Liberty Bell Essays

Liberty Bell Essays

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Among the more obscure events in American history involves the Liberty Bell's

travels by rail car around the United States to be placed on exhibit at numerous World's

Fairs. From 1885 to 1915, the Liberty Bell traveled by rail on seven separate trips to eight

different World's Fair exhibitions visiting nearly 400 cities and towns on those trips coast

to coast.

     At the time, the Liberty Bell's trips were widely publicized so that each town

where the Liberty Bell train stopped was well prepared for their venerable guest. Each

stop on the way to the host World's Fair exhibition lasted anywhere from a few minutes to

a couple of hours. The Liberty Bell was nearly always met with military salutes, parades,

patriotic music and throngs of cheering men, women and children.

     In 1873, Philadelphian Henry Seybert donated to the City of Philadelphia a

new bell and a large clock for tower of Independence Hall. Seybert commissioned the

Meneely and Kimberly Bell Foundry to cast the bell and have it installed in the steeple by

July 4, 1876 in time to usher in the Centennial anniversary celebration.

The bell was cast using a mixture of 80% copper and 20% tin with the addition of one

hundred pounds each of four cannons - a British and American cannon from the battle of

Saratoga and a Union and Confederate cannon from the battle of Gettysburg.

     The bell weighs 13,000 pounds representing 1,000 pounds for each of the 13

original states and bears the following inscriptions:

     Around the crown: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will      toward men - Luke, chapter II, verse 14."

     Around the lip: " Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants      thereof - Leviticus, chapter XXV, verse 10."

     Upon one side of the 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 coat of arms of the United States      set in a shield containing 13 stars.


... middle of paper ...

...;. Unfortunately, the fair was not a tremendous success due to low attendance -

only 10 million of the expected 50 million visitors attended. Attributing to low attendance

was the rain that was present on more than half the days the fair was open.

     While the Liberty Bell remained in its home in Independence Hall not far from the

fairgrounds its image was used repeatedly as a symbol of the Exposition. The Liberty Bell

had long since come to represent liberty and freedom for the United States and using its

image on Exposition souvenirs was ideal in light of the fair's theme - our nation's 150th

     In 1950, the United States Department of the Treasury assisted by several private

companies selected a foundry in Annecy-le-Vieux, France to cast 55 full-sized replicas of

the Liberty Bell. The bells were shipped as gifts to states and territories of the United

States and the District of Columbia to be displayed and rung on patriotic occasions. This

was part of a savings bond drive held from May 15 to July 4, 1950 with the slogan "Save

for Your Independence."

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