Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The dedication of the Washington Monument in 1885...It took 37 years to finish and build... Also it's capstone was a most unusual metal ...

The Washington Monument as it looked after work was stopped on it in the early 1850's. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848 by Dolly Madison and Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. It was planned to be a very great monument..But funding was not available just a few years after work was started. During the bitter Civil War, Lincoln would often gaze at the stump of what was planned to be the Washington Monument. It was in plain view to him in the White House. The dedication of the massive monument on February 21, 1885..This day was very windy, cold and nearly unbearable. It was the final completion of a monument that had been started by last of the Revolutionary generation. Sadly when work was started again, the same kind of granite was not available. So there would always be a the line where work was resumed on the monument. You can see it plainly today. The laying of the capstone on December 6, 1884..This photo was taken from the ground, nearly 550 feet below ........Here below is a photo of the crew with the impressive capstone. Amazingly the capstone was made of a very rare metal in 1884..One that would in their minds show the importance of such a capstone. What was that substance??????
It was a three thousand, three hundred pound capstone of aluminum! One of the rarest metals on earth at the time!

Not gold, silver, copper....Just aluminum.