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In Pictures: The Statue of Liberty's Earliest Years

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The Statue of Liberty, 1900. Courtesy the Museum of the City of New York.

The Statue of Liberty, easily New York's most famous and recognizable structure, sailed through the New York Harbor and arrived in this fair city exactly 130 years ago today. It was a gift to America from France, and we can thank French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi for its design, as well as its prominent location (though Frenchman Édouard René de Laboulaye is responsible for the idea). During a visit to New York in 1871, Bartholdi discovered Liberty Island, then known as Bedloe's Island, and chose the site because all ships arriving in New York would have to sail past it. Construction began in France nearly a decade before the 151-foot statue would land at its permanent home, and in 1885, it boarded the French steamer Isère and made its way to New York. To commemorate her arrival, we put together a collection of historic photos from the statue's early days (and Google put together a great interactive feature), when it was still known by its original name, Liberty Enlightening the World.

· The Construction of the Statue of Liberty [Google]
· All Statue of Liberty coverage [Curbed]