Eiffel Tower

Gustave Eiffel won the competition to design and build this iconic centerpiece of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, held to celebrate the French Revolution a century earlier. The French turned to American-based Otis to engineer the tower’s most complex elevators.

Otis, once again

In the 1980s, Otis re-engineered the tower’s elevator systems.

To reach the top of the tower, Otis designed a radical new system of two Duolift™ elevators. Each elevator consists of two cabs, which act as each other’s counterweight: When one cab goes up, the other comes down.

Another elevator ascends the south pillar to Le Jules Verne restaurant on the second level. The elevator must follow the pillar’s curve and travel an inclined plane.

Duolift elevators

Each of four cars carries 20 passengers, making it possible for 80 people to travel at the same time, 40 going up and 40 going down. The elevators travel 1.8 meters per second, a speed that gives passengers time to enjoy the view.

Inclined elevator

Engineers battled the laws of equilibrium in devising a solution: to suspend the cab from a bracket that guides the system, similar to Alpine cable-car techniques. Auxiliary guides suppress lateral movement to ensure a smooth ride at 1.6 meters per second.

"The Eiffel Tower inspires everyone with a sense of awe – and we’re honored to help enrich people’s experience of this cultural icon."

Eiffel Tower


Otis Elevator Company
1 Carrier Place
Farmington, CT 06032


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