The top of the Washington Monument is covered with an 8.9-inch (22.6 centimetres) aluminium pyramid.

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The aluminium cap initially helped as the apex of the monument’s lightning rod, however, it had to be augmented with copper rods when it became clear that the cap alone could not prevent harm.

Such was the situation of the small but very expensive aluminium pyramid that was set atop the Washington Monument on its completion in 1884 to help the functional purpose of a lightning rod.



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