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The Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old

The Eiffel Tower, erected on March 31, 1889 for the Paris Exposition, celebrated its 125th birthday on Monday. The 1,062 foot "Iron Lady" was originally expected to stand for only 20 years, but its use as a transmission tower helped it endure.

By JC Finley
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The Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old
The Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars seen from Trocadero Palace, Paris Exposition, 1889. (CC/Library of Congress)

The Eiffel Tower turned 125 years old on Monday, a milestone that was not anticipated by its architect Gustave Eiffel.

Erected on March 31, 1889 for the 1889 World Fair, a 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the tower was intended to stand for only 20 years.

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The Eiffel Tower's official website explains that the "it was saved by the scientific experiments that Eiffel encouraged, and in particular by the first radio transmissions, followed by telecommunications." In 1925, the tower transmitted the first public radio program and later, transmitted broadcast television.

Renovations and restorations have helped maintain the 1,062 foot "Iron Lady," which has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

[Eiffel Tower]

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