Other Bells at Independence NHP

Liberty Bell in LBC closeup 1

Liberty Bell. Courtesy of Independence National Historical Park

Liberty Bell – The Liberty Bell is one of the most well-known symbols in the world and its image has been used by countless causes over the years to symbolize independence and freedom. The Liberty Bell, originally known as the State House Bell, was cast in 1752 at Whitechapel Foundry in London and shipped to Philadelphia. Upon its first ringing in Philadelphia, the bell cracked. Two local men, John Pass and John Stow, recast it and it is this bell that was hung in the tower of Independence Hall. On July 8, 1776, the day the Declaration of Independence was read aloud behind the State House, all the bells of the city rang throughout the day; it is assumed that the State House Bell was among them.

The exact date of when the original crack appeared is unknown but the repair of that crack, which created the famous and familiar “crack”, occurred in February, 1846. The bell rang for the last time, due to the crack lengthening, later that month when it was rung to celebrate Washington’s Birthday. The bell started on its journey of fame when it was introduced as a symbol of the abolitionist movement in 1837.

It grew in fame as the Centennial of the United States of America approached and it became a symbol of the American Revolution and our fight for Freedom. Soon its image appeared on souvenirs, small replicas were sold, its image was printed on coins and stamps and even on food coupons.

Over time, people have sought out the Liberty Bell as a symbol to turn to in times of sorrow, to use in their protests against government, or find reassurance from in troubled times. Today, the Liberty Bell is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park and millions of visitors ever year make a pilgrimage to see it and understand its role in history.

Centennial Bell, March 21, 1929, INDE neg# CN26609

Centennial Bell, March 21, 1929, INDE neg# CN26609

Centennial Bell – The Centennial Bell was created in 1876 in time for the country’s Centennial and was placed in Independence Hall Tower on July 4, 1876. The funds to create the bell were donated by Henry Seybert. The Centennial Bell was cast from a mixture of metals including 100 pounds from four cannons from two famous battles: one British and one Patriot canon from the Revolutionary battle of Saratoga and Union and Confederate canons from the Civil War battle of Gettysburg. The bell weighs 13,000 pounds – 1,000 pounds for each of the 13 original states.
On one side of the bell is cast: “Presented to the city of Philadelphia, July 4, 1876, for the belfry of Independence Hall, by a citizen.” On the opposite side is the date “1776” and the great Seal of the United States set in a shield containing thirteen stars. The Centennial Bell still resides in the tower of Independence Hall and is rung hourly.