The State House Bell

The State House Bell

( – Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of freedom, even beating out Lady Liberty, is the State House bell, more commonly known as the Liberty Bell. This remarkable piece of American history resides in Pennsylvania, near what was once the State House. Some would say this historic landmark’s journey is just as fascinating as the bell itself.

Origin Story

The 2,000-pound bell was originally cast in London, England and sent to Pennsylvania in 1753. However, the bell we see today is not the original. In fact, it’s the third casting since the first one cracked shortly after arriving from London and the second proved equally defective. The old bell was smelted and used to cast the new one, which was in service until it rang for the last time in 1846, on George Washington’s birthday, and finally cracked yet again.

The bell is adorned with various inscriptions. The year it was cast, is portrayed by the roman numerals, MDCCLIII. The last names of the men responsible for its casting, John Snow and John Pass, can be found inscribed on the bell as well. These inscriptions sit alongside the words “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof”. The bell would not officially be known as the “Liberty Bell” until the early 1800s when it became a symbol used by those wanting to outlaw slavery.

Traveling Bell

The Liberty Bell traveled across the country after the end of the Civil War. In 1915, the bell’s touring days came to an end, and it found its forever home on display next to Independence Hall near a visitor center in Philadelphia, PA. The decision was likely made due to the bell’s fragility and proneness to crack. After all, even with today’s technology, items often get broken while in transit.

Symbols of Freedom

Though the Statue of Liberty certainly holds its own when it comes to symbols of freedom, the Liberty Bell is entwined in America’s history. It’s even older than the United States, having arrived here more than two decades before America officially became a country. The bell still stands today for tourists, who come from across the globe to see it. Symbols of freedom are plentiful in the US, but none are as renowned; even Lady Liberty comes in second place to the Liberty Bell.

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