Eiffel Tower, Paris Exhibition, France, 1889.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. The Eiffel tower, built by Gustave Alexandre Eiffel (1832-1923) for the Exposition Universelle, on the Champs-de-Mars, Paris. France. The communications tower, which flooded the exhibition with its electric lights, was regarded as a symbol for the twentieth century, but also had its critics at the time, the author Guy de Maupasant describing it as a 'squelette disgracieux' (graceles skeleton). Construction started on the 26 January 1887 and was complete on 19 June 1888. It was further enlarged for the 1937 exhibition. The glas and steel canopy around designed by Cotamin to cover the Galerie de Machines lasted only twenty-one years.