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
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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