Stuff that Weighs More than Me: Big Ben

“Big Ben” actually refers to this bell within the Clock Tower in London.

Thought it was time for some Olympics-sized stuff that weighs more than me.  And since the Olympics are in London right now, the first thing I thought of was Big Ben.

Naturally when most people point to Big Ben in London, they are actually pointing to the clock tower.  Big Ben is the nickname given to the huge bell located in the belfry of the clock tower.  The bell was cast in 1858 and first chimed the hour  on July 11, 1859.

The huge bell is not rung by a clapper, but rather by a hammer located outside of the bell.  In concert with the Great Westminster Clock, the bell is accurate to within one second.  The clock is actually powered by gravity.  There are weights on huge cables that are wound by the clock engineers three times per week.  The engineers check the clock against the world clock from time to time and add or remove pennies to the pendulum to bring it back to perfect time.

Here’s some stats:

Height of the Clock Tower: 97 Meters

Dimensions of Big Ben: 7 ft., 6 in. tall and 9 ft. wide

Weight of the “hammer” that rings the bell: Over 400 lbs.

Weight of Big Ben (the bell): 13.5 tons

Conclusion: Big Ben weighs more than me.  (It just might be louder than me too, but the jury’s still out on that one…)

Love,

The Fat Chick

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