Friday, August 8, 2014

Spirit of The American Doughboy Sculptures - North Canaan, CT; Winchendon, MA; St. Albans VT

North Canaan, CT
GPS: N42° 01.582; W073° 19.687

Winchendon, MA
GPS: N42° 41.044; W072° 03.350

St. Albans, VT
GPS: N44° 48.641; W073° 04.949

After World War I, Indiana native Ernest Moore Viquesney began to manufacture life-size sculptures  of a World War I American soldier to be sold as memorials to cities and towns throughout the United States. Since these soldiers were known as Doughboys he named these sculptures “Spirit of The American Doughboy”.

Over 140 of E. M. Viquesney's "Spirit of the American Doughboy"can still be seen in public places around America. Over 120 of these sculptures are made of pressed copper. They were copyright in 1920 and sold beginning in 1921. These sculptures are made of about 75 thin sheets of copper, mechanically pressed, and welded over an internal frame.

In 1934, Viquesney revised the design. He made the tree stumps on the base shorter, and the figure was thinner. The inscription Spirit of the American Doughboy is inscribed at the base of the figure. These statues were fabricated cast zinc sheets, often they were plated with copper or had other finishes. This use of zinc  enabled Viquesney to reduce the cost of the sculpture from about $2,000 to about $700.

In  there are five copies of the Spirit of The American Doughboy sculpture in New England. Two are located in Vermont -  Enosburg Falls and St. Albans; one in Massachusetts - Winchendon; and two in Connecticut - Bethel and North Canaan.  The sculpture in Massachusetts is the rarer, 1934, cast zinc version of the sculpture.

Ever the promoter, Viquesney sent a subliminal message by reproducing the form of the popular Statue of Liberty  for his Doughboy sculptures.

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