9 months ago
Last edited at 4:23PM on 3/6/2013
In 1751, the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly part of the state,s colonial government paid around 100 pounds for a large bell to hang in its new State House (later known as Independence Hall). Cast at London,s Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the bell arrived in Philadelphia in August 1752. Because the metal was too brittle, it cracked during a test strike and had to be recast twice. The final version made of 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin and small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver weighed around 2,080 pounds and measured 12 feet in circumference around the lip and 3 feet from lip to crown. On July 8, 1776, the bell was rung to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. After the British invasion of Philadelphia, the bell was hidden in a church until it could be safely returned to the State House. A popular icon of the new nation and its independence, it wasn't called the Liberty Bell until the 1830s, when an abolitionist group adopted it as a symbol of their own cause.