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Louis-Emile Durandelle, The Eiffel Tower - State of the Construction, 1888

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Louis-Emile Durandelle, The Eiffel Tower - State of the Construction, 1888

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The Centennial Exposition of 1889 was organized by the French government to commemorate the French Revolution. Bridge engineer Gustave Eiffel's 984-foot (300-meter) tower of open-lattice wrought iron was selected in a competition to erect a memorial at the exposition. Twice as high as the dome of St. Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza, nothing like it had ever been built before. This view was made about four months short of the tower's completion. Louis-Émile Durandelle photographed the tower from a low vantage point to emphasize its monumentality. The massive building barely visible in the far distance is dwarfed under the tower's arches.
Incidentally, the tower's innovative glass-cage elevators, engineered to ascend on a curve, were designed by the Otis Elevator Company of New York, the same company that designed the Getty Center's diagonally ascending tram.

Eiffel Tower was envisioned as a centerpiece for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his tower design to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils. Little progress was made until 1886 when a budget for the exposition was passed and an open competition was held for a centerpiece to the exposition and decided that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or lacking in details. The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy. Prior to the Eiffel Tower's construction, no structure had ever been constructed to a height of 300 m, and many people believed it was impossible. Some of the protesters changed their minds when the tower was built; others remained unconvinced. The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889. Eiffel made use of his apartment at the top of the tower to carry out meteorological observations and also used the tower to perform experiments on the action of air resistance on falling bodies. The Eiffel Tower's lighting and sparkling lights are protected by copyright, so professional use of images of the Eiffel Tower at night requires prior authorization and may be subject to a fee.

Louis Emile Durandelle was a French photographer who lived from 1839 to 1917. He is best known for his architectural photography, particularly of Parisian buildings and monuments. Durandelle worked closely with his partner, Maxime Du Camp, and together they produced a large number of photographs of Paris in the late 19th century. Many of their images were used in publications and exhibitions and are now considered important historical documents. Durandelle was also an early pioneer of the dry-plate process, which allowed photographers to take pictures more quickly and accurately than ever before. Despite his significant contributions to the field of photography, Durandelle remains relatively unknown today.

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23/11/1888
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The Getty Center
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public domain

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1888 in paris
1888 in paris