The great industrial development, which had affected France in the nineteenth century allowed the construction of ever taller buildings. This was possible thanks to the entry into production of new building materials, such as cast irons and steel, used to produce beams and other similar structural elements which, with their high strengths, revolutionized the way of building. In these years, marked by industrial progress, the idea of ​​a soaring tower that defies gravity was already in the air: just think of the English Richard Trevithick, who had already designed a thousand feet high perforated cast iron column in 1833, then never realized.

When, at the end of 1884, the French government announced that it wanted to greet the Universal Exposition of 1889 in Paris – the tenth of those exhibitions dedicated to the glories of industrial production – with a work of colossal dimensions, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier enthusiastically joined the company. Koechlin and Nouguier were two engineers employed by the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel, a thriving firm run by Gustave Eiffel, one of the most accredited “iron architects” of the period, and the idea they had had was ambitious: it was an “imposing metal pillar, formed by four reticular beams flared at the bottom that join at the top, linked together by crossbars arranged at regular intervals “. Iron was obviously the only material suitable for a construction of this magnitude. Gustave Eiffel constructed the tower to demonstrate that the metal could be as strong as stone while being lighter.

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