Profile of the Day: Gustave Eiffel

Posted December 15, 2022 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day 1832, French architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel was born in Dijon, France. He is perhaps best remembered for his work to build the Eiffel Tower, which bears his name. Originally constructed for the 1889 Universal Exposition, today the tower has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world and an iconic symbol of France.

Image: Gustave Eiffel / Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons

Eiffel was born Alexandre-Gustave Bönickhausen on December 15, 1832 to Catherine-Mélanie Moneuse and Alexandre Bönickhausen. His ancestors had originally emigrated from Western Germany and settled in France at the beginning of the 18th century. The family would adopt the name Eiffel in reference to the Eifel mountains.

In 1881, Eiffel was building bridges in France when he was first contacted by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. At the time, Bartholdi was designing the Stature of Liberty and requested Eiffel’s help in creating the internal structure after the sudden death of the statue’s original engineer.

In 1887, work began on the structure on what would be become known as the Eiffel Tower. It took two years to build the iconic structure, which served as the entrance arch to the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. Its construction earned Eiffel the nickname, “the magician of iron.”

Eiffel died on December 27, 1923 at the age of 91.

Explore Gustave Eiffel’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related!

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Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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