27th December 2023 by

100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel

27 December 2023 marks the centenary of the passing of Gustave Eiffel, most noted for creating the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Born in Dijon in 1832, he graduated from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855. Trained as an engineer, he founded and developed a company specialising in metal structural work. The company sold such things as ‘portable bridges’ in ‘kits’ around the world.

His outstanding career as a constructor included work on the Porto viaduct over the river Douro in Portugal in 1876, the Garabit viaduct in the Cantal region in France in 1884, Pest railway station in Hungary, the dome of the Nice observatory and the structure of the Statue of Liberty in New York. His work culminated with the landmark Eiffel Tower in 1889.

Following the colossal and disastrous Panama Canal project of 1887-1889, which became the biggest financial scandal of the century, he devoted the final thirty years of his life to a fruitful career as a scientist, working on finding a practical application for the Tower, which had only been built to last twenty years. He used it in wind resistance experiments, as a meteorological observation post and as a giant aerial mast for the new science of radio broadcasting.

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