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Ship's Bell From the Expo's "Battleship Illinois"

At Navy Pier Chicago at the east end of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass sits a large metal bell on a square wooden stand with the engraving U.S.S. Illinois 1893.  There is no sign or explanation for the bell and it is usually alone except for the few young children that are sometimes running around it.  It is hard to believe that this bell was the ship's bell for not one but TWO Illinois battleships.  It was first displayed aboard the "Battleship Illinois" during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.  The battleship for the exposition was actually part of the U.S. Naval Exhibit and the battleship itself was made mostly of wood and brick and made to look as though it was floating.  After the Expo is was placed aboard the real Battleship Illinois. 

Read more about the Bell and its history here