The story of architect Gustave Eiffel


Gustave Eiffel founded a company which specialized in metal constructions. The most famous construction of his is the Eiffel Tower. He was born in Dijon, east part of France in 1832. In 1855 Paris hosted the first World’s fair and, the same year he graduated from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures. Eiffel supervised the great railway bridge in Bordeaux while it was being built. In 1864 he got a license to be a constructor and specialized in metal work.  The Porto viaduct was one of his outstanding constructions and for it, he was noticed in the architectural scene after that. He also built the dome of the Nice observatory, a railway station in Hungary and the Garabit viaduct. One of his most discussed works is the Statue of Liberty. It became as famous as the Eiffel Tower in 1889. That year his career ended as a company owner. This amazing architect had built hundreds of metal constructions all around the world.

Like any other artist, he had his favorite field and it was railway bridges and he loved the industrial installations. Eiffel, in 1887 received an offer that he could not refuse, he was asked to build the locks of the Panama Canal. It was badly managed by De Lesseps and ended in the biggest financial scandal of the century. This supposed to be a huge step forward in his career and the biggest contract of his life. He knew that by taking on this project he was taking on a lot of risk, but he would be granted financial advantages and could collect the money before the work started.

Eiffel was very responsible and took really good care of the project, but the company who was building the canal was liquidated. In 1889 it led to his indictment for fraud, along with the manager De Lesseps, and was sent to prison for 2 years, in addition, he needed to pay 2000 French franc fine. It was not the architect’s fault, and personally, nobody could blame what happened on him, but he already took the money in advance, and got into a scandal with the company.

He left his company, however his career was a bit compromised. Later, a court ruling was made, where all the accusations against him were annulled and he got his honor back. By then, he was already retired, and was pursuing a new career as a scientist. The last 30 years of his life were devoted to mostly doing experimental research. He set himself a goal to find a practical application for the Eiffel Tower. He worked with wind resistance, observed meteorological conditions and played a huge role in the science of radio broadcasting. He did his research in aerodynamics as well, he built a wind tunnel, at the foot of the Eiffel and a larger one in Boileau street in Paris as well, in 1909. That wind tunnels are still working to this day. The architect died in 1932, being 91 years old at the time.

Every year, the Eiffel Tower is visited by more than 6 million tourists and the Statue of Liberty is visited by more than 4 million, who come from all around the world to see her. Eiffel was, and still is the world’s best metal constructions architect, who gave the world these 2 and hundreds of other new world wonders.