2,500,000 Rivets

23/11/2012 11:02

Two and a half million cast iron metal clinches solidly join 18,038 different pieces of the same material up to a high of 1062 feet above ground level, counting antennas. 109 feet should be added to match the height above the sea level. All these parts are equivalent to a weight of 10,100 tons, of which 7,300 correspond to the metal structure, exerting a pressure on the basis of 45 kilograms per square centimetre. Over two years 50 engineers conducted 5300 drawings and assembly diagrams, beginning to build it a January 28, 1887 to be inaugurated on the 31st of March 1889. So 500 workers, 250 of them hired alternatively by different work dealers, needed two years, two months and five days to complete the job. At that time it was the highest building in the world, a title it retained only four decades, when in 1930 the New York Chrysler Building overtook it.  

But that time had not yet arrived when 236 million visitors began, from then on and until nowadays, to admire and / or ascend it. Just when the Universal Exposition celebrated the French Revolution centenary already counted 1,896,987 visitors. Over time the 7th district monument and anchor for 120 communications antennas, has become the 9th most visited place in France. In 2010, 6,612,000 visitors came in, but they still were 210,374 less than in 2007 when 6,822,374 people paid to visit it, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. 5 lifts runs up and down 64.001 miles and 409 yards every year, as much as two and a half times around the planet. Every 7 years 60 tons of paint are applied over 61776 acres of metal exposed to corrosion

For the Millennium celebration, the second one specifically, 20,000 points of light were settled and then flickered for 10 minutes two times a day. To make it possible, 20 climbers worked along three months and they used 60,000 clamps to hold 18 miles and 1128 yards of electrical wiring.  

Any day, exactly at 11 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds, it is possible that two young Ukrainian, 1260 miles with 1166 yards away from their home in Ulitza Verbolozna, Kiev, stick out to 905 feet 11 inches height where is located the third floor, 1015 feet 10 inches considering the difference the city has with respect to sea level, looking at 3 miles and 793 yards to the northwest, the skyscrapers of the Défense business district, after the Bois de Boulogne, at the end of the Avenue Charles de Gaulle. 88 feet 6 inches below a pigeon resting on a metal bar placidly defecates not caring at all that in the second floor a retired German with permanent address in the city of Bielefeld, west of West Germany, halfway between Hanover and Münster, in pose to take a snapshot with his digital compact, gets over his right shoulder a guano download. Only his wife, maiden surnamed Heimberg, perceived the impact splatter, a small portion of which reaches her ochre bag bought 17 hours and 13 minutes before in a distinguished city boutique. 72 feet 8 inches to the left, along the corridor, a couple of Argentines, porteños judging the accent, reviewed with open displeasure gestures the information panels about the monument. 109 feet 7 inches below them Valerie, sitting comfortably in the Pavillon Ferrie, smoothly sips a noisette, taking notes on his desk while holds her mobile phone resting on his left ear. She is right-handed. At the other end, Philippe, from his apartment on the seventh floor of National Boulevard in La Garenne-Colombe, in banlieu between Neuilly-sur-Seine and Nanterre, tells her about the latest facts about their son. Meanwhile he is cooking the kid’s meal, a delicious carrot and vegetables mash. If she wished enough Valerie could stand up and, from the first floor viewpoint, at 189 feet above floor and 298 above sea level, furrowed brow look to focus on the distant tower block, actually 3 miles and 1671 yards, where stays her husband. Going down by one of its four support pillars, on four of the 1,665 steps that link the various intricacies of the monument, a Belgian mother and her teenage son finish up their visit. She whispers softly how tired she is and calculates the time it may take to achieve any of the sausage stalls which shares out customers at a short distance, namely 82 feet 8 inches from the projection of the structure shadow in the bank of the Seine. There they will order two Bratwursts, a French fries bowl, a cola drink and a soda at natural temperature, for which they will be asked to pay 14 Euros and 15 cents, charge considered exorbitant despite being in the central point of the Cité Lumière tourist reserve. At the base, 983 people are divided between the sunny spaces that split the building shadow. 535 participate in any of the queues to take the lift to the first, second or third floors, buy tickets to climb on foot, cheaper option, or order a soda. Of the remaining 448, 62 are doubtful about which queue joint to, 73 are shooting their cameras and been portrayed unhappy bending the neck backwards or in ridiculous poses suggested by mocking friends, 47 are sitting licking ice cream cones. The 240 remaining simply wander, even some, 22 exactly, though it's hard to see, snoop among the souvenirs offered by Abdul, Karim and other of his Ivorian fellows. They offer their souvenirs at more competitive prices than the official boutique on the first floor, 176 feet above their heads. Although some doubt about the quality difference.

I thought unnecessary to specify that we talk about the famous structure 1062 feet 11 inches, 1172 feet 10 inches above sea level, which is at the bottom of the Champs de Mars, at 621 feet 11 inches from the eastern entrance of the Iéna bridge that crosses the river and 1082 feet northwest of Avenue Joseph Bouvard and not from any other, or alike or similar, which could be in the neighbourhood.

© J.L.Nicolas


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