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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Gustave Eiffel Quotes

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Gustave Eiffel
(15 Dec 1832 - 28 Dec 1923)

French civil engineer.


Science Quotes by Gustave Eiffel (9 quotes)

Ah, bien je prétends que les courbes des quatre areêtes du monument, telles que le calcul les a fournies, donneront une grand impression de force et de beauté.
Well, I think the curves of the four pillars of the monument, as the calculations have provided them, give it a great sense of force and beauty.
— Gustave Eiffel
In Horst Hamann, Paris Vertical (2005), 26
Science quotes on:  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineering (60)

Étant la plus saisissante manifestation de l'art des constructions métalliques par lesquelles nos ingénieurs se sont illustrés en Europe, elle est une des formes les plus frappantes de notre génie national moderne.
Being the most striking manifestation of the art of metal structures by which our engineers have shown in Europe, it [the Eiffel Tower] is one of the most striking of our modern national genius.
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in review of the G. Eiffel's book La Tour Eiffel (1902). In Nature (30 Jan 1902), 65, 292. Google translation of the original French.
Science quotes on:  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Europe (16)  |  Genius (92)  |  Nation (47)

Il me semble que, n'eût elle pas d'autre raison d'être que de montrer que nous ne sommes pas simplement le pays des amuseurs, mais aussi celui des ingénieurs et des constructeurs qu'on appelle de toutes les régions du monde pour édifier les ponts, les viaducs, les gares et les grands monuments de l'industrie moderne, la Tour Eiffel mériterait d'être traitée avec consideration.
It seems to me that it had no other rationale than to show that we are not simply the country of entertainers, but also that of engineers and builders called from across the world to build bridges, viaducts, stations and major monuments of modern industry, the Eiffel Tower deserves to be treated with consideration.
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in review of the G. Eiffel's book La Tour Eiffel (1902). In Nature (30 Jan 1902), 65, 292. Google translation of the original French.
Science quotes on:  |  Bridge (12)  |  Bridge Engineering (7)  |  Consideration (38)  |  Country (43)  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineer (32)  |  France (8)  |  Industry (49)  |  Monument (13)  |  Rationale (2)  |  Station (6)

Can one think that because we are engineers, beauty does not preoccupy us or that we do not try to build beautiful, as well as solid and long lasting structures? Aren't the genuine functions of strength always in keeping with unwritten conditions of harmony? ... Besides, there is an attraction, a special charm in the colossal to which ordinary theories of art do not apply.
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in Henry Petroski, Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering (1998), 173.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (19)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Charm (9)  |  Colossal (6)  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Engineering (60)  |  Harmony (27)  |  Strength (25)  |  Structure (104)

I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am.
— Gustave Eiffel
Attributed. In Peter Yapp, The Travellers' Dictionary of Quotation: Who Said What, About Where? (1983), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Jealousy (4)

The first principle of architectural beauty is that the essential lines of a construction be determined by a perfect appropriateness to its use.
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in J. Harriss, The Tallest Tower: Eiffel and the Belle Epoque (1975), 20. Cited by David P. Billington, 'Bridges and the New Art of Structural Engineering,' in National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Bridge Aesthetics, Bridge Aesthetics Around the World (1991), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (24)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Construction (36)  |  Determine (15)  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineering (60)  |  Principle (97)  |  Use (54)

The French flag is the only one to have a staff a thousand feet tall.
— Gustave Eiffel
Written by Eiffel on one fold of a souvenir fan he had created for his sister, as described by Jill Jonnes, Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count (2009), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Flag (6)  |  Foot (8)  |  French (5)  |  Staff (3)  |  Tall (3)  |  Thousand (32)

The fundamental idea of these pylons, or great archways, is based on a method of construction peculiar to me, of which the principle consists in giving to the edges of the pyramid a curve of such a nature that this pyramid shall be capable of resisting the force of the wind without necessitating the junction of the edges by diagonals as is usually done.
[Writing of his tower after its completion in 1889.]
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in 'Eiffel's Monument His Famous Tower', New York Times (6 Jan 1924), X8.
Science quotes on:  |  Construction (36)  |  Curve (9)  |  Diagonal (2)  |  Edge (4)  |  Force (75)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Idea (226)  |  Peculiar (10)  |  Principle (97)  |  Pyramid (2)  |  Resist (4)  |  Wind (28)

There is an attraction and a charm inherent in the colossal that is not subject to ordinary theories of art ... The tower will be the tallest edifice ever raised by man. Will it therefore be imposing in its own way?
— Gustave Eiffel
Quoted in J. Harriss, The Tallest Tower: Eiffel and the Belle Epoque (1975), 25. Cited by David P. Billington, 'Bridges and the New Art of Structural Engineering,' in National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Bridge Aesthetics, Bridge Aesthetics Around the World (1991), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Attraction (19)  |  Charm (9)  |  Colossal (6)  |  Edifice (8)  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Inherent (17)  |  Ordinary (19)  |  Theory (353)



Quotes by others about Gustave Eiffel (1)

To Monsieur Eiffel the Engineer, the brave builder of so gigantic and original a specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu.
As stated by Joseph Harriss in The Tallest Tower (2004), 95. The author wrote that Edison was displaying his phonograph at the Paris World's Fair for which the Eiffel Tower was built as a centrepiece. On one of his visits to ascend the tower, Edison presented to Eiffel a phograph and a recording of “The Marseillaise.” On that occasion, Edison signed the guest book with the quoted remark.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (23)  |  Builder (5)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Gigantic (6)  |  Modern (44)  |  Original (13)  |  Respect (24)  |  Specimen (8)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 15 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Eiffel's birth.
  • book icon Eiffel: The Genius Who Reinvented Himself, by David I. Harvie. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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