Liberty Bell

Article

May 28, 2022

Liberty Bell (English, “Freedom Clock”) is a historic tower clock in Philadelphia that is considered a symbol of U.S. independence. The clock was originally located in Independence Hall, the building where the United States Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.

History

The clock was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly in 1751 for its new meeting room for the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall). The watch, which cost about a hundred pounds, was cast at Whitechapel's London foundry and delivered to Philadelphia in August 1752. After the watch cracked, it had to be re-cast twice before finally hanging on the conference tower in June 1753. United States Declaration of Independence. In reality, however, the bell was not ringed until four days later, when the proclamation was first read in public. Admittedly, some historians doubt the accuracy of this information either. When British troops occupied Philadelphia during the War of Independence in 1777, the clock was taken to a cache in Allentown Church, Pennsylvania. After the war, it was returned to the tower of Independence Hall. The bell later cracked again, according to legend, at the funeral of the Chief Justice of John Marshall in 1835. The bell was last played on George Washington's birthday in 1846, when it cracked worse and went into irreparable condition. On January 1, 1976, the clock was moved about a hundred meters from Independence Hall, and in 2003 a museum called the Liberty Bell Center was completed around it. The museum is visited by about two million visitors a year. Both the Clock and Independence Hall are now part of the Independence National Historical Park. The watch is officially owned by the city of Philadelphia. The watch was first named Liberty Bell in 1839 in a pamphlet from opponents of slavery. It was the opponents of slavery who made the watch known for using it as a symbol in the 19th century.

Properties

On the side of the clock is written the biblical verse “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants of LEV XXV X” (“Proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the earth,” Leviticus 25:10). It reads “By Order of the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania for the State House in Philada” (“Order of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly for the Philadelphia State House”). The Assembly had once ordered a watch in honor of the 50th anniversary of William Penn's Book of Privileges for the Settlement of 1701. The Bible verse quoted in the clock is aptly preceded in the Bible by the phrase “And sanctify the fiftieth year”. At the bottom of the watch is “Pass and Stow Philada MDCCLIII”. The names refer to the Philadelphia whales John Pass and John Stow, who illuminated the cracked clock again in 1753. The clock is about a meter high, has a circumference of 3.7 meters at the rim, and weighs 943 pounds. The watch is made of an alloy with about 70% copper, 25% tin and 5% several other metals. The log on which the clock depends is the red foot.

Sources

Elsewhere on this topic Images or other files about Liberty Bell on Wikimedia CommonsLiberty Bell Center US National Park Service The Liberty Bell: From Obscurity to Icon (in English) National Park Service