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Conquering height Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower
Cranes surround the Eiffel Tower during construction of the first platform.

When the piers grew too high for the cranes on the ground, Eiffel installed creeper cranes. The creeper cranes “crept up” the structure by moving on rails inside the piers. The creeper cranes could turn in nearly a full circle to pick up and move metal beams. Visitors to the work site had never seen anything like it. At 187 feet (57 m), workers joined together the four piers with trussing. Trussing is a framework formed by bands or beams. This trussing supported the tower’s first platform. It formed a base for the rest of the tower. The platform had to be perfectly horizontal or the tower would topple over as it rose. Eiffel adjusted each piston in the base until the platform was level. Then everything was riveted into place.

In July 1888, workers built the second platform at 380 feet (116 m). Above the second platform, the four uprights meet to form a single column. At 906 feet (276 m), the third floor was installed. The tower rose another 36 feet (11 m) for a total height of 1,024 feet (312 m).

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