Gustave Eiffel gave Lady Liberty a spine of iron

Visitors to the Parc Monceau in 1884 were witness to a curious sight. One short block off the main thoroughfare, behind a storefront at the end of rue Alfred de Vigny, a 150 foot-tall woman loomed over the Parisian skyline. Here was the workshop where the sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi put the finishing touches on the Statue of Liberty. The statue is a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States to commemorate 100 years of independence.

Five years before he astounded the world with his 1000-foot tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 Exposition in Paris, Gustave Eiffel designed the iron framework that supports the copper skin of Bartholdi’s statue. The fact that Miss Liberty has held her torch high over New York harbor for over a century, a beacon of hope to the world, is due in no small part to Eiffel’s ingenuity.



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William Nuttle

Navigating a changing environment — hydrologist, engineer, advocate for renewable energy, currently writing about the personal side of technological progress