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Gustave Eiffel

National French Week
by

Kennedy Leverett

on 3 July 2013

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Transcript of Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel
- Alexandre Gustave Boenickhausen Eiffel (full name)
- A famous French engineer who designed many well known bridges, buildings, and monuments
- He was born in Dijon, France in 1832
- His family was German Catholics
Who Was Gustave Eiffel?
Eiffel's Education
- Planned to join his uncle's vinegar business
- Applied to a prestigious French school, Ecole Polytechnique
- Failed the entrance exam and was not accepted
- Went on to study chemical engineering at Ecole Centrale in Paris
- Due to a family dispute, he was not able to join his uncle’s business when he graduated
- First job was with a railway company
- The owner was very impressed with Eiffel’s work and soon appointed him supervisor of construction of the Bordeaux Bridge
- Railway company eventually had to declare bankruptcy
- Eiffel went on to set up his own company
Eiffel's First Works
Eiffel's Creations
- He was hired to construct bridges, viaducts, and buildings in Spain, Portugal, Romania, Egypt, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru
- Best known work includes:
Western Station in Budapest
viaduct over the Douro in Portugal
Parisian Department Store in Le Bon Marche
metallic bridges in Portugal and Hungary
Garabit viaduct in France
Nice Observatory
- In 1881, he designed and built the framework for the Statue of Liberty as a gift of friendship from France
The Eiffel Tower
- In 1884, Eiffel presented a construction proposal to the city of Paris in hopes that it could be built for the World Fair of 1889
- Plans called for a 350 meter high iron tower, which if built, would be the tallest structure in the world
- Eventually the City of Paris approved Eiffel’s plan
- Signed a contract with the city, which stated that the tower had to stand for 20 years and could then be demolished by the city
Problems Gustave Eiffel Faced
- Faced much opposition while building the tower
- Newspapers, artists and architects criticized the structure
- Described it as too large, hideous, and a disgrace to the city
- City ran out of money during construction and he had to invest over a million dollars of his own money
- But after the tower’s completion, the beauty and masterpiece of the structure silenced the criticism
The Completion of the Tower
- Eiffel became known as the “magician of iron.”
- Today, the tower is no longer the tallest structure in the world
- but it welcomes more than seven million tourists every year, and represents Paris’ most famous landmark
Eiffel's Later Years
- In later years, while working on a Panama Canal project, Eiffel was accused of corruption and embezzlement

- He spent many years and much money defending himself against the charges and although he was eventually cleared of all charges, his reputation suffered and work became scarce

- He reinvented himself by opening a laboratory to study aerodynamics

- Built the first high speed wind tunnel in the world

-Gustave Eiffel died quietly in Paris in 1923 at the age of 91
Gustave Eiffel's Legacy

- His work made a lasting impact on the world, because it inspired many people to become architects after seeing Gustave’s exceptional work of art

-He suffered many disappointments in his life but the big lesson is how Eiffel dealt with disappointment; he did not give up

- His life is a living example of the famous saying by Alexander Graham Bell, “If one door closes, another one opens.”

- We should all look for the open doors in our life, and boldly enter.
Where was Gustave Eiffel born?
Dijon, France
Besides France, name a country Eiffel built in.
Spain, Portugal, Romania, Egypt, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Budapest, and Hungary
What did Eiffel do for America as a gift of friendship from France?
Built the framework for the Statue of Liberty
Questions
After the tower was built, what did Eiffel become known as?
"The Magician of Iron"
How old was Eiffel when he died?
91
By Kennedy Leverett, Emily Jones, and Ashlyn Quickel
Full transcript