Kentucky Liberty Bell Replica

Brochure used during Liberty Bell tour with 202nd Band -- In 1950, fifty-two full-scale replicas of the original Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, were built for the Treasury Department and given to each state, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico where they are displayed in places of honor. Rung on July 8, 1776, to proclaim American Independence, the original Liberty Bell has seldom since been heard. The last time the Liberty Bell really rang was on Washington’s Birthday, 1846. The original crack that had appeared when the Bell was being tolled in mourning for Chief, Justice John Marshall in 1835 had been drilled out in 1846 so that the edges would not vibrate against each other. The Bell rang clear until almost noon in honor of the Father of His Country when the crack spread and the ringing changed to a hoarse rumble. That was the last time anyone heard the true voice of the original Liberty Bell. In the subsequent ceremonies through the years, the original Bell has been sounded – usually only tapped symbolically for fear of damaging the Bell still more. On February 11, 1915, its silence of 69 years was broken to signal the linking of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts by long distance telephone. Three times it rumbled hoarsely over the wire to San Francisco. In the conversation that followed the Mayor of San Francisco made a personal plea to the Mayor of Philadelphia to have the Liberty Bell sent to the Panama – Pacific Exposition. There, and on its journey by rail to and from the Golden Gate, an estimated 17,000,000 Americans turned out to see the Bell. Again it was struck to welcome the New Year of 1926, the sesquicentennial of American Independence. On that occasion, the wife of Philadelphia’s Mayor Kendrick tapped out 1-9-2-6. That event was broadcast by radio to the half of the nation that could be reached by radio at that time. Even the muted voice of the Old Liberty has not been directly sounded since, nor is it likely to be again, although a radio broadcast of a recording of the 1926 ceremony was made to the nation on June 6, 1944, to signal the invasion of the Continent of Europe by American and allied forces in another war for freedom. The 52 replicas produced in 1950, were used by the Treasury Department in its 1950 Savings Bonds Independence Drive. They toured nearly 2,000 American cities. To open that Drive then Secretary of the Treasury, John W. Snyder, tapped the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia near the close of an hour-long nation-wide radio show featuring an address by President Truman and celebrities from the entertainment world. With the 52 duplicates, millions of Americans can hear approximately the same sound as that produced by Old Liberty when it proclaimed Liberty “throughout all the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.” They are exact copies of the original; the crack is indicated in the surface; and the bells ring and are harmonically tuned. The replicas allow Americans, unable to see the original, to view an exact copy of Old Liberty. Since its return from the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, the original Liberty Bell has not been allowed to leave Philadelphia. Since October 10, 1917, when it was the star attraction in Philadelphia’s First Liberty Loan Parade during the First World War, it has not even left its shrine in Independence Hall, because of the danger of further cracking of the precious relic by the jolts and strains of travel. Even though it has been protected since its trip to the West Coast by the installation of a six armed iron spider fastened to the clapper bolt inside its crown with the arms hooked under the lip of the Bell to distribute the strain of its 2,080 pounds more evenly. The 52 replicas of Old Liberty were donated to the Savings Bonds cause by six leading American companies of the copper industry (bell metal being an alloy of copper). The donors were: Anaconda Copper Mining Co., Kennecott Copper Corp., Phelps-Dodge Corp., American Smelting and Refining Co., American Metal Co. Ltd. And Miami Copper Co. U. S. Steel Corporation’s American Bridge Company supplied the stays and hardware used in mounting the bells. Forty-nine flat-bed trucks, painted red-white-and-blue, on which the bells toured, were supplied as a public service by the Ford Motor Company. The duplicates were made at the bell foundry of the Sons of Georges Paccard at Annecy-le-Vieux, in the province of Haute Savoie, near the Swiss border of France, from careful measurements taken by Dr. Arthur L. Bigelow, Professor of Engineering and Bellmaster of Princeton University, and from detailed photographs of the original bell, its wooden yoke and the wishbone-shaped bronze supports between which it is swing on its exhibit platform in Independence Hall. The Kentucky replica was placed near the entrance to the Old Capital, in Frankfort, after its 1950 stat tour. When remodeling of the Old Capital was recently undertaken the Bell was stored. On May 1st 1975, the Bell was taken out of storage, mounted in the configuration you see, and taken on state tour, June 6-22, 1975, as part of the “Bicentennial Musical Tour ‘75” of the 202nd Kentucky National Guard Band. Long May She Ring!!!