of Liberty Torch
The Statue of Liberty torch, raised in her right
hand is actually one of Liberty's most recognizable features.
Apart from being a symbol of enlightenment, Statue of Liberty
torch can also be interpreted several different ways.
However, unknown to many, the torch basically gives a clue of
what the Statue of Liberty once was, which is a lighthouse. It
was in 1876 when the torch and the right hand that lifts it was
completed by the great sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi.
In order for the Statue of Liberty torch to be assembled on the
proposed site, which will be later known as Bedloe Island (now called
as Liberty Island), the torch and other parts of the statue was
dismantled and packaged into crates so that it could be conveniently
transported to the target erection site.
Nine years later, the statue was finally erected on Bedloe Island
and the government finally released a monetary fund of about $19,500
in order to reserve a special energy plant to supply lighting to
the Liberty's torch. Several renovations and plan changes were also
enacted like the addition of more durable lamps in the interior
and the use of oil as a means of generating power for the statue.
And, through the years, the lamps inside were changed over and
over for the torch's continuous generation of light. In 1931 for
instance, replacement of the light bulbs was completed and this
involved the usage of 200 incandescent lamps of 50 watts each installed
on the torch alone. However, in the year 1949, the voltage of the
incandescent lamps used was upgraded to 1,000 watts.
In 1984, after almost a decade of replacing the lamps inside the
Liberty's torch, plans were proposed to renovate flaming torch and
have it reconstructed back to how it was originally. According to
the experts, the torch of the statue itself has been badly degraded
and changed so that it had lost its true essence of why it was even
It is because of this concern that Blaine Cliver and John Robbins
from the staff of the National Park Service of America offered their
services by diligently studying the original configurations of the
torch and designing the plan to reconstruct it once again. Swanke
Hayden Connell and Thierry Despont were the assigned architects
to spearhead the project. With the help of the workers from Les
Metalliers Champenois, they successfully carried out the plan of
reconstructing the Statue of Liberty torch to many models (quarter-size,
It was also on the same year that the Statue of Liberty torch received
one of its latest renovations. The material that composes the torch
was changed back to the original copper, but there's a gold leaf
coating added for protection. Several changes were also made to
the Statue of Liberty torch lamps and this project was spearheaded
by Howard Brandston and his team from the General Electric Research
Metal halide lamps replaced the incandescent lamps that were previously
installed, and each have a voltage of 250 watts. The same bulbs
and lights were then used to light the other parts of the statue
and from then on, it has been maintained this way. Meanwhile, the
original 1886 Statue of Liberty torch was preserved and can now
be seen inside the lobby museum of the monument.