What is the method used to keep the different parts of the Statue of Liberty attached to each other?

Tourist Attractions

By Kristy Tolley

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is perhaps the most iconic symbol of the United States of America, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was a gift from France to the United States commemorating the centennial of American independence in 1876. The statue, officially named "Liberty Enlightening the World," was designed by French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and constructed with the assistance of engineer Gustave Eiffel.

Design & Construction of the Statue of Liberty

The statue stands at 151 feet tall, including its pedestal, and is made of copper sheets that are only 2.4 millimeters thick. The design of the statue is based on the Roman goddess Libertas and features a woman holding a torch in her right hand and a tablet in her left hand inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence. The statue was built in France and then disassembled and shipped to the United States in 350 individual pieces.

Materials Used in the Statue’s Construction

The statue is made primarily of copper sheets that cover an iron armature. The internal framework was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel, who is also famous for designing the Eiffel Tower. The statue’s pedestal is made of granite and concrete. The copper sheets were hammered into shape and then assembled using rivets.

The Challenges of Building the Statue

The construction of the statue was a monumental effort that faced many challenges. The copper sheets had to be strong enough to withstand the elements but also thin enough to be molded into shape. The statue had to be built in a way that it could be transported across the Atlantic Ocean and then reassembled on a small island without toppling over. The statue was also built during a time of political tension between France and the United States, which added to the complexity of the project.

The Role of Gustave Eiffel in the Statue’s Construction

Gustave Eiffel was responsible for designing the internal framework of the statue. He used his expertise in engineering to create a system of iron supports that would hold the copper sheets in place. The framework was designed to be strong enough to support the weight of the copper sheets but also flexible enough to withstand the winds that blow across New York Harbor.

Keeping the Statue’s Parts Attached

The method used to keep the different parts of the statue attached is a combination of rivets and bolts. The copper sheets were riveted together to form the outer shell of the statue. The iron framework was bolted together and then attached to the inside of the copper sheets using more bolts. The pedestal was also bolted to the iron framework to ensure stability.

The Method Used to Secure the Copper Sheathing

The copper sheets that cover the statue were secured using a technique called "overlapping." This involved overlapping the edges of adjacent sheets and then riveting them together. The overlapping technique allowed the sheets to expand and contract with changes in temperature without cracking or buckling.

The Inner Iron Framework of the Statue

The internal framework of the statue was made of puddled iron, a high-quality form of wrought iron that was known for its strength and flexibility. The framework was designed to support the weight of the copper sheets while also allowing for movement caused by wind and temperature changes. The framework was also designed to make the statue resistant to earthquakes.

The Structural Connection between the Pedestal and the Statue

The pedestal of the statue was built separately from the statue and was attached to the iron framework using large bolts. The pedestal was designed to provide stability to the statue and prevent it from toppling over in high winds or during an earthquake. The pedestal is made of solid granite and concrete and is anchored to the bedrock beneath Liberty Island.

The Maintenance of the Statue’s Parts

The Statue of Liberty requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. The copper sheets are cleaned and polished to remove dirt, grime, and other debris. The iron framework is inspected for signs of rust or damage and is treated with rust inhibitors as needed. The pedestal is also inspected and maintained to ensure that it remains stable.

Conclusion: Preserving the Iconic Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is an important symbol of freedom and democracy. It is also a marvel of engineering and construction. The statue stands as a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of those who built it. Its preservation is a vital task that requires regular maintenance and care. The statue is a reminder of the values that the United States represents and a beacon of hope for people around the world.

References and Further Reading

  • History.com Editors. "Statue of Liberty." History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/landmarks/statue-of-liberty.
  • National Park Service. "Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island." National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm.
  • Simon, Julian. "The Engineering of the Statue of Liberty: A Marvel of Iron and Copper." Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2016, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/engineering-statue-liberty-marvel-iron-and-copper-180960551/.
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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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