List of 72 characters named on the Eiffel Tower


May 19, 2022

On the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel has inscribed the names of 72 scientists, engineers and industrialists who made France famous from 1789 to 1889. The letters are embossed, 60 cm high, on the four sides of the floor. 2 of the tower. After a period of coating in the early 20th century, in 1986 and 1987, the Eiffel Tower Mining Company restored these inscriptions. Most of the characters enrolled are members of the Academy of Sciences. study French. All 72 are closely related to France and most are French. Some of them were born abroad. There is also a large number of characters from the Polytechnic of Paris—mainly students and a few teachers—who make up about half of the list.


Trocadero side

Grenelle's side

Ecole Militaire side

Paris side



The list is completely absent of women, drawing heavy criticism for not including female mathematician Sophie Germain, whose theories about expansion were the main influence on the tower's construction. German biographer Mozans suggested that Sophie Germain was not on the list simply because she was a woman.

Irrigation Engineer and Scholar

Fourteen irrigation engineers and scholars were listed, but not Henry Philibert Gaspard Darcy—whose contributions did not reach the globe until the 20th century. Another omission is Antoine de Chézy—a less well-known scientist, Joseph Valentin Boussinesq—who pioneered his field of research; and the mathematician Évariste Galois.


Further reading material

“Combien de physiciens et chimistes comporte la liste des 72 savants?” (by French). Académie de Reims. Original archived October 18, 2019. Accessed October 9, 2019. Georges et Jacques Barral, Histoire populaire des 72 savants dont les noms sont inscrits sur la grande frise de la Tour Eiffel, J.Mersch Publishing, 1889. William P. Berlinghoff, Fernando Quadros Gouvêa. Math Through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others. MAA, 2004, page 52. ISBN 0-88385-736-7.

External links

Les 72 savants on the official Eiffel Tower site