Wednesday, 29 October 2003
Pix Of The Day: All Without Support From Below
CREDITS: © Jacques Mossot/Structurae.de, and © Weslyan University
MAP: Marvejols, and Millau. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
In France's Massif Central area, north of the town of Millau featured in yesterday's item, lies the Viaduc Garabit, which spans the Truyère river on the railway line between Marvejols and Neussargues. When Gustave Eiffel built the structure, a copy of his successful Maria Pia or Duro Bridge in Opporto, Portugal, it was at the time the highest bridge in the world. Size was not the main claim to fame of either structure, it was the ingenious method of building without a requirement for support from below, something the builders at Millau have taken to heart. Macindoe & Vanbuskirk have a neat and succinct summary of Eiffel's life and work, and the official Eiffel Tower web site is worth visiting, with an interesting set of document pages available.
The Boutique-Eiffel.com we site, which otherwise offers trendy brand personal items, has another neat biography page plus an historical picture series showing the building of the Tower in progress. Both pages were marred, at least on our computer system, by the clunky popup implementation, but are never the less recommended. The PBS feature Building Big, accords the Viaduc Garabit its historical dues. Five years after the completion of the viaduct, Eiffel was indicted on charges relating to the building of the Panama canal, and his career never really recovered.
On the web site of the Weslyan University we found    a set of historical images, held on captioned thumbnail pages. Click the thumbnails to go to the source pages for larger versions of the images. There are three pictures of the Viaduc Garabit newly completed or under construction, and a fourth of the Eiffel Tower partially completed. We were unable to acquire the web site context for the photographs, but thought them too interesting to be allowed to pass unrecorded.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)