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The Liberty Bell moves to a new home.
NPS Liberty Bell Center Liberty Bell Exhibits Lifting The Bell Bell In Motion

Bell In Motion

At 7:04 a.m., on Thursday, October 9, 2003, the Liberty Bell began its 963-foot (294-meter) journey, following the flattest possible route to its new home

Why 7:04 exactly? Think Independence Day. (It also happened to be when the sun rose that day.)

Image of custom-built pneumatic cart used to transport bell -- Click to enlargeThe Liberty in Motion ceremony began when riggers guided the Bell out of the Liberty Bell Pavilion that housed the icon since the United States bicentennial in 1976. At the start of its journey, riggers from the George Young Company, the same crew that test-lifted the Bell on March 14, 2003, removed the Bell from its current mount. Five hours later, the riggers emplaced the Bell in its chamber in the new Liberty Bell Center.

Professional riggers pushed the Bell’s specially made pneumatic-tire cart along its route. Custom, wireless sensors created by MicroStrain, Inc., and developed with support from a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant, monitored the Bell throughout the journey, revealing to engineers and conservators that no significant motions threatened to widen the hairline fracture that extends from the top of the famous crack.

The public attended the event and walked alongside the procession where they were entertained by music, re-enactors, and flags depicting seven periods of Bell history from 1776 to the present.

** Photo Credit: National Park Service


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