See also: Eiffel
Alexandre Gustave Bonnickhausen says Eiffel (December 15th 1832, Dijon - December 27th 1923, Paris), is a engineer and an industrialist French which took part in particular in the construction of the Statue of Freedom to New York and of the Eiffel Tower which bears its name to Paris.
Alexandre Gustave Bonnickhausen says Eiffel was born with Dijon in Coast-in Or, on December 15th 1832, in an easy medium. His/her father, officer of Rhenish origin, married a few years before a businesswoman undertaking. This one invested in the trade of wood and of the coal and constituted a solid personal fortune. In 1843, Eiffel enters to the Collège Holy-Bores before being allowed in 1852 with the central École of arts and manufactures in Paris, in addition to its admissibility to the Polytechnic school. It carries out within the institution of brilliant studies and obtains a diploma for the occupation of chemical engineer in 1855.
BeginningsAfter being itself employed during a few months with the powder mill of the Châtillon-on-Seine then to the Company of the railroads of the West, Eiffel makes the meeting, in 1856, of Charles Nepveu. This contractor specialized in the steel construction. Thanks to progress of the metallurgy, this one knows, at that time, a great diffusion. Resisting, light and easy to handle, this material is very often preferred with the stone by preoccupation with an economy. The young engineer is soon the proof of his talents. Its first great realization is the railway bridge of Bordeaux in 1858, building site of which he assumes, at twenty-six years, the direction. Gustave Eiffel then uses for the first time the technique of foundation to the compressed air during the execution of the tubular piles. The success of the company, which must connect the Compagnie of the railroads of the South to the Compagnie of the railroad from Paris to Orleans, ensures first famous to him.
The first successes
A few years later, Eiffel, who profits already from a solid experiment, decides to found his own company. In 1866, it acquires of steel workshops of constructions near Paris, with Levallois-Perret, then in the old department of the Seine.
The company then carries several great orders of construction of viaducts and buildings with structure or metal frames. With this intention, he does not hesitate to traverse whole Europe.
Hangars, stations and galleries
- the Nyugati Pályaudvar (“Station of the West”) in Pest (Budapest) in Hungary in 1875;
- the Frame of the department store Bon Marché, 140 rue du Bac in Paris VIIe in 1876 but also that of the college Carnot;
- the Dessault vinegar factories with Orleans;
- the dome of the astronomical Observatory of the mount Large with Nice and the Workshops Berthier in Paris, in collaboration with Charles Garnier - the Architect of the Opera of Paris - but also of other rooms of opera (Nice, Monaco…).
Bridges and viaducts
Then it launches out in the design of metal structures for Pont S, like:
- the bridge of Frynaudour with Quemper-Guézennec (Coasts of armor)
- the metallic bridge of Gérone in Catalonia,
- the bridge Maria Pia on the Douro with the Portugal, 1877. Its project was at the same time lightest, the least expensive and most daring. This assoit realization definitively its reputation in France like abroad;
- the Viaduct of Souleuvre in the Apple-brandy,
- the bridge Long Good with Hanoï (Vietnam),
- the bridge on the River of the Perfumes to Huế (Vietnam),
- the Viaduct of Garabit , 1884. The completion of this viaduct, located in the Cantal, ensures an equal triumph to him. The arc of one hundred sixty-five meters range which supports the apron of the bridge constitutes world records, absolute in this field. Moreover, this one is high with a hundred and twenty-two meters height. In fact, the preliminary draft is of Leon Boyer. It was reproduced on the last ticket of 200 frank dedicated to Eiffel;
- the Eiffel viaduct on the Line Paris - Mantes by Conflans on the Oise: metallic bridge built by the Company Gustave Eiffel for the part “box beam” in 1892. Dynamited by the French the June 13rd 1940, rebuilt temporarily by the Germans in 1941 - 42, it is definitively broken in two irremediable parts by only one bomb placed well in May 1944, doubtless by the pilot Pierre Clostermann with the orders of a British fighter-bomber. It was rebuilt in 1947 by the SNCF.
The talent of the engineer centralien, his promptness to seize all new idea or project, but also its great capacity to be surrounded by collaborator brilliances, contribute to the success of the Eiffel company. Let us quote: Seyrig in 1868, Emile Nouguier starting from 1875, Maurice Koechlin starting from 1879, etc Maurice Koechlin will be besides at the origin in 1881 of the design of iron the reinforcement of the Statue of the Freedom, drawn by Bartholdi and inaugurated with New York in 1886.
- the bridge which gives access to the Rocher of the Virgin Biarritz, a few meters with the top of the Atlantic Ocean.
- It takes part in the construction of splendid the tubular bridge of Briare (1896), conceived by the engineer Leonce-Abel Mazoyer, but for the construction of the 14 piles in masonry, and not for the metal basin which is manufactured by the establishments Daydé & Pillé of Creil.
The Eiffel Tower
The ambition to carry out high tower a “of more than thousand feet”, taps the spirit of the most daring architects in the whole world. But those encounter innumerable engineering problems. Thus, in 1885 is completed with difficulty construction in masonry of the obelisk of Washington, high of 169 meters, and the Chrysler Building is still in the limbs… But “the idea of a monumental tower haunts the airs”… In 1874, Clarke and Reeves claim to raise in Philadelphia a tower of more than 914 meters, which is not born. In France, Bourdais and Sébillot design a column in 300 height m masonry, unrealizable according to technological knowledge of the time. The difficulties jump to the eyes, but this dream of turn haunts the landscape fantasmatic of many architects of the time, without success.
In France, after the defeat of Sedan and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, the reappearing and still fragile Republic need has to mark the centenary of the Revolution of 1789 of a blow of glare. As of 1878, the government of Jules Ferry considers the organization of a great World Fair whose inauguration is fixed at the May 5th 1889.
Whereas the project of a World Fair is definitively adopted in 1883, two engineers of the Eiffel company, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, have the idea of a metal tower. Their outline, formatted the June 6th 1884, is embellished with the collaboration of the architect Stephen Sauvestre, who refines and decorates the building.
Metal project of turn of thousand feet from top to be built in downtown areaInitially reticent, Gustave Eiffel adapts the idea of his/her collaborators (Maurice Koechlin) by repurchasing the patent deposited the September 18th 1884.
It is now a question for him of selling its tower. It is under the label above that he initially proposes it to the mayor Barcelona - where must be soon held another World Fair - which refuses, considering the project “not very realistic and too especially much expensive”.
To avoid a new failure, the contractor understands that it must make his project credible to the eyes of the municipal officials but also of the public opinion. It demene then like a beautiful devil, spending of fortunes in press articles, publicity and public relations (in particular near Edouard Lockroy, Commercial Minister and general police chief of the exposure).
Its project which achieves the unanimity, will finally carry it on all the other candidates, on May 1st, 1886, which makes it possible the engineer to sign a convention with the government, the January 8th 1887. This act into precise the financing and the site, in edge of the Seine - in the axis of the bridge of Iéna - in other words in the center of the capital. The man has an excellent reputation, it can be surrounded remarkable men, like Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. It is a Glutton for work, a respected man (in Bordeaux, it saved a workman of the drowning while being thrown in the river). It goes quickly and far with new and simple ideas. Lastly, and especially, it advances its pocket 80% of the expenses of the work, estimated at 8,5 franc million gold. The authorities grant a twenty years to him concession, from on January 1st 1890, at the end which the tower will return to the town of Paris.
The building site opens the January 28th 1887. One digs funnels in Field-of-March to receive masonries of the pillars, one drains the ground. One poses “4 famous hydraulic actuating cylinders”, in short one invents solutions with each stage. All the elements are prepared with the factory of Levallois-Perret then transferred on the site.
The construction project of the Tower caused burning hostilities. As of the first blow of pickaxe, in January 1887, a “Protest of the artists” against his construction is signed the most remarkable names: Charles Gounod, Charles Garnier, Victorien Sardou, Alexandre Dumas wire, François Coppée, Sully Prudhomme, Leconte de Lisle, Guy of Maupassant, Huysmans… “Let us be wary of the great men” would have said Eiffel then.
The January 28th 1887, work start and soon, the Parisian ones will assist, semi-stupefied semi-filled with wonder, with the majestic rise in the building, the “incredible rate” of twelve meters per month. On the project only the assembly of the elements of the Tower is carried out. Those are drawn and manufactured in the Eiffel workshops, in Levallois close to Paris. The contractor, who supervises day and night the progress of the work, must however face a resounding strike of the workmen of the building site. Indeed, don't their quite particular work conditions justify wages with the measurement of the incurred risks?
Eiffel, who does not have any more that one idea at the head, accepts and grants exorbitant wages (for the time). The July 14th 1888, the second stage is reached; the March 31st 1889, the third stage is finished. “Amazing technical prowess, remarkable speed of execution” (26 months) make it possible the tower, “highest of the world” (since that of Babel, the malicious gossip adds) to be inaugurated, two years later, the March 31st 1889. Eiffel, who respected the time limits, receives the Légion of honor (rare distinction at the time). Starting from the May 15th according to, the monument is opened to the public which declares themselves filled with wonder not only by the sight but especially by the hydraulic elevators “ultra rapids” and completely to innovators. And, in less than six months, until the World Fair closure, the November 6th according to, the tower will receive two million visitors. It is the absolute success, with the measurement of the polemics caused before. Let us quote some extracts of the Press of then: “Hardly finished, the tower will collapse and kill out of the thousands of Parisian” , “Arrived at the top, the visitors will be asphyxiated” , “the whole will be inserted under ground creating a true cataclysm” …
What imports, 1889 will be for Eiffel, the year of the triumph and the apogee of its double career of engineer and contractor.
Extremely of this success, Eiffel engages at once in the construction industry of the locks of the Canal of Panamá. Indeed, the boring of the channel does not advance and Ferdinand de Lesseps gives up the idea of a channel to the sea level and lines up with the idea of Eiffel of constructions of large locks. But in 1893, the Company, placed under the presidency of Lesseps, is splashed by an enormous bound accounting scandal, inter alia, with the corruption of members of Parliament charged to choke, vis-a-vis the opinion, the quasi-bankruptcy of the company. Eiffel resigns of the company which it created thirty years before. He is condemned in first authority to two years of prison and 20.000 francs of fine. This judgment is broken by the Court of appeal thanks to the brilliant defense of its lawyer, Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau, which, putting it out of cause, enables him to be rehabilitated. Eiffel, who is more engineer than financial, reached hard by the polemic, withdraws “businesses” to devote itself only to the perenniality of “its Tower”. However this one is not ensured, Eiffel has of it the pleasure only until in 1910; moreover, the visit is been sulky by it by the public which is pressed again in Paris for the Exposure of 1900. The Eiffel tower passed from mode. He prefers the new whole metropolitan due to another engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe and especially the travelator to him which pass both in the vicinity.
Eiffel will bait himself from now on to show the utility of it. He will make install a laboratory weather at his top in 1898 then, a few years later, in 1901, a permanent transmitter of TSF He feels obliged to find all kinds of scientific utilities to the Tower, measurements of Radioactivité, analyzes air, experiment of the Pendule of Foucault, etc “It will not be simply an object of curiosity for the public, either during the Exposure, or after, but it will still render signal services to science and National defense” . National defense, the magic words are released.
Eiffel and new technologies
But, more than the TSF, still stammering (and while waiting for the Télévision), it is in fact the advent of the Aviation and the strategic interest that carry to him from now on the French soldiers who will definitively save the monument of the dismantling which threatened it (already some scrap merchants had made him written proposals…). “This tower presents an strategic interest for National defense” will say the general Ferrié. Ouf, the tower is saved!
The engineer who put from the start on the future of “heavier than the air”, launches out in work of aerodynamics, speciality in which it had previously been interested during construction of the tower. He used the tower besides to carry out experiments on the freefall. In 1909, it installs a first blower at Field-of-March, then in 1912, a second with Auteuil, in the very outskirts of the city.
In this laboratory, it designs a blower which will enable him to confirm its results with these experiments on the freefall, with very good precision. It showed in experiments in this laboratory the principle of relative movement: the forces exerted on a body at rest in a current are equal to the forces which a body undergoes which is driven at the same speed in the air at rest. The design of this blower inspired those which are used nowadays.
During the First World War, Eiffel continues his research on the propellers, the aerofoil but also on the projectiles.
Notes and anecdotes
Eiffel, this name universally known, is in fact only one nickname, carried by the Eiffel family since the beginning of the 18th century and returning with the Eiffel, wooded solid mass of Germany, located in Rhineland-of-North-Westphalia and the Rhineland-Palatinat. The true name of this family is Boenickhausen (or Bönickhausen). The back-back-large-father of Gustave Eiffel, Wilhelm Heinrich Johann Bönnickhausen, originating in Marmagen, a small town in Eiffel, had settled in France in 1710 and added " Eiffel" with its patronymic name.
- the tower “lighter than the air”: with its inauguration, the tower drawn up on the place of Field-of-March, weighed more than 8.860 tons (reduced since of 100 tons). This jewel of architecture shows the incredible characteristic not to weigh more on the ground that the air occupied by same volume…
- Two hundred and twenty-five workmen thus became “carpenters of the sky”, aristocrats of a building site which knew only one strike, in December 1888, no victim but of innumerable polemics.
- One however wrongly allots to him certain metal works like the railway viaduct of Busseau, close to Ahun (20 km of Guéret), in the department of the Creuse, which was built by the engineers LLyod and Nordling of the Compagnie of the railroad from Paris to Orleans.
- In the same way, contrary to an idea spread locally, one does not owe in Eiffel the construction of the metal Pont-canal of Barberey-Saint-Sulpice, close to Troyes, that of aucuns bait themselves to baptize " Eiffel" bridge; or " bridge Eiffel" kind;. Indeed, at the time of the startup of this work, in 1846, the Gustave young person does not have who 14 years! He is due makes some with the engineer Pierre-Olivier Lebasteur.
- As of the first blow of pickaxe, in January 1887, a “Protest of the artists” is born. But Eiffel is not man whom one intimidates easily; crossing one evening at the restaurant Gounod, large type-setter and “protester” of most virulent, Eiffel catapults it in his torpedo, makes him take the elevator until the top of the " abominable monstre" , and finally, Gounod plays on the piano which the engineer installed up there, in its tiny apartment “right under the clouds”. In the absence of covered with snow summits, the rise of the Tower would constitute a kind of oxygenated cure and besides, D Hénocque, brother-in-law of Eiffel, recommend it to cure and the psychic depression and the Coqueluche.
Gustave Eiffel inventive of the Garter belt: a hoax launched by Marcel Gotlieb says Gotlib in the Années 1960… which has had sometimes for summer taken again like truth by certain authors! …
- the data processing specialist Bertrand Meyer, originator of the language Eiffel named it in reference to the French engineer, and in particular compared to the construction of the Eiffel tower which was held within the times and the limits of the budget. This reference wants to be a wink with the philosophy of the Eiffel language which preaches healthy practices during the development of software great projects.
- American of the rock group the Pixies pays homage in a song to him entitled Alec Eiffel (Alexandre Eiffel)
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel will die the December 27th 1923 in his private mansion of the street Rabelais to Paris and will be buried with the cemetery of Levallois-Perret with all the honors due to his row. It remains like one of the most outstanding men of its century.
- Official site of Gustave Eiffel
- Structurae: Gustave Alexandre Eiffel
- Official site of the steel company of construction Eiffel
- Genealogy and biography
Gustave Eiffel and his Tower hero of a cartoon:
|Random links:||Jacques Reverchon | Preprocessor | Jenny Holzer | Sondershausen | FK Sevojno | Environnement_de_développement_Integrated|