December 15, 2011 - Happy Birthday, Gustave Eiffel!

This French engineer specialized in metal structures and is known mostly for the (you guessed it!) Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel was born on this day in 1832. During his youth, he didn't much like school and thought that high school classes were a waste of time. However, he was very influenced by two uncles who were successful chemists, and from them he learned a lot about chemistry, mining, religion, and philosophy. In Eiffel's last two years of high school, he became passionate about history and literature, and he became a good student; he ended up earning degrees in science and humanities and went to several universities. He eventually earned a Master of Science degree.

Eiffel got a job working with a company that designed railway bridges. He was good at his job and soon rose to become a project manager and consultant. He ended up building bridges, viaducts, churches and cathedrals, train stations, an observatory, a post office, and many more buildings and structures. His creations are in France, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, Angola, Mozambique, Turkey, and many other locations around the world. Eiffel helped with construction of the Statue of Liberty (which is now in the U.S.) and, of course, designed the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France.

This is a photo of the insides of the Statue of Liberty.
I recommend the Squidoo website's page on the Eiffel Tower!  I enjoyed the informative video on how it was built and the time-lapse video of a girl drawing the Eiffel Tower (called “How to Draw the Eiffel Tower”). There are also fun facts, coloring pages, crafts, and links to puzzles and a Lego set.

Also on this date:

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