Liberty Bell Center
143 S. Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
WELCOME to Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell Center is located on Market
Street between 5th and 6th Streets. The building is open year
round, though hours vary by season. The Liberty Bell Center offers
a video presentation and exhibits about the Liberty Bell, focusing
on its origins and its modern day role as an international icon of
Taped presentations about the history of the Liberty Bell
are offered in a dozen languages for the convenience of foreign
visitors. The Liberty Bell itself is displayed in a magnificent
glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background.
The Bell's Message
The Liberty Bell's inscription conveys a
message of liberty which goes beyond the words themselves. Since
the bell was made, the words of the inscription have meant
different things to different people. When William Penn created
Pennsylvania's government he allowed citizens to take part in
making laws and gave them the right to choose the religion they
The colonists were proud of the freedom that Penn gave
them. In 1751, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered a
new bell for the State House. He asked that a Bible verse to be
placed on the bell - "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the
Land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10). As
the official bell of the Pennsylvania State House (today called
Independence Hall) it rang many times for public announcements.
The old State House bell was first called
the "Liberty Bell" by a group trying to outlaw slavery.
These abolitionists remembered the words on the bell and, in the
1830s, adopted it as a symbol of their cause.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the Liberty
Bell traveled around the country to expositions and fairs to help
heal the divisions of the Civil War. It reminded Americans of
their earlier days when they fought and worked together for
In 1915, the bell made its last trip and
came home to Philadelphia, where it now silently reminds us of the
power of liberty. For more than 200 years people from around the
world have felt the bell's message. No one can see liberty, but
people have used the Liberty Bell to represent this important
A bell for the Pennsylvania State House was
cast in London, England, however, it cracked soon after it arrived
in Philadelphia. Local craftsmen John Pass and John Stow cast a
new bell in 1753, using metal from the English bell.
appear on the front of the bell, along with the city and the date.
By 1846 a thin crack began to affect the sound of the bell. The
bell was repaired in 1846 and rang for a George Washington
birthday celebration, but the bell cracked again and has not been
rung since. No one knows why the bell cracked either time.
The bell weighs about 2000 pounds. It is
made of 70% copper, 25% tin, and small amounts of lead, zinc,
arsenic, gold, and silver. It hangs from what is believed to be
its original yoke, made from American elm, also known as slippery