Big Ben

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Big Ben, also known as the Elizabeth Tower, is one of the most fascinating sights in London, England. Standing at a height of 316 feet Big Ben is the second-tallest clock tower in the world! Although Big Ben is just a clock tower, it still has many interesting facts about it's whole life, living in London. Such as, the way it was built and the construction delay during construction. Also, how the Great Bell (Big Ben) and minute hands were put in and how they work. Lastly, about how the people of London celebrate the anniversaries of Big Ben and how they change the time for Daylight Saving time. Probably knowing how Big Ben came to be would be the most important.

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Big Ben was built because the monument standing before Big Ben, The Westminster Palace, was burnt down by a fire. Augustus Pugin was the architect of Big Ben and thought that for the new design of the Westminster Palace there should include a clock tower. Deciding how the new clock tower should be built Sir George Airy's caused a 7 year delay to the construction of Big Ben by demanding standards to the design. After further construction, another delay was caused by a too small of a space in the tower for the original design of the clock. But after construction on the Elizabeth Tower it was time to put in the a Great Bell and the clock's minute hands.
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The Great Bell and clock hands

The clock's minute hands were a lot easier to install then the Great Bell. The Great Bell, which is the one who was originally Big Ben and is how the Elizabeth Tower got its familiar name as Big Ben, was hung in the New Palace Yard and by testing it everyday, it eventually got a 1.2 meter crack on the side of it. Denison, one of the clockmakers, was blamed for the incident because he insisted on raising the weight of the hammer. However, since the first bell broke a second bell was dragged by 16 horses into London. Initially, the new bell was too big to fit up the Elizabeth Tower, so people had to put the clock on its side and had to make it's way up the Elizabeth Tower. Once the bell was placed in its place, the clock's minute hands were next to be put in. At first, the minute hands made from cast iron were too heavy and needed to be replaced with copper. Therefore, after Big Ben started to keep track of time, stated the final completion of Big Ben on May 31, 1859. Then on July 11, 1859 Big Ben chimed for the first time, but later that year in September Big Ben got a crack on its side and Big Ben was silent for 4 years. A solution to their problems was found by turning Big Ben a quarter turn and cutted out a square so the crack wouldn't spread. Also, they switched out the hammer with a lighter one.
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150th anniversary and Daylight Savings time

If any didn't know, Big Ben's 150th anniversary was on May 31, 2009! In fact, 3000 men, women, and children visited a Big Ben exhibition during Open House Weekend in the Portcullis House on its 150th anniversary. Also that year, the people of London celebrated the first time Big Ben chimed on July 11, 2009. During the time that comes twice a year, is Daylight Savings time. During Daylight Savings time, the clock workers need to have careful precision and split-second timing when changing the hour of the clock. To start with, the clockmakers turn off the quarter and hourly chimes and switch off the clock dial lights. Secondly, the clock time is changed to midnight and then when the new midnight comes the clock then runs for 2 hours. This is so the clockmaker can adjust the clock to the exact time. Then right before 2:00 a.m. The hour and quarter chimes are turned back on. Also, before 2:00 a.m. the dial lights are turned back on. Lastly, when the time reaches 2:00 a.m. the hour strike hammer hits the Great Bell and then the process is complete.
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As a result, Big Ben still is known for its fascinating features about the way it was made and its features that intrigue everyone that live around it. Even the people who live across oceans still notice the way it stands, tall and majestic, against the setting sun. Although Big Ben is just a clock tower, it still has many interesting facts about its whole life, living in London. To remember Big Ben and all its amazing details and facts about it, are cool to think about when you know about how everything was structured and how such a wonderful clock tower came to be.



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Pictures on trifold:

"Big Ben Clock." - Big Ben in London. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

"@guidof." Elizabeth Tower in London – UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.