The emergence of iron construction marked a significant watershed in the history of building technology. Indeed the structural possibilities opened up by iron, and later by steel when it too became affordable thanks to new manufacturing processes, presented vast opportunities for completely new directions in design while they also posed serious challenges to traditional building practices. Perhaps above all two structures, each entirely unprecedented in their design and each forming the centerpiece of a World’s Fair, captured the public imagination for the possibilities of iron architecture: the Crystal Palace, in London in 1851, and the Eiffel Tower, in Paris in 1889.
“The Story of the Iron Bridge” (Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, 2017, excerpt, 5 mins.):
Eiffel Tower (World Site Guides, 2011, 6 mins.):