By Elleda Wilson
Posted: February 11, 2011
Astorian AL MAURO told the Ear that he swore he saw an exact copy of Astoria’s World War I DOUGHBOY STATUE in Uniontown when he visited Meridian, Miss. The Ear was curious, and EARL D. GOLDSMITH’S article at http://tinyurl.com/doeboyz came to the rescue.
The statue in Astoria, called “Over the Top at Cantigny,” was designed by JOHN PAULDING and cast by the American Art Bronze Foundry of Chicago. There are four versions of the “Over the Top” doughboys scattered around the country. The one in Astoria is the C model, with the rifle held aloft in the right hand, and there are only two of them; the other is in Catskill, N.Y.
The look alike statue in Meridian, “Spirit of The American Doughboy,” is actually by ERNEST VIQUESNEY. The doughboy statues are so alike that JULES BERCHEM, owner of American Art Bronze Foundry, sued Viquesney in 1922 for copyright infringement, claiming the statues were “so similar as to deceive the general public.” Even years later, Viquesney and the foundry carried on an advertising war, with the foundry “touting the superiority of genuine cast bronze over Viquesney’s cheaper stamped copper.”
Pictured left, Viquesney’s doughboy in Spencer, Ind., similar to the one in Meridian; pictured right, Astoria’s doughboy.
A closer look reveals the differences, especially since the Meridian doughboy is holding the rifle in his left hand. Sorry, Al, the statues aren’t the same. But it’s easy to see why you would think so, when driving by.
Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.