Vulcan Park in Birmingham, Alabama
Pictures of The Vulcan!
Facts about the Vulcan
The Vulcan may be one of the most widely recognized symbols in the Birmingham area. His largely exposed buttocks are the most recognized in Alabama. He is called the "Iron Man" and he is the world's largest cast iron statue. The Vulcan was planned by a group of businessmen.
A New York times reporter wrote that the Vulcan's buttocks were as wide as a Greyhound bus is long. I do not know if that would really be what you would want to be known for. This is the largest iron man in the world and it is a nod to the city's position in the iron and steel industry. The Vulcan is designed after the Mythical Roman god "The Forge."
The Vulcan is in his home in Red Mountain overlooking the city of Birmingham. The Vulcan, can be spotted from different areas around the city because he is high up on a mountain. This is a really interesting landmark that is within the city. There are so many neat facts about The Vulcan. His entire weight is 100,000 pounds. The weight of his entire head is 11,000 pounds. The Vulcan has twenty nine moving parts. After the anvil, block hammer, and spear point were added to the already massive statue, his final weight ended up at 120,000 pounds.
I learned while writing this article, that for many years, The Vulcan did not hold anything in his hands. Over the years, some interesting things that he has held, has been an ice cream cone a Coca Cola in his hand and also, believe it or not, a jar of pickles. The running joke is that he moons all of Homewood.
You may think that day trip to The Vulcan does not sound like a lot of fun. Whether you realize it or not, this statue would make a great day trip or at least 1/2 of the day. It is nice to bring a blanket to sit/eat on and bring food for a picnic. While eating you are able to over look the city while relaxing outside. For a small fee, you can go to the top of The Vulcan. It is a geat place to take the kids. Bring plenty of drinks, fruits and a main item to eat such as sandwiches or soft shell wraps. Of course, you can always just eat on the way to The Vulcan or just stop and eat on the way home.
If you are a night owl, it might be romantic and fun to go at night and take a date and eat out under the stars, drink some wine and look out over the bright lights over the city. Be careful though, you would not want to get into trouble for public intoxication and you might want to check the night hours before going. It is breathtaking to say the least. Many couples do it and many bring binoculars and watch the city happenings below. You can picnic in the woods or out in the open. You can picnic now right in front of the Iron Vulcan statue if you wish. Be sure and go when there are no storms coming because, the park does not have many covered areas.
If you have ever been to The Vulcan please share your story with me in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this hub page.
Vulcan Facts You May Not Know
1. The Vulcan's nick name is "Iron Man". If you feel it your touching pure iron.
2. He's the world's largest cast iron statue.
3. It is speculated, that the fascination with the statue arises from the "exposure" of the Iron Man's huge bare buttocks.
4. Known as Birmingham's best known attraction.
5. Some people that pass through Birmingham and are drawn to stop for a closer look, just because of the oddity of the creation.
6. In November 1903 the Italian sculptor Guiseppe Moretti, agreed to sculpt the statue for $6000.
7. Size of the Vulcan. Height is 56 feet.
8. A little known fact about the Vulcan. San Francisco had offered to buy Vulcan to stand beside the Golden Gate Bridge but, The City of Birmingham declined and the prize winner was shipped home where he was dumped out beside the railroad track in dozens of pieces. It is a shame that for 2 years, the Vulcan stayed disassembled.
9. At one point on his journey, when he was assembled, his arm was put on backwards at one point and was left that way for twenty one years.
10. Vulcan has been in his final resting place, up high on Red Mountain. The Vulcan can look down on the city at night.
11. The Vulcan helps us reflect on our history of cast iron and steel.
12. There was a renovation that was done from 1999-2004 that was done on The Vulcan.
13. This is the 7th tallest freestanding statue in the USA.
14. The Vulcan is made up of 29 different metal components. The figure alone weighs 100,000 pounds.
15.One fact that you may not know about The Vulcan was shipped in 1904 as an entry in The World's Fair where it won "Grand Prize." After the fair The Vulcan was taken apart and was shipped home to Birmingham, where it was left in pieces along the side of some railroad tracks because of the unpaid freight bills.
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Have you ever been to Vulcan Park in Alabama?
In 1946, in conjunction with the city, a large torch was placed in the Vulcan's hand and if there wasn't a fatality for a 24 hour period, then the light will be burned green and if there is a fatality, then the light will be changed to red. They stopped doing this although it was sad the concept was very respectful in it's scope.
I highly recommend that you visit the Vulcan at least once.If you like a great scenic view of a city, forests and mountains. Also, there are many trails and other designated areas to relax at situated all around the big man. It's fun to visit and have a picnic or just to look out over the mountain at the city. I prefer the nighttime so you can see the city lit up down below. Also, Vulcan is lit up as well and you can actually see him better in the darkness.
Vulcan Park in Birmingham, Alabama
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© 2012 Buster Johnson