The Liberty Bell, also known as the State House Bell, hung and rang within the Pennsylvania State House tower in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Whitechapel Foundry in London constructed the bell, which was ordered by Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris in 1751.
Following its installation into the tower, the bell cracked upon its first usage. The bell was removed and melted down and recast. Although no documented evidence of when the recast bell's famous crack appeared, most historians believe the crack appeared in the 1840s as a very narrow split. As the crack continued, workers decided to widen the crack in 1846, which would halt its spread. The workers then used a technique called "stop drilling" to restore the tone of the bell's ring.
These attempts failed as a new thin crack continued further up through the word "Liberty" and the abbreviation for Philadelphia. This marked the end of the Liberty Bell's use, and it has not been rung since.
The Liberty Bell includes an inscription from Leviticus chosen by Speaker Norris and it reads "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof." Historians believe Norris chose this passage to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges. This charter granted religious freedom and liberty to the colonists of Pennsylvania.