The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Paris Exhibition of 1889 to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower.
At 300 meters (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include:
- 2.5 million rivets. 300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it. Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds. Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
- 15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets). 40 tons of paint. 1652 steps to the top. It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna - used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became part of the International Time Service. French radio (since 1918), and French television (since 1957) have also made use of its stature.
- Sunday March 31st 1889 at 1.30 p.m., Gustave Eiffel showed some of the famous personalities of the day around what was then the tallest tower in the world.
On this inauguration day, Eiffel climbed the 1710 steps leading to the third level of the tower before unfurling the French flag and hearing the 21 canon salute marking the occasion. Eiffel later inscribed these words in a woman's fan: " the French flag is the only one with a 300 meter pole." The Eiffel Tower remained the highest monument in the world until the construction of New York's Chrysler Building in 1930.