The Liberty Bell, once known as the State House Bell, was originally forged in London for delivery to Philadelphia in 1752, it broke upon the first strike and was twice re-casted by metalworkers John Pass and John Stow. After 90-odd years of persistent ringing, a crack started to manifest. Workers widened the crack and inserted rivets in the hopes it wouldn’t get worse.
Between 1885 and 1904, the Liberty Bell went on six road trips, beginnings its trek to the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, followed by the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. After further showings, it Bell traveled to Boston to take part in a celebration of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1903, and finally to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.
The Liberty Bell was removed from Independence Hall on June 3, 1904, and escorted by an impressive military pageant to a special train car designed for the Bell's relocation, the longest trip that the Liberty Bell had made to date.
On June 8, the day the bell arrived in St. Louis, Mayor Wells officially declared it "Liberty Bell Day." Among hordes of people, the liberty Bell was taken from the train station to the fairgrounds on a float decorated with flags and banners and pulled by 13 gray draft horses (symbolizing the 13 original states). The lead gray horse bore a large blue ribbon containing the word 'Pennsylvania'. The float was guarded by a platoon of St. Louis mounted police and accompanied by carriages carrying fair and civic officials. 50,000 children were in the audience to gaze at the Bell. A 1,000-strong high school choir sang `Concord.'
When the Liberty Bell reached the Pennsylvania State Building "hundreds of willing hands assisted at the ropes which drew the relic up the runway into its resting place in the great rotunda. Lying without yoke or support or other covering upon an American flag with only another flag as background, it was never more impressive in its simplicity."
After the Fair ended, the Bell was escorted by ten Philippine Constabulary to the west end of the Palace of Transportation, where it was placed on a railroad car, on its journey back to Philadelphia. The bell was accompanied by forty Philadelphian councilmen.
In 1915, the made its final trek from Philadelphia, this time to San Francisco for the Panama-Pacific Exposition. The Bell traveled not only to the Golden Gate City, but stopped in many towns and cities along the way. Although relubnctant to transport the fragile Bell, a petition signed 100,000 helped secure this display.