Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count
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The story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world's fair that introduced it.
In this first general history of the Eiffel Tower in English, Jill Jonnes-acclaimed author of Conquering Gotham-offers an eye- opening look not only at the construction of one of the modern world's most iconic structures, but also the epochal event that surrounded its arrival as a wonder of the world. In this marvelously entertaining portrait of Belle Époque France, fear and loathing over Eiffel's brash design share the spotlight with the celebrities that made the 1889 Exposition Universelle an event to remember-including Buffalo Bill and his sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, and artists Whistler, Gauguin, and van Gogh. Eiffel's Tower is a richly textured portrait of an era at the dawn of modernity, reveling in the limitless promise of the future.
graciously included him in his invitation. Soon the engineers were admiring the view from the third platform. Edison posed for a photograph with Monsieur Salles, which was quickly printed so he could autograph it “To my good friend.” The Edisons now made their second visit to Eiffel’s private aerie. “Seventy-five of us did not fill the room,” Edison later said. The guests settled in on the dark velvet settees trimmed in fringe. The walls, a warm yellow, were already covered with framed artistic
Rodolphe Salisbury, Lord Salles, Adolphe Salles, Claire Eiffel Salsbury, Nate Sand, George Sarcey, Francisque Sargent, John Singer Sarniguet, Lucien Sauvestre, Stephen Scagliotti, Angelo Schuffenecker, Émile Scientific American Secrétan, Hyacinth Sedelmeyer Gallery Sells-Floto Circus Senegal Sérusier, Paul Seurat, Georges Seventh Calvary, U.S. Shahzada Sherard, Robert Sherwood, M. E. Si-Ali-Mahoui Signac, Paul Simmons, Edward Simon, Jules Sitting Bull Smithsonian
summary of the week’s news distributed to every passenger on steamships arriving from the United States, a preemptive introduction to what was already becoming known as the Paris Herald. Within days of launching his new paper, Bennett floated a subtle ploy to enter the Continent’s better-off households: the offer of a free year’s subscription to “English governesses living in any English, Russian, French, Spanish, or Italian families.” He engaged a corps of society correspondents to write in from
surrounded by four or five half-naked women who whirl around him while lifting up their skirts, and that during this spectacle the serious editor of Revue des Deux Mondes egotistically masturbates.” Too impatient to wait for the judgment of posterity, Edmond had already published excerpts of the early diaries and predictably irritated quite a few of his contemporaries. After his evening at the Eiffel Tower, de Goncourt wrote: “The ascent on the elevator: the sensation of a vessel putting out to
middle. I give these to the critical smokers—the connoisseurs, as they call themselves—and I tell them that they cost me 35 cents apiece. You should hear them praise them.” Sherard found that “Brébant’s déjeuner was recherché in the extreme; but Edison barely touched anything. ‘A pound of food a day,’ he told me ‘is what I need when I am working, and at present I am not working.’ And just then as a fresh course was brought in, Edison took advantage of the café’s open door and slipped out. “A