The statue of liberty is one of the most recognizable structures in the usa and in the world in 1886 the monument wasn't just symbolic for 16 years the statue functioned as a fully operational lighthouse tourists at the u.s landmark can head to her crown for a stunning view of the city but there used to be a perch in the.
Torch that could be accessed sadly the ladder to the torch room was damaged making the room inaccessible from 1916 until today and it hasn't welcomed any visitors since the weight of the statue can be compared to the weight of an empty boeing 737 but this is only the outer skin of the statue the metal construction inside.
That is stairs pylons and support weigh another 125 tons it's like a small train locomotive and the concrete base underneath weighs an impressive 27 000 tons that's like a fleet of 11 000 heavy suvs or 180 of the largest blue whales and this is what the statue looked like 135 years ago yes his color is very different it's the same color you'd see.
If you cut through an electrical wire because the entire statue is made of copper about 20 years after it was installed it turned completely green that's because the air and the frequent rings gradually oxidize the metal and that metal is extremely thin designers could have made those sheets of metal thicker but then the statue.
Would have been even heavier and it would have fallen under its own way a little thinner and the severe oxidation and corrosion of the metal would have made holes in the statue the sculptor had thought well about the construction of the statue and it took more than 10 years to build it the constructors needed absolutely all.
The parts of the statue made of plaster first here's the head they took sheets of wood parallel to each other and push them against the model the edges of the sheets were then shaped so that they perfectly replicated the shapes and curves of the statue in other words it was a cast then the wooden structure was placed on.
The floor and covered with a sheet of copper all that was left was to shape the sheet of copper into the curves of the statue with hammers and a press the sheets were then reinforced on the inside with iron straps this procedure was repeated 350 times that's how many separate sheets of copper make up the statue of liberty but if you put it all.
Together it would simply collapse under its own weight or be blown away by the wind and that's where gustav eiffel comes in yes this is the french engineer who later built the most famous metal structure in the world the eiffel tower gustav eiffel designed the iron pylon that would serve as the spine of the statue and then smaller metal structures.
Were added around it later all 350 copper plates of the statue of liberty would be attached to it and here you can already see the shape of the future statue the metal structures repeat the shape of the torch head and the tablet in the left hand even though this metal structure weighs over 100 tons it's still quite flexible.
So even now the fully assembled statue of liberty sways a bit in a strong wind it can swing four inches at the top eduard de la belle was a huge supporter of bertarli's work and encouraged the french people to raise money for the statute meanwhile the american public crowdfunded the money to pay for the.
Pedestal bartholdi completed the iconic torchbearing arm of lady liberty years before finishing the rest of the design the arm was then donated in madison square park to encourage the public to donate to the statue fundraising from the american public proved to be difficult until publisher joseph pulitzer stepped in he started a.
Drive for donations and promised that each contributor would receive an honorary shout out in his famous newspaper the new york world this attracted over 120 000 donations and raised enough funds to complete the statue it took about 10 years to finish the work it took workers another four months.
To fully assemble the statue on the finished pedestal the statue is connected to the pedestal so it can't be lifted separately and the entire metal structure inside can be seen through the glass ceiling of the pedestal although interior work was still in progress you could already see the statue in all its beauty.
There's a star-shaped base on the ground it's the remains of the former fort wood on the island next comes the granite pedestal which has its own observation deck and the statue itself now let's look inside the structure and try to get to the top the seven spikes on the statue of liberty are not there to represent the.
Seven continents and seven seas as some previously thought the spikes stand for sun rays while the circle is there as some halo it's like when immigrants arrive on a boat the statue greets them with hello and welcome there's also an elevator but it holds a maximum of three people and is only used in emergencies.
As you climb you can see exactly how the copper sheets were attached to the metal frame and you can also distinguish specific details of the statue like the folds of the dress and even locks of hair so 354 steps done congratulations you've reached the observation deck in the crown of the statue of liberty it's.
Pretty small and only fits a couple of people you can look out over the new york harbor through 25 glass windows they symbolize the gems of our planet and there are powerful lanterns behind you that light up the glass they turn on at night so that passing ships can see the statue's crown glow.
Well actually entry to the torch is not allowed for tourists but just for you we'll open it up for a minute to get up there you have to go down yes about to the neck of the statue there's a hatch that leads through a narrow passage into the right arm of the statue then you have to go up the stairs to the wrist then another ladder will lead you to the.
Handle of the torch open the cylindrical door and whoopee you're on the highest observation deck of the statue of liberty for many years now only workers have been allowed access here there's gold in the metal the torch is made of but if you look closely at it you'll see that it's not the original torch that was brought here from france.
About a hundred years after the statue was installed in 1986 frequent rains and leaking water damaged the torch and it had to be replaced at first the old torch was displayed as a museum piece just inside the pedestal at the entrance but recently a new museum was built on the island and the torch was moved there a theory suggests that lady liberty.
Might not even be a lady at all author and the statue of liberty scholar elizabeth mitchell believes that bartholdi did model lady liberty's face after a family member but not his mother upon studying the statue's face elizabeth noted that charlotte bartholdi had a slightly different face structure than lady liberty.
In the early years of his career bartholdi was a bust maker known for his accuracy so these slight discrepancies didn't make sense when elizabeth came across pictures of bartholdi's brother jean charles she noticed that his face bore a striking resemblance to lady liberty the statue and pedestal together cost.
Five hundred thousand dollars to build in today's money that would be over ten million dollars the statue was completed in france and then shipped to america split into over three hundred copper pieces packed in wooden boxes over two hundred thousand americans waited to greet the ship carrying lady.
Liberty as it arrived in new york harbor the statue was assembled on bedlow's island which is now known as liberty island a mistake might have been made when the statue of liberty was assembled during an inspection in 1982 workers realized that her head had been installed two feet off center i have had such a crick in my neck no.
Wonder i've had this headache all these years the famous structure is also weatherproof lady liberty is struck by around 600 bolts of lightning every year since she was built some photographers have been lucky enough to catch these moments she's also survived hurricanes ocean changes and countless storms.
The statue of liberty was designed to sway in the wind during heavy winds lady liberty can sway up to three inches in any direction and her torch can sway five