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The Eiffel Tower – The Eighth Wonder of The Modern World

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The creation of the original list of The Seven Wonders of The World is commonly attributed to the Greek author Antipater of Sidon. It is thought that this list was decided by how popular of a tourist attraction they were. Since the creation of the original list a new list has been created known as The New Seven Wonders of The World. This list was decided on through a panel of people on a committee dedicated to the maintaining of this list. The current list is The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, The Colosseum, Chichen Itza, Christ The Redeemer, Petra, and The Taj Mahal.

Gustave Eiffel did not actually design the Eiffel Tower, it was actually designed by two men named Koechlin and Nougier. Eiffel took interest in the project and redeemed the rights of the project, which is why it is known as The Eiffel Tower. The original plans were far more decorative, featuring glass walled halls for each story, stone wall dressing for the supports, and a bulbous tip among other things. This design was simplified but some features were retained, like the arches at the bottom that give the Tower its monumental appearance. The Statue of Liberty and the Arc de Triomphe were used as reference for its height.

The most technically impressive aspect of the Eiffel Tower is its precise curvature that was mathematically designed to give it the most efficient air resistance possible. 

All the cutting force of the wind passes into the interior of the leading edge uprights. Lines drawn tangential to each upright with the point of each tangent at the same height, will always intersect at a second point, which is exactly the point through which passes the flow resultant from the action of the wind on that part of the tower support situated above the two points in question. Before coming together at the high pinnacle, the uprights appear to burst out of the ground, and in a way to be shaped by the action of the wind. 

Assembly of the structural supports began July 1st, 1887. The Eiffel Tower is made of 18,000 pieces, all held together by thermally assembled rivets. Each rivet required a team of four men to assemble; one to heat the rivet, another to hold it in place, a third to shape the head of the rivet, and a fourth to hammer it in with a sledgehammer. 2,500,000 rivets were used in the construction of the tower. The tower was completed in a record time of 5 months to build the foundation and 21 months to properly construct the tower.

Despite a protest signed by notable French artists the Eiffel Tower was completed and shown off at The World Fair of 1889 where millions of visitors marveled at its height, as it was the tallest building at 300 meters tall until the Chrysler Building was built in 1930. The Tower was almost deconstructed in 1909 during World War I but it remained after it was realized that the Tower could be used for radio transmissions.

The New Seven Wonders of the World rules for candidacy state said entry must be man made and in acceptable state of preservation, be culturally and artistically valuable, and be universally recognizable. Not only is the Eiffel Tower in pristine condition but it will undoubtedly remain so as it is repainted every seven years to maintain its beautiful appearance and boasts a staff of 500 people dedicated to its continued operation. The Eiffel Tower is so culturally impactful and universally known that it has inspired more than 30 replicas and similar architecture around the world. Furthermore the Tower attracts 7 million tourists a year and generated 68 million euros (74683380.00 US dollars) in ticket sales in 2017.

The Eiffel tower, while culturally impactful and well known, has had it’s technical marvels sorely under played. It’s recording breakingly quick construction time, mathematically calculated design, and continued use for broadcasting TV signals, make it a marvel of modern engineering and most definitely earns a spot next to the Colosseum, Christ the Redeemer, and Chichen Itza. 

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