17 November 2012 - The Eiffel Tower - Paris


Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)


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Quote of the day:


"If you love something set it free.


If it comes back it is yours,


if it doesn’t it never was."


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The Eiffel Tower




- Paris, France -


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G'day guys,


Today I bring you an amazing structure that I found gob smacking when I first saw it - The Eiffel Tower.


Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel in French), originally named tower 330 meters (330 meters tour) is a puddling iron structure designed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel and his staff for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris.
Located in the Campo de Marte by the river Seine, this Parisian monument, symbol of France and its capital, was the ninth most visited country in 2006 and the first most visited monument in the world with 6,893,000 visitors in 2007. With a height of 300 meters, extended later with an antenna on 325 meters, the Eiffel Tower was the highest building in the world for over 40 years.

It was built in two years, two months and five days in a dispute with the artists of the time, that looked like a monster of iron. Originally used for scientific experiments, today is, in addition to tourist attractions, such as issuing of radio and television programs.

Initially the subject of some controversy, the Eiffel Tower served as an introduction to the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889, which welcomed more than 236 million visitors since its opening. Its exceptional size and its instantly recognizable silhouette of the tower became a symbol of Paris.

Conceived in the imagination of Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, head of the office of studies and head of office methods, respectively, of the "Eiffel and Co.," was thought to be the "nail (focus) of the 1889 exhibition to be held in Paris, which also celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. The first level of the tower was made in June 1884 and improved by Stephen Sauvestre, the main architect of the projects of the company, who brought over aesthetics.

On May 1, 1886, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Edouard Lockroy, enthusiastic supporter of the project, signed a decree declaring open "a support for the Universal Exhibition of 1889. Gustave Eiffel won this financial support and an agreement on January 8, 1887 which set the modalities of construction of the building.

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Built from 1887 to 1889 for 250 workers, will be officially opened on March 31, 1889. Often suffer corrosion, the Eiffel Tower does not really know a massive success and continued until the sixties, with the development of international tourism. Now host to over six million visitors each year.


Its 300 meters in height allowed him to take the title of "the tallest structure in the world until the construction in 1930 of the Chrysler Building in New York. Built on the Champ de Mars near the river Seine in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, is currently administered by the Society for the administration of the Eiffel Tower "(Société d'exploitation of the Tour Eiffel, SETE). The site, which employs 500 people (250 employees and 250 of the SETE different dealers installed on the monument) is open every day of the year.


Conceived in 1884, built between 1887 and 1889 and inaugurated for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris, the Eiffel Tower symbolizes today in the entire country, France.  However, it was not always so. The Eiffel Tower was part of the country's economic showcase.  Since 1875, the nascent Third Republic, which was marked by chronic political instability, could hardly sustain. In government, political parties are occurring at a steady pace. According to Léon Gambetta, is often made by ministers as "opportunistic", but a legislator whose work laid the stones of the principles still applicable in the present compulsory school, secularism, freedom of the press, etc.


But the society of the day puts even more emphasis on technical progress and social progress. It is this faith in the benefits of science that gave rise to the world fair. But from the first exposure (Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations [Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations], London, 1851), the rulers perceive quickly putting that behind there is a technological showcase policy, and it would be a mistake not to seize the opportunity. Demonstrating its industry expertise, the host shows your progress and superiority over other European powers, who then reigned over the world. Under this view, France hosts the World Exposition repeatedly in the years 1855, 1867 and 1878. Jules Ferry, President of the Council from 1883 to 1885, decided to revive the idea of a universal exhibition in France. On November 8, 1884, signed a decree formally establishing the holding of a Universal Exposition in Paris from May 5 to October 31, 1889. The year was not chosen at random, because it symbolizes the centennial of the French Revolution. Paris is once again the center of the world. Although the New World side of things is changing rapidly and across the Atlantic, within the economic power of the young United States of America where truly born the idea of a tower 300 meters.

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Indeed, at the Universal Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, American engineers and Clark Reeves, imagine a project of a cylindrical post 9 meters in diameter by spstenido shrouds metal anchored to a circular base of 45 meters in diameter, with a total height of 300 meters. For lack of credit, your project will never see the light, although it would be published in France in the journal Nature.

In the same situation, the French engineer Sébillotte draws in the United States, the idea of a 'sun tower' of iron alumbraría Paris. To do so, it joins with the architect Jules Bourdais, who worked on the project of the Palace of the Trocadéro to the Universal Exhibition of 1878. Together, they designed a "beacon tower of granite, 300 meters high and know several versions, which will compete with the proposed tower Gustave Eiffel, and finally, never be built.

In June 1884, two engineers of the company Eiffel, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, head of the project office and the head of office methods, respectively, study the project of a metal tower of 300 meters. They hope to make it the focus of the Exhibition of 1889.
On June 6 exactly, Maurice Koechlin made the first sketches of the building. The drawing represents a 300 meter tall tower, where the four sides are connected by curved platforms every 50 meters until you reach the summit. Gustave Eiffel says not interested in the project, however, gives the designer the authority to proceed with the study.

Stephen Sauvestre, chief architect of the Eiffel company is called to collaborate in the project and completely re-draw the building to give it another scale: adds a heavy foot masonry tower and connects to the first floor through arches, reduces the number platforms from five to two, makes the design of the tower something like a lighthouse, among other changes.

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This new version of the project, embellished with a decorative coating is presented back to Gustave Eiffel, who on this occasion, is enthusiastic about the project, so that deposited on September 18, 1884, on behalf of the Koechlin and Nouguier, a patent for "a new provision that allows the construction of batteries and metal towers with a height exceeding 300 meters. Soon after buying the rights of Koechlin and Nouguier to obtain exclusive rights on future tower that will soon bear his name.

Gustave Eiffel's genius lies not in the design of the monument, but the energy expended to make your project known to the rulers, and those responsible for the general public, to build the tower, and when he succeeded in investment to do that in the eyes of all, still a challenge arquitectoral simple and purely technical or an aesthetic object (or unaesthetic others). Also financed with their own scientific experiments carried on or from the Eiffel Tower, which helped perpetuate it.

First, try to convince Édouard Lockroy, Minister of Trade and Industry, then, to launch a competition aimed at "exploring the possibility of raising the Champ de Mars in an iron tower with a base of 125 m² a height of 300 meters. The modalities of this contest, in May 1886, both seem to project championed by Gustave Eiffel which could almost believe it was written in his own hand. Of course, Eiffel did not, but it is clear that your project has great potential to be chosen to appear on the Universal Exhibition to be held three years later. It has yet to demonstrate that it is an object that is purely decorative, but can perform other functions. By putting everything in front of the scientific interest in the tower, you get some doubt in their favor.

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Eiffel does not know in advance the outcome of the contest. Competition becomes fierce. 107 projects were submitted, but ultimately Gustave Eiffel won the competition, allowing him to build his tower for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, as did Jules Bourdais, who will do yours with Trocadéro Palace, who instead of using iron, preferred granite.

Below are two problems: the elevator that does not meet the selection board, forcing Eiffel to change supplier, and location of the monument. Initially, it is putting the building right next to the Seine, or beside the Old Palace of the Trocadero (now the Palais de Chaillot), but finally decided to just put it on the Champ de Mars, where the exhibition, and make the tower a sort of monumental gate.

Initially, Gustave Eiffel (engineer and specialist in steel structures) was scheduled to work twelve months, although in reality it took twice as long. The construction phase began on January 28, 1887 and ended in March 1889, before the official opening of the Universal Exhibition.

On the site of the work, the number of workers never exceeded 250. This was because much of the work is done upstream, in the factories of companies Eiffel located in Levallois-Perret. Of the 2,500,000 rivets in the tower there, only 1,050,846 were placed on the site of the work, 42% of the total. The vast majority of the elements are assembled in the workshops of Levallois-Perret, on the ground, in pieces of five meters, with temporary pins, and only then on the site of the work, which will definitely be replaced by rivets posts heat.

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The construction of parts and assembly are not the result of chance. 50 engineers for two years made drawings of the 5300 joint assembly or some details, and every one of 18,038 iron pieces held their own sketch.
At the site in the first instance, work on the huge concrete plinths that will sustain the four pillars of the building. This helps minimize the pressure on the ground of all the parts, which together make a pressure of 4.5 kg / cm ² at the foundations.

The assembly of the metal parts themselves, beginning on July 1, 1887. The men responsible for assembling this "giant Meccano are called flyers and are led by Jean Companion. Increases until the pieces are 30 meters in height with the help of cranes to lift fixed pivots. Between 30 and 45 meters high, 12 anadamiajes are built of wood. After the 45 meters high, had to build new anadamiajes, matching the 70-ton beams that were used for the first floor. Continued after the union of these huge beams at the four edges of the first floor. This union took place smoothly on December 7, 1887 and made unnecessary anadamiajes temporary, replaced first by the first platform (a 57 meters high), then from August 1888, the second platform (115 meters).

In September 1888, while the work is already well advanced and the second floor was built, the workers went on strike. Discussed by the working hours (9 hours and 12 hours in winter, summer), as well as their wages, which reduced viewed as taking into consideration the risks taken. Gustave Eiffel argued that the risk was no different when working at 200 or 50 meters of altitura, although the workers were better paid than the average wage for workers in this sector, given a pay rise but refuses to index on the factor the risk varies according to the height "(which was sued by the workers). Three months later, a new strike will burst, but this time the face and denied any negotiation.

In March 1889, the monument is completed on time and no fatality was recorded among workers (however, a worker died, but it was on Sunday and he was not working and lost his balance during a demonstration to his fiancée). The work cost 1.5 million francs more than expected and took twice as long to be built than what was initially envisaged in the contract signed in January 1887.



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Clancy's comment: information above courtesy of an English translation, hence some alterations in tenses. But, if you get the chance to check out the Eiffel Tower, do it. It is an awesome structure.


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