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Smoke from the Flame of Knowledge – Pic of the Week

I love the dome of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  During a recent walk, I noticed the sky completely blue except for one cloud just above the flame atop the dome.

Whether you call it the Flame of Knowledge, Torch of Knowledge, or Torch of Learning, it looks brilliant sitting at the pinnacle of the Library of Congress.

One of my favorite things about writing for In Custodia Legis is doing research, especially when the research centers on something I have seen many times or where it leads me to discover multiple names for an item.

You can see a worker putting gold leaf on the flame in this photo from the restoration in the 1980s.  In 1993, the Torch of Learning was regilded with 23 1/2 carat gold leaf.  In January 1996 the original torch was removed and subsequently replaced with a reproduction.  The previous Torch of Knowledge now sits in Fort Meade.


  1. julie
    August 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm


  2. Evan
    August 19, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Habemus Papum

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