Since the mid-19th century, universal expositions were held in Paris every 11 years. In 1889 the event coincided with the centennial of the French Revolution. The commissioners rejected plans for a 300-meter-tall guillotine, selecting Gustave Eiffel's tower instead. They gathered a stunning array of exhibits and produced one of the most financially successful universal expositions ever.
The following views are a selection from image collections' Gramstorff Collection of glass-plate negatives. These negatives were part of the collection of the Soule Art Publishing Company, which operated in the Boston area from 1859 until after 1906. At that time, it was bought by Gramstorff Brothers Photographic Art Publishers. Soule purchased negatives in Europe to publish in the United States; most of these views are by the French photographic firms N.D. (Neurdein Frères), M.F., or J.D.