On this day in 1884, the 3,300-pound marble capstone and nine-inch pyramid of cast aluminum is placed atop the Washington Monument. This completed construction of the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk, at 555′ 5 1/8″.
Similarly, the aluminum pyramid was the largest piece of aluminum in the world at the time it was cast. Surprisingly, aluminum was a rare metal as valuable as silver. All four faces of the aluminum apex bear inscriptions in the Snell Roundhand font.
Unfortunately, a gold-plated copper band that held eight lightning rods covered most of these inscriptions from 1885 until its removal in 2013. The inscriptions it covered were damaged to the point of illegibility. Although the inscriptions are no longer covered, they were not repaired during restoration in 2013.
Among those inscriptions is Laus Deo, which is Latin for Praise be to God. Symbolically, perhaps, although that the inscription is no longer visible due to the elements, its intention and truth cannot be eroded.
This condition captures the essence and purpose of Our Lost Founding.
A similar sentiment from Washington’s Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789 inspired our “Invisible Hand” t-shirt:
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”
If you look closely, you’ll also find “Laus Deo” in Our design.