FACT FOOD #56

Young George Washington 

Before the advent of cameras, one’s image was either sculpted or painted. For example, some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs (arms and legs) were to be painted. This gave raise to the 19th century expression – ‘It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ which means large or exorbitant amount of money.