Victory – “A Gift to the People of Lowell from James C. Ayer. Erected July 4, 1867.”  A draped woman with wings holding the laurel wreath of victory and the harvest sheaf representing peace. It was sculpted by Christian Daniel Rauch, the foremost German sculptor of the 19th century, for the king of Bavaria. The original of bronze stands in front of the king’s palace in Munich.  While traveling in Europe, James C. Ayer saw the statue and thought of purchasing a duplicate and presenting it to the city of Lowell. The day of its dedication there was a big ceremony attended by 20,000 people. James C. Ayer (1819-1878) came to Lowell at age 13 to work in an apothecary. Opening his own drug store in 1841, Ayer began concocting his own medicines and through the shrewd use of advertising built the most successful patent medicine company in America. The $20 million fortune derived from patent medicine sales financed Ayer’s diversification into mill ownership and his many acts of civic generosity.


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