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Gustave Eiffel

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Meet Your Maker: Gustave Eiffel

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Intorducing. . .
Alexandre Gustave Boenickhausen-Eiffel

Or Mr. Gustave Eiffel (he changed his name in 1880).  For those of you who don't know him, he build that really tall metal thing in paris that we call the Eiffel Tower.  Gustave Eiffel was born on December 16, 1832 in Dijon, France.  His dad was a soldier named Francois Alexandre Boenrickhausen-Eiffel, and his mom was Catherine-Melaine Moneuge.  Little Eiffel had little intrest in school, and was very close with his uncle,Jean-Baptiste Morrerat.  Orgionally, Eiffel wante to follow in his uncle's footsteps and become a chemicle engineer, But his dad and uncle got into a big fight, and he wasn't allowed to see his uncle for awhile.  Eventully, Eiffel lost intrest in chemicles and started playing with heavy metal.  What I mean is he took up metalurgy, the study of metal.  What did you think I ment, that he joined a band or something.

Well anyway, in 1856 he landed a job at a big railroad construction company, which was a good start for future jobs to come.  Eventully the company sold out to an even bigger company.  His first assignment was to design metal bridge.  He did such a good job, he was put in charge of its construction.In 1864, he started his own metal construction business. The business was located in a Paris suburb by the name of levallois.  He started out makeing boilers, and expanded into portable bridges.  In 1875, He won two huge contracts that would make him famous; a railroad bridge over the Duaro River in Oporto, Portugal,  and a railroad station in Pest, Hungary.  In 1881, he built the steel skeleton for the statue of liberty.this makes a pritty impressive resume if you ask me.

So it was no wonder he won the bid to build the tower on Janunary 8, 1887 for a cool 1.5 million dollars (that's 7.8 million francs for those of you who aren't current on today's exchange rates).  He only had two years to build it, so he started building on Janunary 26.  I'll tell you all about the tower later , so I am just going to fastforward to after it was done, on time I might add.  So, after is completetion, Eiffel won the bid to make the locks for the Panama Canal.  But the French failed, laying some of the blame on him, even though it wasn't his fault.  Tough break.  After this, his career went into a tailspin.  He spent the rest of his life trying to clear his good name.  Gustave Eiffel died on December 27, 1923.