About Mount Rushmore — before and after.


We don’t often think about Mount Rushmore before. It’s a question of perspective and dynamite.

An image of Mount Rushmore, or Six Grandfathers, as the Sioux call it, before the faces of the four “Founding Fathers” were carved into it.

Returning to the present, one builder is left standing.

Lessons from stone: The last man to have built Mount Rushmore (The Economist)

Nick Clifford still works at the monument

It was the dust that he hated most. Clouds in the high, thin, South Dakotan air, that choked him as he dangled in a harness on the mountainside. The men wielded jackhammers, drilling holes so sticks of dynamite could be pressed into the rock. Then, as they retreated on a president’s head—for a lunch of meatloaf sandwiches, if lucky—fuses fizzed and granite blasted off below. Few bothered with masks, except when the boss, Gutzon Borglum, came on site. One man snipped a hole in his to let him smoke as he drilled. In any case the damned particles got “into your eyes, ears, hair, nose and worst of all your throat” …