Philadelphia, PA - The Liberty Bell has long been seen as a symbolic representation of American freedom, yet did you know it was initially manufactured in England?
The Liberty Bell Originally Made in London
Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris ordered a bell for his bell tower from London's Whitechapel Foundry in 1751; however, this Bell cracked on its first test ring, prompting local metalworkers John Pass and John Stow to melt it down and cast another bell here in Philadelphia instead.
That new Bell was inscribed with "Liberty" and a Bible verse reading: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all its Inhabitants." However, its significance didn't become evident until after the revolution when abolitionists used its message as motivation in their work.
Over the years, the Bell was transported across the United States. It appeared at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, where John Philip Sousa composed his famous march. Subsequently, it went to Panama-Pacific International Exposition before returning home for Thanksgiving Day that same year.
By the twentieth century, the Bell had become a powerful symbol for civil rights, women's suffrage, Native Americans, and war protestors. Today it can be surrounded by other exhibits showcasing its long history as an instrument of democracy - and we hope it continues to inspire generations yet unborn! More than 1.5 million visitors visit Independence Hall annually to view and reflect upon its meaning - over 1.5 million annually!