Memorials: Old Abe Gets The Brush

Old Abe Gets The Brush

Just after midnight on a hot, moonlit summer Tuesday, a National Park Service crew assembled, scrub brushes in hand. Its mission: to clean a year's worth of grime off the distinctive features of the 16th U.S. President. Once a year the 19-ft.-high statue of Abraham Lincoln at the heart of the Grecian-style memorial in Washington gets a thorough rubdown with special soap and natural- bristle brushes. Though Mr. Lincoln's baths are infrequent, their cost and duration are impressive. The twelve-hour cleaning set taxpayers back some $1,400.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!