This article is from the July 1917 Talking Machine World trade magazine, page 124.  The Liberty Bell was recorded on this occassion by the Victor Talking Machine Co. during a campaign to sell Liberty Bonds.  According to the Liberty Bell website, , there are three known recordings of the Liberty Bell, two from the 1940s and one owned by Columbia.  In communication with them I was told the Columbia recording the Bell was done on February 11, 1915, corresponding with the opening of the Pan American Exhibition. 

The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings resources show that Victor recorded the Liberty Bell acoustically twice, on Feb. 11, 1915,
(B-15701; three takes); and June 14, 1917, (B-20039; one take). All four takes are marked in ledgers as "destroy."  Additional information about the two Victor recordings of the bell can be found at the following link, an article entitled "Memoirs of my career at Victor Talking Machine Company" by Harry O. Sooy.

One wonders if both Columbia and Victor were there to record the bell in 1915 or is the statement about Columbia incorrect? 

So it would appear there was a 4th recording and possibly a 5th but if the ledgers are correct then these Victor recordings do not survive. Interesting to note in the above article that it says the bell had not been sounded in years but it had been only two years earlier that it was recorded.  Anyone know where this recording might be and if there were additional copies made?


1917 Recording of the Liberty Bell

Information and images compiled by:  Glenn Longwell  


The record below, Operaphone 5155-A, is unrelated to the Liberty Bell recording above.  However, it is circa 1918 (my guess is late 1917 or early 1918 it was recorded) and is a recording of a song titled "Liberty Bell" by the Peerless Quartet.  I thought it fitting to put it here as the timing is close and the song is very fitting for anyone interested in the Liberty Bell. The song is a wonderful peak into the past. The Peerless Quartet was a very popular recording group that existed, in various lineups from 1904 to 1928.  This recording probably consisted of Henry Burr, Arthur Collins, John Meyer and Albert Campbell although it's possible that Collins was not present on this and instead would have been Frank Croxton.  If others know please inform me.  At this time Operaphone releases were based on Pathe masters.  This is probably the same recording that exists on Pathe 20313 but I do not have the Pathe disc to compare. Click on the image below to hear the song.  This is a direct transfer with very little clean up of the sound file.