The Liberty Bell’s Famous Crack

By | February 27, 2019

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Close-up of the Liberty Bell, shown from the cracked side, on its display in Philadelphia, PA. Undated photograph. Source: (

The Liberty Bell is one of our most endearing national symbols. However, as every American kid quickly learns, that symbol is broken. The famous bell and its even more famous crack remain an icon of American patriotism and the bell, housed in Philadelphia, is a popular tourist destination. But how did a broken bell become so highly regarded in the first place? Let’s look at the Liberty Bell and its well-known defect. 

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The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is one of only two bell foundries still in business in England. Source: (

The Liberty Bell Predates the Founding of the United States

In 1751, the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, the region’s colonial governing body, commissioned the Whitechapel Bell Foundry of London to make a large bell to be held in the bell tower of the newly-constructed State House, a building that was later renamed, Independence Hall. They paid the British foundry 100 pounds for the bell, but when it finally arrived in Philadelphia a year later and workers had mounted the bell on a yoke made of American elm and were preparing to hang the two-ton bell, someone suggested they ring the bell to test it out. It cracked.