The Capitol Dome

Summer 2016

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16 THE CAPITOL DOME "We cast a bronze figure today about 3 feet in height. It was cast in plaster and brickdust mold. is had been cooked and baked in the shop in an envelope of sheet iron till it was per- fectly dry. en buried in a hole dug in the floor of the foundry and sand care- fully rammed around it, so as to make it very firm and secure. 160 pounds of bronze, of copper 8/10, tin 1/10, with an addition of zinc 1/50. e weight of the statue and its jets, as shown by the wax used in the model, was to be 110 pounds. e model was melted in 3 cham- bers in the small furnace in the bronze foundry, which is blown by a tube from the fan at the smith shop. It took about 2 hours to melt the metal. e casting was perfectly successful, and when the mold was broken aer dinner, the casting having been made at 11 ½ a.m., the figure came out with no apparent defects." Montgomery C. Meigs's Journal, March 27, 1857 1 Fig. 1. Captain Montgomery C. Meigs

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