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Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, an immense structure of exposed latticework supports made of puddle iron, was erected for the Paris Exposition of 1889. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of England) officiated at the ceremonial opening. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, one was unanimously chosen, a radical creation from the French structural engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (b. Dec. 15, 1832, d. Dec. 28, 1923), who was assisted in the design by engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre.

Interesting Facts:

  • 300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it.
  • 15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets).
  • 2.5 million rivets.
  • 40 tons of paint.
  • 1671 steps to the top.
  • Maximum sway at top caused by wind: 12 cm (4.75 inches).
  • Maximum sway at top caused by metal dilation: 18 cm (7 inches).
  • Total height in 1889: 300.51 meters (985 feet, 11 inches).
  • Total height with television antenna: 320.755 meters (1052 feet, 4 inches).
  • Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
  • Size of base area: 10,281.96 square meters (2.54 acres).
  • Weight of foundations: 277,602 kg (306 tons).
  • Weight of iron: 7.34 million kg (8092.2 tons).
  • Weight of elevator systems: 946,000 kg (1042.8 tons).
  • Total weight: 8.56 million kg (9441 tons).
  • Pressure on foundation: 4.1 to 4.5 kg per square centimetre, depending on pier (58.26 to 64 lbs. per square inch).
  • Dates of construction: January 26, 1887 to March 31, 1889.
  • Cost of construction: 7.8 million francs ($1.5 million).
  • Total number of visitors during 1889 Exposition: 1,968,287.
  • Total receipts during 1889 Exposition: 5,919,884 francs ($1.14 million).
  • Total number of visitors during 2007: 6,822,000.

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