Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lady Liberty’s Little Sisters

From 1949 to 1951, over 200 little liberties were placed in parks and municipal areas by Boy Scout Troops around the country. Building Collector reader Scott sent me this tip and found a site with photos and locations of many of the statue replicas. The original project was launched in 1949 by the late Jack Whitaker, a Kansas City, Mo., Scout volunteer. The stamped copper statues, built around wooden frames, were made by Friedley-Voshardt in Chicago. To celebrate Scouting’s 40th anniversary theme, "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty," troops purchased the statues for about $350. Standing over 8 feet tall without the base, the Statues of Liberty weigh 290 pounds and are constructed of sheet copper. Each town provided its own base, so the designs vary from town to town. According to the Boy Scouts of America National Council, miniature statues were placed in 39 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone and the Philippines. Weather and vandals have claimed some metal replicas and some are being restored. Currently, about 100 little liberties have been accounted for by SOS! (Save Outdoor Sculpture!), a joint project of Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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