In 1751 at the Whitechapel Foundry in Whitechapel, East London, a bell was cast for the State of Pennsylvania, USA. That bell – as later recast – has become known as the Liberty Bell, symbolising the desire for freedom and liberty for all. The bell bears a timeless message: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof”. To this very day Whitechapel Foundry continues to cast bells for the world.
[Update – sadly in April 2017 operations ceased, though the name will continue, as the new owners, Westley Group Ltd, will continue to cast “Whitechapel” bells, with their unique shape and sound. Even so, the story continues. According to April 2018 edition of the newspaper “Church Times” there is some prospect that the building could be saved by the UK Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT), which is under the founding patronage of the Prince of Wales.]
The Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris first ordered a bell for the bell tower in 1751 from the Whitechapel Foundry. Sadly, that bell cracked on the first test ring. Local metalworkers John Pass and John Stow melted down that bell and cast a new one right in Philadelphia. After nearly 100 years of use, that bell – now known as the Liberty Bell – also cracked, as on Philadelphia map here, but its symbolism remains undiminished.