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Statue of Liberty’s face in construction. Image via The Visual Blog.

An emblem of New York and a symbol for freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries. Today marks the 127th anniversary of the dedication in 1886 (it’s also the 50th anniversary of the demolition of Penn Station). While we know there are nice vintage photographs of the completed Statue of Liberty itself, we wanted to share with you some of the many photographs of it under construction, which means lots of Statue of Liberty body parts sitting by themselves in incongruous places.

Proposed by French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 and designed by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, the neoclassical sculpture elicited generally favorable reactions from the French, who funded the statue itself. It was finally completed in 1884.

Statue of Liberty Bust-Vintage Photo

The United States, for their part, was expected to build the pedestal, but fundraising proved a difficult task: Americans were critical of the statue, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. It wasn’t until Joseph Pulitzer stepped in, announcing a fundraising drive. He promised to print the name of every contributor on his newspapers and even printed the notes he received from them. Although 80% of donations were less than $1, Pulitzer raised $102,000, equivalent to over $2.3 million today.

The pedestal wasn’t completed until 1885, after which France disassembled the colossal statue and shipped the parts to the United States to be reassembled here.

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Statue of Liberty’s Torch in Madison Square. Image via The Visual Blog.

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Construction of the hand and torch in a Paris studio. Image via

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The completed torch in a Paris studio. Image via

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Piecing the Statue of Liberty together in Paris. Image via

Statue of Liberty in Paris-Vintage PhotoStatue of Liberty towering over Paris

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Image via

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Construction of the pedestal in New York. Image via

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Image via ajklijs on

 Statue of Liberty, vintage photos

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