Since the opening of the Eiffel Tower for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, visitors have been able to visit the different floors of the monument via elevators. A formidable technical feat for the period as never before had engineers tackled such constraints of height and elevator loads. These elevators have offered total security to hundreds of thousands of visitors climbing the Tower for a better glimpse of Paris from its very beginning. Although today we may take these elevators for granted, back then they were considered a great technical achievement. Certain elevators from the early days of the Tower’s existence are still operative; preserved with great care, they attest to the technical heritage that genius and visionary Gustave Eiffel contributed to our present day.

The elevators at the time of construction

• Between  the  ground floor  and  the  second floor: The four pillars were equipped with one or two cabins. In June 1889, ive hydraulic elevators went into operation. This initial elevator technology was  further modernized a decade  later by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of 1900.
• Between  the  the  second  and  third  floor:  An “Edoux” elevator was put into service, a hydraulic machine that was the only one of its type in the world, with jacks 80 meters long. (It was dismounted in 1983).
• North  and  South  pillars:  “Otis”  elevators  carried  the visitors up and down until dismounted in 1910.
• East and West pillars: “Roux-Combaluzier” elevators were in service until 1897.

The elevators today

• North pillar: A “Schneider” electric elevator was installed in 1965, modernized between  the years 1994 and 1995 and  then revised again in 1997. Its speed reducer was changed in 2004.
• South  pillar:  An  “Otis”  electric  elevator  has  been  used exclusively  by  customers  of  the  Jules Verne  restaurant  since 1983. Also in service, a 4-ton freight elevator built in 1989 was revised in 2003 and then in 2007.

• East and West pillars: “Fives-Lille” hydraulic elevators were installed  in  1899,  modernized  in  1986  and  1987,  and  revised in  1992,  1995  and  2005.  In  2008,  the major  project  of  totally replacing  the West pillar elevators began, with  the  intention of coming  back  to  the  original  and  simple  functioning machines imagined by Gustave Eiffel  in  collaboration with  the Fives-Lille company in 1899. The public has an opportunity to discover the historical elevator equipment in a guided visit during the yearly open house event celebrating  European  Heritage.  Enter  into  a  true  Jules Verne universe, into the center of the Tower, where all those surprising machines are in action.
• Between  the  the  second  and  third  floor:  the “Edoux” hydraulic  elevator did not  function  in winter  (the  gel  stopped the  machinery  from  working)  and  was  dismounted  in  1983. The hydraulic pump that fed the machine with water is now on display on the irst floor of the Tower.   Two  double-cabin  electric  elevators  by  Duolift-Otis  were installed  in 1983, replaced by new ones  in 1994 and 1995, and
then revised in 2007. The elevators are vital  to  the monument and subject  to some harsh  treatment. Their  annual  journeys  combined  are equal  to two  and  half  times  around  the world  or more  than  103,000
kilometers. The cabins, the electrical and computer systems, along with  the historical machinery behind  the elevators receive  the greatest care and maintenance:  renovation work,  repairs, parts replaced and oiled. They are constantly checked by technicians, who start them up early in the morning before the public arrives
and keep them under close surveillance whenever the Tower is open  to  the public. Eiffel Tower elevator operators handle  the smooth lux of visitors.

Eiffel tower elevators