Inside the Liberty Bell album, I found the 4×6 page of historical information behind one of the photos. The album must have been made after 1895 as it references that year in the information. Having just visited the Liberty Bell in December 2013, this is particularly intriguing information to me. The park ranger leading our tour of the Pennsylvania State House aka Independence Hall told us the bell cracked on the tolling for George Washington’s birthday, not the death of Chief Justice Marshall as noted above. According to the National Parks Service webpage for the Liberty Bell, the 2000 pound bell had a crack immediately after its casting. The crack was repaired according to techniques at the time, and was even recast in 1753. At a ringing of the bell to celebrate George Washington’s birthday in 1846 the bell cracked irreparably and has not been rung since. A replacement bell was cast and hangs still in the bell tower of Independence Hall. The new bell weighs 13,000 pounds, one thousand for each of the original 13 colonies. Up until the 1980s, visitors could touch the original bell, however that is no longer possible due to the minor vibrations that could further damage the relic. Anecdotes indicate the bell always sounded “off” and didn’t have a very pretty sound to it. The “new” bell continues to ring every day.
In front of this slip of incorrect but well intended information is the photograph above. An unidentified young man, photographed in his late teens or early twenties. The photographer was N. A. Nealey of Linden Street, Exeter, New Hampshire. He was known to be in business in the 1880s and 90s. The sawtooth edges of the card tell us it was made in the 1890s.