Drill used for stone carving

My name is Lou Del Bianco. I want to tell you about my Grandpa. He was the chief carver on Mount Rushmore. 

Luigi Del Bianco was born in 1892 in Italy. When he was 11 years old, Luigi's father recognized his talent and sent him to train for 5 years with a master carver. It was during his 2nd trip to America when Luigi was introduced to Gutzon Borglum, the ingenious designer of Mount Rushmore. In 1933, this humble Italian immigrant was hired by Borglum to carve the "refinement of expression" in the faces.  Borglum wrote, "He is the only intelligent, efficient stone carver on the work who understands the language of the sculpture". When my grandfather quit the project because of sabotage directed against him by the powers that be, Borglum paid Bianco from his own pocket. My grandfather returned again and again out of loyalty to Borglum and this "great privilege" granted to him. In 1941, the faces were considered finished and Luigi returned to his home in Port Chester, NY, where he continued to carve for clients using the pneumatic drill you see pictured. 

On September 16, 2017, Luigi Del Bianco was finally awarded his own plaque at Mount Rushmore. History has been changed for the better. There is now a book about Luigi Del Bianco, the title is “Out of Rushmore’s Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story”, by Lou Del Bianco.



Place(s): Italy, New York and South Dakota

– Lou Del Bianco

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant