The Inauguration of the Paris Metro, Episode 326
A lot was happening in Paris in 1900. But the two items I would like to focus on today were the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and the Inauguration of the Paris Metro. Paris had a lot to live-up to with the 1900 universal expo. After all the 1889 expo gave rise to the Eiffel Tower and how do you top that?
In 1900 they had a pavilion on electricity and lots of gorgeous country pavilions that boasted the best of their respective countries, but what was exciting and new in Paris? The Paris Metro, of course! While not as glamorous and visible as the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Metro transformed the city and continues to be a central part of Parisian life.
Book Recommendation: This week Annie read The Matchmaker of the Perigord by Julia Stuart. While not an earth-shattering read, it's pleasant and does not break any rules of life in France.
They started thinking about adding a large transportation system in Paris in 1871 and there were several competing ideas. They wanted to have something operational by 1889 for the Paris Word Fair. But they didn’t manage it and the first metro started service on July 19, 1900.
Ding-a-Dong by Teach In, Eurovision winner and a superbly happy song. Check out how much fun the guy with the xylophone is having!
Annie's Patreon | Elyse's Patreon | Newsletter | Boutique The Inauguration of the Paris Metro
They did not inaugurate the Paris Metro to great fanfare because it was a controversial project and politicians felt it was safer to keep everything low-key. Before they got to this inauguration, they went through a lot of proposals and opposing ideas being battled out in the newspapers. But the real issue was choosing the right metro technology for Paris. There is a lot to think about and those decision will impact life in the city for decades to come! There were lots of proposals, I'll just go into two that caught my attention.
The photo below is the Angely proposal for a suspended rail system