The Eiffel Tower
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a famous French engineer.
Eiffel was born in 1832 and died in 1923.
Eiffel was a talented and clever engineer who was most famous for his bridges and viaducts. Eiffel
liked to work with new techonology, which in his time involved using wrought iron. He designed the
Eiffel Tower using this material. He also designed the Statue of Liberty in New York.
The 1889 World Expo in Paris was held to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution in
1789. In 1884, it was decided to hold a competition to design an attraction which would bring more
visitors to the World Expo. There were hundreds of entries, some of which – like a giant guillotine –
were rather unusual. Eiffel ‘s design of the Tower was the winning entry.
It took about twenty – six months to construct the Tower. At that time, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest
building in the world at 321 metres in height. (1051 feet) It weighed 7 0 tonnes and two and half
million rivets were used in its construction.
An early picture of the Eiffel Tower. (Source unknown)
To begin with, the Eiffel Tower was not at all popular with the people of Paris. They did not like its
shape, they thought it looked ugly. They wanted to pull it down as soon as the World Expo had
finished. However, it proved to be the most popular place in Paris to visit. When World Expo had
finished, people from all over the world were still coming to Paris, just to see the Eiffel Tower. So the
people of Paris decided that they would keep it. Now it is ranked as the number one tourist attraction
in the world.
In later years, he turned to studying aerodynamics.