21 Fun Facts About the Liberty Bell

Learn all about the Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell Center Philadelphia
••• Image credit: D. Cruz for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

The Liberty Bell has been a treasured American icon for centuries, drawing visitors from near and far who come to marvel at its size, beauty and, of course, its infamous crack. But do you know what note the bell strikes or when it was last rung? Read on for fun facts, figures and trivia about the Liberty Bell.

1.     The Liberty Bell weighs 2,080 pounds. The yoke weighs about 100 pounds.

2.     From lip to crown, the Bell measures three feet.

The circumference around the crown measures six feet, 11 inches, and the circumference around the lip measures 12 feet.

3.     The Liberty Bell is composed of approximately 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin and traces of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver. The Bell is suspended from what is believed to be its original yoke, made of American elm.

4.     The cost of the original bell, including insurance and shipping was £150, 13 shillings and eight pence ($225.50) in 1752. The recasting cost slightly more than £36 ($54) in 1753.

5.     In 1876, the United States celebrated the Centennial in Philadelphia with a display of replica Liberty Bells from each state. Pennsylvania’s display bell was made out of sugar.

6.     On the Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania is misspelled "Pensylvania." This spelling was one of several acceptable spellings of the name at that time.

7.     The strike note of the Bell is E-flat.

8.     The federal government gave every state and its territories a replica of the Liberty Bell in the 1950s as part of a national U.S. Savings Bond campaign.

9.     The Bell's clapper broke on its first use and was repaired by local artisans John Pass and John Stow. Their names are engraved into the Bell.

10.  As an April Fools’ Day joke in 1996, Taco Bell ran a full-page advertisement in national newspapers claiming to have purchased the Liberty Bell. The stunt made national headlines.

11.  The Bell has had three homes: Independence Hall (the Pennsylvania State House) from 1753 to 1976, the Liberty Bell Pavilion from 1976 to 2003 and the Liberty Bell Center from 2003 to the present.

12.  No tickets are required to visit the Liberty Bell. Admission is free and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

13.  The Liberty Bell Center is open 364 days a year - every day except Christmas - and is located at 6th and Market streets.

14.  Each year, more than a million people visit the Liberty Bell.

15.  Visitor records were broken in 1976, when 3.2 million people visited the Liberty Bell in its new home for the Bicentennial.

16.  The Bell hasn't been rung since George Washington's birthday celebration in February 1846. Its fatal crack appeared the same year.

17.  In the late 1800s, the Bell traveled to expeditions and fairs around the country to help unite Americans after the Civil War.

18.  The Bell is inscribed with a bible verse from Leviticus 25:10: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land Unto all the inhabitants thereof." Taking a cue from these words, abolitionists used the icon as a symbol of their movement in the 1830s.

19.  The Liberty Bell Center provides written information about the Bell in twelve languages, including Dutch, Hindi and Japanese.

20.  Visitors don't need to wait on line to catch a glimpse of the Bell; it's visible through a window into the Liberty Bell Center at 6th and Chestnut streets. The crack, however, can only be seen from inside the building.

21.  The Liberty Bell is located in Independence National Historical Park, which is part of the National Park Service. Independence National Historical Park preserves sites associated with the American Revolution, including Independence Hall, Congress Hall and other historic sites that tell the story of the early days of the nation. Covering 45 acres in Old City Philadelphia, the park has 20 buildings open to the public. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.