A Brief History of World's Fairs

A Brief History of World's Fairs
Roger Viollet / Getty Images

Paris, 1889: La Tour Eiffel
Like the 1876 Philadelphia Expo, Paris' Exposition Universelle in 1889 commemorated a significant moment in the host nation's history: the centennial of the storming of the Bastille — an event that has traditionally represented the start of the French Revolution. A replica of the infamous prison was featured at the fair, but the most revolutionary exhibit was a little project by engineer Gustave Eiffel. At 324 m (1,063 ft.), La Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower) was the tallest standing structure in the world upon its completion. Considered an "eyesore" at the time by the public, more than a century later the engineering marvel has become the City of Lights' most iconic symbol.

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