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Gustave Eiffel : His life
>> The Glory
The 1870’s and 1880’s are a glorious period for Gustave Eiffel. From all over the world, all now call on the G. Eiffel et Cie. company to create the most important and the most complex works of the period, such as:

- the Pest train station in Hungary – 145 meters long, 25 meters high – the first train station with a visible metallic façade, and one of many constructions by Eiffel in Eastern Europe ;

- the monumental Maria Pia bridge across the Douro in Portugal – 353 meters long, longest span : 160 meters, height 61 meters – a pure and perfect shape, technically as well as esthetically ;

- the Garabit viaduct, above the Truyère ‐ 565 meters long, longest span: 165 meters, height: 122 meters – the new system of piles used (without intertwining), and patented by Eiffel, will later be used on the Eiffel Tower.

- The Cubzac road bridge, on the Dordogne – 1045 meters long, 3284 tons of frame – an audacious construction that used both the techniques of cantilevers and of the “hurling” of the central span ;

- the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty in New York, designed by the sculptor Bartholdi to celebrate the centenary of the US Independence – 120 tons of frame, supporting 80 tons of copper sculpture – Eiffel’s involvement was crucial to make the project technically viable ;

- the metallic structures of the Bon Marché store and of the Crédit Lyonnais Bank grand hall in Paris; or the dome of the Nice observatory –22 meters wide, ingeniously floating on water to allow to rotate it by hand ;

Smaller but very lucrative Eiffel constructions – ready to assemble “with less than 12 men” – also find their way all across the globe – Vietnam, Bolivia, Algeria, Java...

At the same period, Gustave Eiffel loses his wife prematurely, in 1877. It’s a devastating blow for him. His eldest daughter, Claire, who will also second her father in his work, takes over the day to day running of the family. She will remain closely by his side, even after her marriage to Adolphe Salles.