John Wilbank, Philadelphia 1820s and 30s

John Wilbank was a bell founder in Germantown, Pennsylvania, who was contracted by the city of Philadelphia to cast a 4000 pound replacement for the "Liberty Bell" for use in the clock tower of the old State House (Independence Hall) in 1828. He received the "Liberty Bell" for a $400 discount if he would remove it from the clock tower. He defaulted as it would have cost him more than $400 to remove the cracked bell. He did however cast the 4000 bell and gave it to the city in return for the city dropping the lawsuit against him for breach of contract. If he had removed the bell, we would never have had the "Liberty Bell" that we venerate today. It would have been melted down as scrap to be incorporated in the current clock tower bell at Independence Hall. Wilbank's bell designs had ridges on them that suggest the influence of Paul Revere.