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Alexander Gustave Eiffel

( French engineer)

Photo Gallery Alexander Gustave Eiffel (6)
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Biography Alexander Gustave Eiffel
photo Alexander Gustave Eiffel
(Years of life 1832-1923)

Alexander Gustave Eiffel was born on 15 December 1832 in Dijon.

The name Eiffel was adopted by his father in the early 19th century from his birthplace in the German Eifel region (in Marmagen), as the French could not pronounce his actual surname, Bönickhausen. During his youth, the two strongest influences on Eiffel were both successful chemists, his uncles Jean-Baptiste Mollerat and Michel Perret. Both men spent a lot of time with young Eiffel, filling his head with everything from chemistry and mining to religion and philosophy.

He graduated the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Paris (1855). He specialized in construction of metal structures. In 1858 a railway bridge across the Garonna river to Bordeaux was built according to his project, in 1877 - a bridge across the Doru river in Portu (Portugal) with 162-meter arch. He participated in the construction of other bridges and viaducts. World fame came to Eiffel after the construction of a steel lattice tower for the World Expo 1889 in Paris. The tower with height of 300m, which bears the name of its creator, remained for many years the tallest building in the world.

Gustave Eiffel also designed La Ruche in Paris, France. This, like the Eiffel Tower, became a city landmark. It is a three-storey circular structure that looks like a large beehive and was created as a temporary structure for use as a wine rotunda at the Great Exposition of 1900. The French translation of La Ruche is "the beehive". He also constructed the Garabit viaduct, a railway bridge near Ruynes en Margeride in the Cantal département. In the Americas, Eiffel designed the central railway station in Santiago de Chile (1897) and the Mona Island Light located near Puerto Rico. The lighthouse was built around 1900 by the United States which acquired the island after the end of the Spanish-American War. It was decommissioned in 1976.

In 1887, Eiffel became involved with the French effort to construct a Panama Canal. The French Panama Canal Company, led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, had been attempting to build a sea-level canal, but finally came to the realisation that this was impractical. An elevated, lock-based canal was chosen as the new design, and Eiffel was enlisted to design and build the locks. However, the whole canal project suffered from serious mismanagement, and finally collapsed with enormous losses. Eiffel's reputation suffered a severe setback when he was implicated in the financial scandals surrounding de Lesseps and the entrepreneurs backing the project. Eiffel himself had no connection with the finances, and his guilty judgment was later reversed. However, his work was never realised, as the later American effort to build a canal used new lock designs (see History of the Panama Canal).

Since 1900 Eiffel's interests focused on aerodynamics issues, he used his tower for many experiments. In 1908, Eiffel built the first modern aerodynamic laboratory at the Champ de Mars, and in 1912 opened another one near Paris, equipped with more sophisticated equipment and wind tunnel.

Eiffel issued a number of books on aerodynamics, which outlined the results of his research, he showed aerodynamic characteristics of different models of aircraft, aerodynamic surfaces and bodies of various shapes and developed the theory of aircraft heavier than air. The scientist proposed a method for calculating aircraft characteristics and transferring the results of model tests in a wind tunnel to real structures. He died in Paris on 28 December 1923.

Photos of Alexander Gustave Eiffel
  • A monument to Gustave Eiffel at the base of the Eiffel Tower
  • Truong Tien Bridge
  • Eiffel bridge in Caminha
  • 'Traian Hotel' from Iaе?i, is Gustave Eiffel's link to Romania
  • The Palц¦cio de Ferro is thought to be designed by Eiffel.
  • El Palacio de Hierro, Orizaba, Veracruz, MцLxico

Photos of Alexander Gustave Eiffel
Alexander Gustave EiffelAlexander Gustave EiffelAlexander Gustave EiffelAlexander Gustave Eiffel

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Alexander Gustave Eiffel, photo, biography
Alexander Gustave Eiffel, photo, biography Alexander Gustave Eiffel  French engineer, photo, biography
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