Rare Photos of the Statue of Liberty Being Built in 1883
Designed by Frédéric Bartholdi in collaboration with the French engineer Gustave Eiffel (who was responsible for its frame) and dedicated on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty is a large neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France.
The project was a joint effort between the French and American peoples. The French would provide the statue while the Americans would provide the site and build the pedestal.
The Statue of Liberty stands at a height of 151 feet 1 inch (46 meters). From ground to torch it is 305 feet 1 inch (93 meters) tall. It is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Below you will find a gallery of rare photos of the Statue of Liberty under construction in 1883. The images are part of the New York Public Library’s Photography Collection.
1. Men in a workshop hammering sheets of copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty
2. Men in a workshop hammering sheets of copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty
3. View of the workshop, with models of the
Statue of Liberty in the background
4. Men at work on the construction
of the Statue of Liberty
5. Construction of the skeleton and plaster surface of the
left arm and hand of the Statue of Liberty
6. Head of the Statue of Liberty
on display in a park in Paris
7. The external area of the workshop in Paris,
including construction materials and the Statue head
8. Scaffolding for the assemblage of the Statue of Liberty
9. Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris,
with the bottom half of the statue erect under scaffolding
10. Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris
The Statue of Liberty’s design and construction were recognized at the time as one of the greatest technical achievements of the 19th century. It was hailed as a bridge between art and engineering. The exterior ‘envelope’ was composed of brass plaques, formed by hammering them in hard wood moulds made from plaster models. These plaques were then soldered and riveted together. After Bartholdi prefabricated the figure in Paris by moulding sheets of copper over a steel framework, it was shipped to the United States in 241 crates in 1885. [Source]
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