Of all the patriotic symbols America hold dear, there are none that express the American spirit quite like the Liberty Bell. And yet, the Liberty Bell was not originally intended to be a symbol, but rather a “working bell”. It was to be used by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to call together morning and afternoon sessions, announce the opening of the Court of Justice, and even to proclaim the accession to the throne of a member of Great Britain’s Royal Family.
The bell, also known as the “Province Bell” and the “State House Bell” prior to 1776, and later as the “Bell of Revolution” and the “Herald of Freedom”, was ordred to replace a bell brought to America by William Penn. It was also scheduled to be part of the celebration of Pennsylvania Province’s 50th anniversary, and arrived from England (it was cast by Thomas Lister of Whitechapel, London) in August of 1752.
It was first hung in the State House yard in Philadelfia to be tested. That is where the bell first cracked. American metalsmiths Pass & Stowe melted the bell down. More copper was added and it was re-cast. Once again the bell cracked. A third attempt was made, still to the exact specifications of the original, and Pennsylvania at last had a solid, new bell – the first such bell to be manufactured in America.