The Creation of the Statue of Liberty
Long before undertaking the famous statue of Liberty Enlightening the World in a giant scale, sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi produced numerous miniaturized working models. The face was that of Charlotte Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother, and his girlfriend, Jeanne-Emilie, was the model for the statue's arms and body. Once the design was finalized, wooden molds were produced, over which copper sheets were attached and hammered into shape. The copper shell, about .01 inches (2.4 mm) thick was then riveted onto an internal iron skeleton designed by Gustave Eiffel. The statue alone is 151 ft. (46 m) high, and its base and pedestal increase the height of the monument to 305 ft (93 m). The completion of the Statue of Liberty came in 1884. When it was decided that the French would give the statue as a gift to the United States to honor 100 years of independence, Bartholdi sailed to New York to search for a site that would hold up to the grandeur of his creation. When his ship entered the harbor, he knew he had to look no further. The statue would rest on Bedloe's Island, now Liberty Island, replacing the old fortress of Fort Wood.