New Bell for Flag Tower of the Smithsonian Institution Building

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  • Image shows the arrival of a bell for the Flag Tower of the Smithsonian Institution Building, December 15, 1995. The bell is being wheeled through the parking lot of the Arts and Industries Building. The bell was installed in the Flag Tower on August 10, 1996, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. The bell is 34" in diameter, 28" high and weighs 821 pounds. It is composed of solid bronze and was cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, England, on September 21, 1995. It was donated by the A.T. Cross Company, which was also founded in 1846. A bell had been planned for the bell tower but one had not been installed.
  • The idea of acquiring the bell for the Smithsonian Sesquicentennial was proposed and shepherded to completion by David Shayt, a museum specialist at the National Museum of American History. In this picture you can see: from l-r: David Shayt (National Museum of American History), Peter Muldoon (conservator, Castle Collection), James McCain (Materials Handler, OFEO-OFMR, South Mall, including Hirshhorn Museum, Arts and Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution Building and Freer-Sackler Gallery), Michael Hendron (museum technician, Castle Collection) and Richard Stamm, Keeper of the Castle Collection. Peering out of the window of her office is Cynthia Field, director of the Office of Architectural History.


  • Shayt, David
  • Stamm, Richard E
  • Field, Cynthia R
  • Muldoon, Peter L
  • Hendron, Michael
  • McCain, James
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Birthday Party on the Mall (Event)
  • South Yard
  • A.T. Cross Company


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


A contact sheet and color slides of the bell's arrival are also in Acc. 98-042 Box 2, Folder 1.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-042, Box 2, Folder: 1

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


December 15, 1995

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Bells
  • Anniversaries
  • Flag Tower
  • Sesquicentennial of the Smithsonian Institution (Event)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building
  • Smithsonian's 150th Birthday Party
  • Whitechapel Bell Foundry
  • Smithsonian Institution Building--Flag Tower
  • Event


  • District of Columbia
  • Southwest
  • United States of America
  • Washington
  • Arts and Industries Building


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Object; Medium: Photographic print

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