Edward Leedskalnin

24 Mar

Edward Leedskalnin was born on January 12, 1887, in Livonia and died on December 7, 1951, in Miami. The story of this eccentric amateur sculptor is outstanding because he single-handedly built the monument known as Coral Castle, located in Homestead, Florida.

The story of Leedskalnin impresses anyone because this immigrant arrived in the USA with a terminal illness. But in fact, his disease was cured and the man was capable, in the next thirty years, building itself and in the evening, the work of his life, Coral Rock. Ledskalnin worked at night and when he sensed someone lurking nearby, he just interrupts his work, retreating into the house. When asked how he did it, he simply replied: “I know the secret of the Great Pyramids” …[1] In fact, he learned from his grandfather, a mason, the art of construction,

Leedskalnin in the middle of his Coral Castle. Amazing single-handed construction by a man weighing about 50 kg…

Coral Castle is a complex composed of multi-ton stones and coral rock, entirely built by Leedskalnin, a 5 feet tall, 100 lb man.
But, notwithstanding all the speculations about the “science” behind Leedskalnin achievement, maybe all techniques were simple, as suggested in this next video, teaching how to raise multi-ton stones, like in Stonehenge megalithic monument.

He knew the art of construction in a manner which is now lost. He brought to Coral Rock about 1100 tons of coral rock and stone. With its tripod-shaped lever, he lifted and placed side by side, or one above the other, a set of stones, with a precision that emulates the Great Pyramids. Fantasy or not, he said he knew a technique for lifting stones that were revolutionary, and his book “Magnetic Current” was the notebook where he recorded his “secret.” [2] His tools were the tripod, saws, iron wedges, block and tackles, winches and a wheelbarrow, all materials he bought in a nearby scrap iron seller.

I give here some input from my reading of his manuscript “Magnetic Current”, to be updated as my reading and understanding is progressing, see page below:

Personal notes about Leedskalnin “Magnetic currents”.

Coral Rock is the inspiration of a broken engagement, a masterpiece of love. The wedding was planned to take place in Riga, with the sixteen years old girl, Agnes Scuffs. Leedskalnin told that Agnes never married him because he lacked money, but the other side told a different story, that Edward was opinionated, and obsessed with controlling her, and also probably it played against him the ten years age difference. Edward always referred to her, as the «Sweet Sixteen», and built Coral Rock to be his Taj-Maal of love, his temple of love, where he expected to live with Agnes and raise their children [3].

Billy Idol composed a song that later becomes famous in the pop culture, “sweet sixteen”, watch below.

To have a notion of the difficulties to built big structures with rocks, read this book [4]. And if you, too, have a broken heart, you can always try to impress your loved one by learning the “secret” of Edward Leedskalnin and build your majestic Taj-Maal…


[1] Coral Castle: The Story of Ed Leedskalnin and His American Stonehenge, by Rusty McClure,Jack Heffron

[2] Magnetic Current, by Edward Leedskalnin
[3] American Folk Art: A Regional Reference, by Kristin G. Congdon,Kara Kelley Hallmark

[4] The Complete Guide toi Building with Rocks & Stones: Stonework Projects and…, by Brenda Flynn

One Response to “Edward Leedskalnin”

  1. Maude October 9, 2014 at 10:26 am #

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