Friday , 9 December 2016

A little about Mount Rushmore to celebrate President’s Day

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The four headed presidential monument blasted into the a mountainside sounds as outlandish today as it must have 90 years ago, but at the height of the Great Depression, a monument like Mount Rushmore was exactly what America needed.

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Constructed from 1927 to 1942, the project employed hundreds daily and became a visual identity to the country.

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A shot of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills before construction began.

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Before mountainside demolition began a studio housed, plaster model was created as a guide.

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Most of the chiseling on the mountain was done via precision dynamite blasts.

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It is estimated that 90% of the overall carving was accomplished this way, by dynamite. The exposed rock beneath was more workable for carving..

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Sticks of dynamite would be set in groups based on size, specifically for blasting around specific rock structures.

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After exposing the softer stone beneath, workers would use jackhammers to create honeycomb patterns in the rock wall.

This weakened the rock to a point that 3-6 inches could be removed by hand.

 

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Drills would dull constantly. Blacksmiths worked on sight to sharpen steel drill bits all day. A good worker could sharpen 400 plus drills per day.

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Ever see this photo of the man hanging off of the side? The sling he is in is called a “bosun chair.” Workers would be lowered via 3/8th inch thick steel cables from the top of the mountain.

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In this photo a worker climbs down Lincoln’s nose in his bosun chair to perform some constructive maintenance.

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Mount Rushmore’s design was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum. He stayed on the project until his death in 1941.

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Rushmore was originally intended to be a full bust of each President. A lack of funds toward the end of the project led to only Washington’s neckline to be included.

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The faces on Mount Rushmore are 60 feet high, and amazingly, no one died during its 14 years of construction.