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Lot
25326

Gustave Eiffel Autograph Letter Signed Transmitting His Designs and Blueprints for the Eiffel Tower. ALS "G Eiffel" in F...

2007 April Books, Manuscripts & Autographs Grand Format Auction #658

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 16, 2007
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Dallas, TX
Description:
Gustave Eiffel Autograph Letter Signed Transmitting His Designs and Blueprints for the Eiffel Tower. ALS "G Eiffel" in French on his personalized Grand Prix a l'Exposition Universelle de 1878 letterhead, 2pp., 8.5" x 10.5", Paris, Dec. 22, 1887 to an editor of the New York publication The Engineering & Building Record submitting various documents regarding construction of the Eiffel Tower. He writes, in part: "I am sending you the designs and blueprints and other details concerning the tower of 300 m[eters] that I am constructing at this time at the Champ-de-Mars Paris. 1) Four phototypes 2) a notice of the project 3) a communication of the project to the Civil Engineers Society of Paris 4) Various thoughts of the journal of 'La Nature' containing pictures and details concerning the work already executed. I hope that you will find in these designs all the requirements that may be necessary to you for the editing of the article which you intend to publish on this subject."

Ironically, the publication had just published an article on the use of elevators in the Eiffel Tower the previous month, in November. One wonders if there was a delay in correspondence such that the materials requested were not sent until after the originally intended article, or if there was such an overwhelming response that they considered doing a follow-up. The Eiffel Tower would become the world's tallest structure upon its completion for the 1889 International Exhibition in Paris, and the use of elevators would revolutionize the possibility of building taller structures. The Eiffel Tower replaced the Washington Monument as the world's tallest man-made structure; a title it would retain until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was completed.

The letter is accompanied by a contemporary translation written in pencil on a sheet of The Engineering & Building Record letterhead. Both items are housed in a green full Moroccan leather case. The Eiffel letter has the usual folds with two tiny tears that have been archivally repaired on verso and well away from Eiffel's script.

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