The construction of the Statue of Liberty began in 1875 in the workshops of Monduit & Bechet, later Gaget, Gauthier & Co., based in Paris.
The sculptor first made a scale model of his work, approximately 6.90 feet high, and the workmen methodically cut apart the different sections of the statue.
The workmen build wooden structures to support the plaster casts. These casts of the original model were gradually enlarged to full-size by taking a series of measurements with a compass. Wooden templates were applied to the plaster casts to be used as molds. The copper plates were shaped by beating them inside the templates. They were assembled on a metal framework.
The setting up of the metal structure and the assembly of the
skin of the Statue of Liberty took place in 1886. On October
25, 1886, from the deck of the liner Bretagne, the members
of the French delegation accompanying Bartholdi, discovered
a colossal work, 279 feet high.
Auguste Bartholdi in front of the definitive plaster cast of the left arm, circa 1883.
Anonymous, proof on albumenized paper.
© Musée des arts et métiers
- S. Pelly
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The inauguration of Gustave Eiffel's assembled metal structure on October 24, 1881.
Attributed to Pierre Petit (1832-1909), proof on albumenized paper.
© Musée des arts et métiers - S. Pelly