Liberty Bell Comes Home


A great day when the Liberty Bell returned to Philadelphia

liberty bell family story

In 1732, the construction of Philadelphia’s State House was begun.  When the steeple work was completed, early in 1751, a bell was hung in the tower, but unfortunately it could not be heard throughout all parts of the city.

Pennsylvania Assembly Speaker  Isaac Norris contacted  Robert Charles in London, asking him to purchase a “good Bell of about two thousand pounds weight”.  Norris included instructions for the inscription.   The Whitechapel Foundry in England was commissioned to cast the bell.  A year later the bell arrived in America.

Cracking the Liberty Bell

Prior to be installed in the tower, the bell was tested and broke on the first test.  Norris said “I had the mortification to hear that it was cracked by a stroke of the clapper without any further violence as it was hung up to try the sound.”  The metal in the bell was too brittle to sustain the force of the clapper.

John Pass and John Stow  of Philadelphia were commissioned to recast the bell.   The original bell was broken down, recast, and additional metal added.  When it was tested, the people didn’t like its sound so  Pass and Snow once again recast it.  Although the third bell’s sound was still of questionable quality it was kept, and eventually became known as the Liberty Bell.

From 1777 to 1778 the Liberty Bell was hidden in Allentown, Pennsylvania in order to protect it from the advancing British Army.  It was returned to its home in Philadelphia on this day in 1778.

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