The Eiffel Tower served as the entrance arch to the Exposition Universelle, an 1889 world’s fair. The exposition opened on the sixth of May, though the tower was not yet complete (it required an additional nine days). It was an immediate success with the public. By the exposition’s end, the tower attracted two million visitors. One hundred and twenty-four years later, the Eiffel Tower is a cultural icon.
Pictured: Paris Exposition Grand March, a collection of sheet music from 1905. It can be found in the Newberry’s Driscoll Collection. Beneath the central image is a caption that reads, “The Eiffel Tower. 985 feet high… highest in existence.” This is partially inaccurate: the tower (including its antenna) originally stood at 1023 feet. It now stands at 1063 feet. It was, at the time of the sheet music’s composition, the world’s tallest man-made structure. After forty-one years, New York’s Chrysler Building would surpass it.