Old Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
In Independence Hall in Philadelphia there are many interesting relics. But the one that attracts far the most attention is the Liberty Bell here shown. The most noticeable feature of this bell is the great crack extending from the edge of the rim far up the bowl. The lettering on the bell stands out sharply in the view. How much of it can you read? The motto in full is as follows: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. Lev. xxv, 10." Immediately underneath this is added: "By order of the assembly of the province of Penna. For the statehouse in Philada." The bell was cast in London in 1752, and recast by "Pass and Stow, Phila. MDCCLIII". You will recall that it was in Independence Hall that the representatives of the colonies voted to declare their independence of the Mother Country. This bell gets its name from the fact that it announced to the country the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776. The history of the bell itself has been a varied one. It was imported from English in 1752 and was cracked on the trial stroke. This is the reason it was recast in Philadelphia. In 1777 the British occupied Philadelphia. It was though that they probably would destroy the bell if they took the city. Hence, in advance of their coming, the bell was removed to Lancaster. It was returned to the statehouse and served until 1828. Then the new steeple was built and a new bell was inserted. After that, the Liberty Bell was rung only on rare occasions. In 1835 it was tolled for the funeral of John Marshall, the great Chief Justice of the United States. It was during this tolling that the huge crack was made. It has not been rung since 1843. Keystone ID: 9648 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.