World Peace Bell

The Newport, Kentucky World Peace Bell is one of more than twenty Peace Bells around the World. It weighs 33,285 kg (73,381 lb) and is 3.7 m (12 feet) wide. From 2000 until 2006, it was the largest swinging bell in the World. It was dedicated on December 31, 1999, and was first swung as the year 2000 opened. The plan in 1997 was to cast the bell near Newport in an on-site foundry. The bell would have hung in a 1,400-foot (430 m) Millennium Monument tower, to open on New Year's Eve 1999, with a large carillon having this bell as the largest. At first the bell was called "The Millennium Bell". Later the plans were reduced to a smaller tower for the bell, with a museum. The Verdin Company managed the project on the U.S. side on behalf of the Millennium Monument Company . The bell itself was cast in the premises of a ship propeller foundry at Nantes France, under the strict supervision of staff from French Bellfounders Fonderie Paccard of Annecy. The Mastermind behind this bell is veteran bellfounder Pierre Paccard who realized this mammoth feat together with his sons Philippe and Cyril Paccard under the close collaboration of their Master Founder Miguel Lopez. The finished bell was eventually sent by ship to New Orleans. The bell was carried up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on a barge in summer 1999. Stops were made along the rivers for special celebrations, before its arrival at Newport, Kentucky. The arrival coincided with Tall Stacks Festival 1999, held along the Cincinnati-Covington-Newport section of the Ohio River. This event was named the nation's Top Tourism Event by the American Bus Association (ABA) in 1999. The bell was swung for ringing on January 1, 2000 at midnight; struck 12 times and was heard for distances of about 25 miles (40 km). The bell is swung on special occasions as well as daily at five minutes before noon. The time difference in the daily ring is to avoid interference with the nearby courthouse bells, which ring exactly at noon. The striker, which chimes the bell on the hour, is of cast iron and was produced at Cast-Fab Technologies, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. A special iron was used to prevent the striker from damaging the bell when it strikes the outside rim of the bell (see right side of photo). The striker allows the bell to be chimed without swinging it. The bell tower, the bridge between the museum and bell and most of the other components of the Millennium Monument were produced at local companies to the Newport area.

Specifications Weight: 73,381 lb (33,285 kg) Diameter: 12 feet (3.7 m) Material: 80% copper, 20% tin Yoke: 16,512 pounds (7,490 kg) Clapper: 6,878 pounds (3,120 kg) Location: Newport, Kentucky, United States Casting Date: December 11, 1998 Musical note: A