Lady-fingers

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The place, Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor; the time, probably the fall or winter A of 1885; the people, unknown (though we can guess that the young man on the left is not the Phillip Morris bellhop); the pccasion, nothing much—just sitting around on the Statue of Liberty’s fingers and toes. The little island had been the scene of considerable carnage for months, as pieces of the lady who soon would lift her torch “beside the golden door” were strewn about like the wreckage from some terrible accident. The triumphant creation of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the statue had been presented to the United States, its sections broken down, numbered, and packed into eighty-five huge crates, and the crates loaded aboard the French warship Isère and sent to New York, where they arrived on May 17, 1885. A small railroad was built on Bedloe’s Island to move things around and about (its tracks can be seen in the background of the picture), a monstrous concrete pedestal was constructed to hold the statue, and on October 28, 1886, the reassembled arms, legs, feet, face, and fingers of perhaps America’s most enduring symbol were unveiled. Today, only a certifiable madman would attempt to sit on the lady’s fingers.

This picture was sent to us by Leon Bodycott of Bradenton, Florida, and we continue to invite our readers to send us unusual, dramatic, or “what’s going on here?” photographs that they might own. Such photographs should be at least thirty years old, sharp and clear, and have some interesting story connected with them.

As we cannot be responsible for original material, we request that a copy be sent at first. Under no circumstances should glass negatives be mailed. Pictures can be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. A MERICAN H ERITAGE will pay $50.00 for each one used.