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Ritesh Warke On Friday, August 26, 2011
When statue of liberty was in Construction ....

Once conceived in 1867, Bartholdi spent much of his time designing, re-designing, and promoting the statue. By 1870 Architect/engineer Eugene Emmanuel Violett-le-Duc, a renowned thoeretician responsible for the restoration of Notre Dame, was at work on the statue’s structure. His concept consisted of a base filled with sand (for stability to resist wind) and an upper structure of iron. He presented the concept at a banquet at the Hotel du Louvre in 1875, with much fanfare.

Work began on the statue itself in the winter of 1875. Initially, both French and Americans had hoped for completion for the American centennial in 1876, but fund raising was slow and the late start made that date impractical.

Work progressed however, starting with the right arm and torch, and by August 12, 1876, the arm and torch , 21 copper pieces, were completed, assembled, dismantled, packed and shipped to the the Philadelphia International Centennial Exhibition, where it was assembled as a feature exhibit. 50 cents admission was charged to walk up the steps to the observation deck, proceeds went to the fund for the pedestal, on which design work had begun. (WP)

With funds running thin, Bartholdi and his workshop managed to complete the the head and shoulders which were moved across town to be displayed at the Paris World’s Fair in June 1878.

The enthusiaism generated by her appearance at the World’s Fair prompted the French government to allow a lottery for the purpose of raising the funds needed to finish the statue. Prizes were donated: a silver plate set, pearl and gem jewelry, a painting by Bartholdi’s friend Jean Gerome, even two works by Bartholdi, a total of 528 items in all. In addition, Bartholdi issued a signed and numbered collection of clay "Models of the Committee," sold for 1,000 francs each in France and for $3,000 each in America. By the end of 1879, about 250,000 francs had been raised for the statue’s construction. On July 7, 1880, the Franco-American committee held a "Notification Dinner" to announce that fund raising was complete and the statue would be finished by 1883.

In the meantime, Violett-le-Duc died in 1879, and was replaced by the designer of the Paris World’s Fair Exhibiton Hall in which Liberty’s head was displayed, Gustave Eiffel (who ten years later completed his own universal monument the Eiffel Tower, for the 1889 Universal Exhibition and Centennial of the French Revolution).

In 1880, the iron framework for the tower was begun in the yard of Gaget, Gauthier et Cie, and over the course of about 3 years the inner structure and outer skin were assembled piece by piece to Liberty’s full height of 151 feet.

The statue was completed in Paris in June 1884, presented to America by the people of France on July 4, 1884. The statue was dismantled and shipped to US in early 1885, transported by the French frigate "Isere". The finished statue consisted of 350 individual pieces shipped to the US in 214 crates.

179,200 pounds (81,300 kilograms) of copper was used in Statue. 250,000 pounds (113,400 kilograms) of iron. Total weight of the Statue is 450,000 pounds (225 tons). The thickness of Copper sheeting is 3/32 inch (2.37mm), about the thickness of a penny.

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