When the copper roof of the Cathedral of St. Paul was replaced in 2001, pieces of the old copper roof were formed into tiny crosses and sold as holy souvenirs. They were hot items — tens of thousands sold at $5 apiece.
Now the city of Duluth is getting into the artifact souvenir business, selling pieces of the of landmark Aerial Lift Bridge.
Last year, large rivets taken off the bridge during a repair project were cleaned up and packaged with a certificate of authenticity, and marketed for $25, says the Duluth News Tribune.
“Seventy-seven cents of scrap steel netted the city $534 profit,” said Ryan Beamer, bridge supervisor since 2005.
Now at the suggestion of Tom Mellin, co-manager of the former Grandma’s Marketplace — Beamer got Minneapolis artists John Poole to create tiny miniature replicas of the bridge — cast with pure iron and melted steel from the bridge — that are 5 inches wide, 3 inches tall and less than an inch thick.
They are the same silver color as the bridge and sell for about $30 at shops around Duluth.
Said the paper:
Beamer estimates the miniatures have so far netted $746 for the city, which has gone into an engineering account.
“The city’s not making a lot of money,” Beamer said. “But I knew there were people out there who would want a piece of the bridge. I didn’t want to throw the steel away when people would really enjoy having it.”