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Inside the Statue of Liberty
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Statue 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 placed there.

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, half-size, full-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 Labs.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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