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“Because of technological innovations in the granite and bronze industries, the price of these statues came way down,” said Kirk Savage, an art historian at the University of Pittsburgh and author of . The marketing mavens at Monumental Bronze served a much larger market with cheap soldier statues made of zinc – a bargain at 0 for a life-size model, 0 for the 81/2-foot jumbo version.
“Tiny little hamlets in New England and the Southeast could suddenly afford monuments.” Wealthier cities such as Richmond (Virginia) and Baltimore could afford to hire professional sculptors to create original works in bronze – often drawn from melted-down Civil War cannons – featuring generals such as Robert E. Monumental offered something unique for the day: One-stop shopping.
Southern communities were generally quiet about the source of their Confederate statues.Many of the South’s Silent Sentinels turn out to be identical to the statues of Union soldiers that decorate hundreds of public spaces across the North. It turns out that a campaign in the late 19th century to memorialize the Civil War by erecting monuments was not only an attempt to honor Southern soldiers or white supremacy.Identical, but for one detail: On the soldier’s belt buckle, the “U. It was also a remarkably successful bit of marketing sleight of hand in which New England monument companies sold the same statues to towns and citizens’ groups on both sides of the Civil War divide.Union or Confederate, a customer was a customer, another 0 for a zinc statue that could mean whatever you needed it to mean.It was a business model that would appeal to Trump – a highly profitable product that could dress up a drab little town and make many Americans feel great again.
“Our concept of what a Yankee or a Rebel looked like comes more from these postwar representations in monuments than from what they actually wore,” Beetham said.