Is Named Liberty

Posted in North America | August 30, 2010 | 0 Comments


The international icon of freedom and independence for years – The Liberty Bell – can be visited even today on a trip to Philadelphia. It stands open for viewing, right across the Independence Hall.

The dimensions of the Liberty Bell are somewhere around 2,080 pounds. It measures to around 12 feet across its base. It is said to be made up of one fourth tin and almost all of the other 3/4th is copper. The smaller percentage of metals involved would include arsenic, silver, gold, zinc and lead. It still, till date, hangs from what was the original yoke which is made up of American elm.

Historical Overview:

The bell was said to be cast in London, England. This happened in the year 1752. The Pennsylvania Assembly was the one who ordered the Liberty Bell in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Priveleges in the year 1701.

The First Crack Appears:

The unfortunate part was that the bell saw a crack appear on it, shortly after its arrival. According to some, the bell was cracked even the first time it rang. John Stowe and John Pass were said to be the ones who recast the bell in the year 1753, which is what made for the new bell. They added their names to the inscription that already was on the bell. The metal from the older bell was used for the recasting of the new one.

The Liberty Bell Moves:

In the year 1777, the British were said to have captured Philadelphia. This happened during the American Revolution. In order to ensure that the bell remained untouched and intact, it was moved from its existing spot to Allentown in Pennsylvania. It is said to have found a house in the Zion’s Reformed Church, where it stayed until the year 1778. In 1778, it was said to be moved back to Philadelphia.

The Second Crack Appears:

The Liberty Bell would ring as a sign of glory and victory. It was used on several state occasions and every Fourth of July as well. In the year 1846, there was a small crack that was noticed on the bell. This crack seemed to be affecting the sound produced by the bell. The bell was then repaired, and it was rendered useful for a short period thereafter. It did sustain long enough to be rung on George Washington’s Birthday on the 23rd of February, in the year 1846.

The Name:

The bell was first called the Liberty Bell in the year 1835. The American Anti-slavery society was amongst the first ones to adopt this bell as their symbol. The inscription of the bell was their motto – ‘Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.’ They firmly believed that only the white man should not be privy to the rights that come with freedom.

The Last Travel:

From the year 1800 to around 1915, the Bell was said to travel all around the country. It played the role of a goodwill ambassador post the Civil War. The message it passed on was that people had to work together now and not against each other. It saw its last travel in the year 1915, after which it came back to Philadelphia to reside.

The Liberty Bell Today:

The Liberty Bell today is open to public on all days of the year. It is displayed in a glass chamber; and there is a picture of the Independence Hall which can be seen in the background. The bell isn’t really used anymore; but for the sake of keeping up with tradition, it is gently rung on every Fourth of July.

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