16.51, Monday 17 May 2004

Ran across this today:

The Bartholdi Statue of Liberty.--The corner-stone of the Bartholdie Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World," given by France to the United States, was laid at Bedloe's Island, in New York Harbour, on August 4th. The pedestal proper will be 114 feet high, and will stand on a high terrace of the island. The height of the statue from its base up to the top of the torch is 151 feet. In the course of his oration Mr. William Allan Butler said: "It is proposed, as I understand, that the torth shall receive its illuminating power from an electric light. This wonderful gift of science to mankind is the crowning result of the electric researches and experiments which Franklin initiated by the bold and simple and successful methods which placed him in the front rank of experimental philosophers, and secured for him the congratulations of the French King. Franklin believed in the sincerity of the French people, he attested the vast and inestimable worth of their aid, and declared over his own honet hand that they 'expected no return but that of gratitude and friendship, and these,' he adds, 'I hope may be everlasting.' These words, which he wrote to Robert R. Livingstones more than a century ago, are the groundwork of the thoughts I have briefly and imperfectly expressed to-day. The hand that wrote them is in the dust, but the sentiments they embody and the wish they breathe are imperishable and will be perpetuated in the enduring monument for which this solid resting-place is preparing. And when, from the beacon which crowns it, shall shine forth the electric light, the consumate fruit of labours in which Franklin was the pioneer, wrought out to perfection by patient toilers who followed in the path in which he led, it will be indeed a fit emblem of the torch of Freedom, kindled by a celestial spark, guarded and kept alive by historic service, and at last lifted up to the safe and serene height--a light to lighten the world."

The Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review (London), August 30 1884, Notes.