Monthly Archives: March 2015

Completion of The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Main126 years ago today on 31st March 1889, the Eiffel Tower of Paris was opened to the public.  It was the tallest building in the world at it’s full height of 984ft and took two years to complete.

The eventful day was covered in detail in The Engineer: -

“COMPLETION OF THE EIFFEL TOWER.- The Eiffel Tower has reached its full height of 984ft., and the French flag hoisted on the crowning mast. The lifts remain to be fitted up and the cupola at the top to be covered over. At half-past two on Sunday the ceremony of hoisting the flag was performed by M. Eiffel, in the presence of M. Berger, several Municipal Councillors, and a few privileged guests. This was followed by a volley of twenty-one shots. Ten or twelve persons only ascended to the little platform above the third one. All the workmen were feasted at one set of tables, and M. Tirard, M. Eiffel, and the invited guests at another. M. Eiffel made a speech, expressing his satisfaction at having that day hoisted the tricolour upon the highest building in the world. 
The Times Paris correspondent says:
"When the proposal was made two years ago to erect the structure, artists and literary men signed a protest against the scheme, declaring that it would disgrace and disfigure Paris, and would destroy the effect of the great monuments of the city, such as Notre Dame and the Louvre. The result has not been what was predicted. Even some of those who protested most loudly against the proposal now admit that the effect of the structure is not what they anticipated. They acknowledge that it has a light and graceful appearance, in spite of its gigantic size, and that it is an imposing monument, not unworthy of Paris."
A commemorative medal will be awarded by the Corporation to each of the workmen, and £40 will be distributed among them. The Exhibition will open on the evening of the 6th of May.”The Engineer April 5th, 1889.
Click on the images below to view the stages of the tower’s construction:

Hinkley Point in Pencil

Plant OverviewAS

Nuclear power stations aren’t generally considered as places of beauty, or sites of inspiration with many environmentalists opposing their existence at all in light of renewable energy trends. But last week we received an e-mail regarding Hinkley Point A Nuclear Power Station in Somerset, UK, that shed a different light on industrial power plants, with a refreshing story alongside.

Alan Sorrell was a well-known member of the Royal Watercolour Society, and built a strong reputation for himself painting archaeological illustrations, which he produced for the Ministry of Works, books, museums and the Illustrated London News. He was employed as an artist to record the construction of Hinkley Point A, from it’s beginnings , right through to its completion – a job that included climbing the great Goliath crane 250ft high to gain the best views across the site.

We’ve been very lucky to view some of these sketches, a few of which were published in ‘The Sphere‘ during the 1960’s. Unlike the many technical drawings and dark photographs printed in The Engineer,  they certainly offer a different perspective of the power plant, which has now shut down and been decommissioned.

ColourInterior AL

His family have been in touch, and are eager to locate the original sketches of his work, so please do get in touch with Grace’s Guide, if you have any more information on their whereabouts.