Industrial Exhibitions, public competitive displays of products for the encouragement of arts and manufactures, local, national, and international. The first industrial exhibition was held in Paris in 1798, and comprised chiefly specimens of French art manufactures, not contributed by their producers, but loaned by owners. This display led in the same year to a larger exhibition of all kinds of French manufactures, and the utility and success of the show prompted the more extended expositions, under the consulate of Napoleon, in 1801 and 1802. Thereafter exhibitions intended to be triennial, but interrupted by political causes or by war, were held from 1806 to 1849, the 11th and last exceeding all former ones. The first industrial exhibition in Great Britain was opened under royal patronage in London in 1828, but was not successful. Local exhibitions of the industry of manufacturing districts were held at Manchester in 1837, at Leeds in 1839, and at Birmingham in 1849. The royal society of Dublin began in 1829 a series of triennial exhibitions of Irish manufactures.
Similar local exhibitions were held at Ghent in 1820, at Berlin in 1834, and at Vienna in 1835. - The first international exhibition at Paris in 1844 was so successful as to commend the scheme to the London society of arts, and in 1849 it matured a plan for a "world's fair," which was presented to the public by the president of the society, Prince Albert, who declared that the time had come to prepare for a great exhibition, " not merely national in its scope and benefits, but comprehensive of the whole world." A royal commission was issued Jan. 3, 1850, and the queen headed a subscription list with £1,000. A building popularly known as the " crystal palace " was erected in Hyde Park, from designs of Mr. (afterward Sir Joseph) Paxton, composed, excepting the flooring and joists, wholly of glass and iron. It was 1,851 ft. long and 408 ft. wide, with an extension on the north side 936 ft. long and 48 ft. wide; height of central portion 64 ft., and of transept in the centre 108 ft.; entire area covered, about 19 acres. Portions of the palace were assigned to different countries and colonies according to the space required by each. The articles, excepting heavy machinery, were arranged in four principal sections, viz.: raw materials, machinery, manufactures, and fine arts.
The paintings, however, were mostly assembled together; but some of the prominent pieces of sculpture were placed in different parts of the building, in order to attract special attention and to add to the beauty of the interior. The building was begun Sept. 6, 1850, completed Feb. 3, 1851, and cost £176,000. On May 1 the queen opened the exhibition, which continued till Oct. 11. The number of visitors was 6,170,000, an average of 43,500 a day, and the greatest number in one day (Oct. 7) was 109,915. No record was kept of the number of articles exhibited. There were more than 17,000 exhibitors. The prizes, including council and prize medals and honorable mentions, were 5,084, and the foreign exhibitors, occupying two fifths of the space, took three fifths of the honors. In machinery and in metal, glass, and porcelain manufactures, the British received the majority of prizes; in miscellaneous manufactures, textile fabrics, and fine arts, the foreign awards were one fifth more than the native; in raw materials the foreigners took nearly four times as many prizes as the natives (988 to 262). The popularity of the world's fair was largely due to the great number of gems, including the Koh-i-noor, and the works of art exhibited.
The financial results were: receipts from subscriptions, £67,800; admissions, £425,000; refreshments, etc, £13,200; total, £506,000; expenditures, £330,000; the balance in favor of the commission was increased by interest and small receipts to £186,436. Those who were on the guarantee list were not called upon for their subscriptions. The final balance, with additional parliamentary grants, was applied to a scheme for the advancement of the fine arts and of practical science. The "crystal palace " was sold to a company, its reerection at Sydenham on an enlarged plan began Aug. 5, 1852, and it was reopened by the queen June 10, 1854. Since then it has been devoted to horticultural shows, monster concerts, and other public amusements. - There was a successful exhibition of Irish arts and manufactures at Cork in 1852, which led to the much larger international one at Dublin in 1853. This exhibition owed its origin to Mr. William Dargan, who advanced £80,000. The building, 425 ft. long, 100 ft. wide, and 105 ft. high, with adjoining smaller halls, cost £48,000. The exhibition was opened by the lord lieutenant May 12, and continued till Oct. 29. The value of the contents was £500,000, of which the fine arts represented £200,000. Up to that time no finer collection of pictures had been assembled in the kingdom.
The exhibition was popular, and had 1,150,000 visitors; but it was not financially successful, and entailed a heavy loss on the projectors. - The New York world's fair of 1853 originated with a company incorporated in 1851. The city gave a lease of Reservoir square for five years rent free, upon the conditions that the building should be constructed of glass and iron, and that the admission fee should not be more than 50 cents. Congress also passed an act constituting the building a bonded warehouse, into which foreign goods might be brought free of duty. In March, 1852, the company issued shares to the amount of $300,000, afterward increased to $500,000 and readily subscribed. The building was in the form of a Greek cross, 365 ft. long each way, and 150 ft. wide, with a central dome 123 ft. high and 100 ft. in diameter; and on one side another building, 450 ft. long and 75 ft. wide, was erected for machinery. The president of the United States, Gen. Pierce, opened the exhibition July 14, and it continued 119 days. There were 4,800 exhibitors, more than one half of whom were foreigners.
Among the many causes which operated against the success of the enterprise were the Dublin exhibition of the same year, the long delay in opening, the distance of the locality from the then centre of the city, and the inadequate means of access. The principal feature of the exhibition was the fine display of American machinery and agricultural implements. The financial results were: cost of building, $540,-000; fitting and furnishing, $100,000; receipts from admissions, sale of catalogues, etc, $340,-000. The exhibition was reopened in 1854, and in that and the following year the company expended $200,000, thus exhausting the capital, receipts, and two loans. The building was afterward leased to the American institute and used for its annual fairs, during the progress of one of which, on Oct. 15, 1858, it was burned with all its contents. - The Zollve-rein exhibition at Munich, from July 15 to Oct. 15, 1854, was held in a building of glass and iron, 800 ft. long, 280 ft. wide, and 87 ft. high, covering 250 sq. ft. of flooring, and costing $450,000. From 33 Zollverein states there were 6,800 exhibitors of goods, worth about $7,500,000; but the advent of cholera in the autumn and other causes reduced the number of visitors, and the Bavarian government was obliged to make up a deficiency of $1,000,000. - The Paris international exhibition of 1855 was organized as follows: the government was to bear the cost and appoint the commission.
A joint-stock company erected in the Champs Elysees a main building of glass, stone, and brick, 800 ft. long and 350 ft. wide, and other buildings for machinery, paintings, etc, were added. In the main building the goods were arranged by countries, and were classified near-ly as in the London exhibition of 1851. But besides the machinery and art buildings, it was found necessary to erect smaller buildings for carriages, agricultural implements, and cheap articles. Spaces in the open ground were also devoted to the exhibition of certain articles. The government guaranteed 4 per cent. on the outlay, and a share of the profits, if there were any; but as there were none, all the receipts for admissions went to the company. The cost of the buildings and other expenses amounted to about $5,000,000. The emperor opened the exhibition May 15, and it continued till Nov. 15, during which time there were 4,533,464 visitors, one third fewer than to that of London in 1851, though the Paris exhibition was open on Sundays. There were 10,691 exhibitors from France and her colonies, and 10,108 from 53 foreign countries and 22 colonies.
As a grand display the exhibition was very successful, and it was estimated that the money spent in Paris by foreign visitors compensated for the financial failure of the exhibition itself. In 1861 there were important exhibitions at Haarlem of the industries of Holland; at Nantes of the manufactures and fine arts of France and Algeria; and at Florence of Italian silk in all stages of its culture and of silk goods in every variety of manufacture. - The second London international exhibition, in 1862, started with a guarantee fund of £450,000, to which Prince Albert subscribed £10,000. A building of brick, glass, and iron, with flooring and galleries covering 1,400,000 sq. ft., was erected at South Kensington. This exhibition was intended by the society of arts to follow the great exhibition of 1851 as the second decennial in 1861; but the Italian war postponed it a year. The exhibition continued 177 days, during which there were 6,211,103 visitors; the largest number in one day (Oct. 30) was 67,891, and the daily average 36,329. There were in the industrial division 17,861 foreign exhibitors, who took 9,344 prizes, and 8,487 British and colonial, who received 4,071 prizes.
The total expenditures were £460,000; receipts from admissions, etc, £448,000; the deficiency of £12,000 was wholly due to the great cost of the building, which was designed to be permanent, but was subsequently demolished, and the materials were used in the construction of the Alexandra palace, destroyed by fire June 9, 1873. - In 1863 an exhibition was held in Constantinople, national for Turkish manufactures, and universal for foreign implements and machinery. It was not important, but was made attractive by the display of jewels from the imperial palace and seraglio. The exhibition at Amsterdam in 1864 was devoted to the display of Dutch industry, and in the same year smaller local industrial shows were held at Malta, at Calcutta, and at Lucknow, and a combined French and Spanish exhibition was held at Bayonne. The South London and North London working-class industrial exhibitions began in 1864; the latter was the most important, having 934 exhibitors, 200,000 visitors in the 18 days of the show, and a clear profit of £800. The international exhibition at Dublin in 1865, from May 8 to Nov. 9, had 770 British and 288 colonial and foreign exhibitors; but the visitors numbered only 600,000, a little more than half of the number in 1853, and financially it was a failure.
In 1865 there was an exhibition at Oporto, confined chiefly to Portuguese industry, though there was a show of British agricultural implements and machinery. In the same year there was a show of New Zealand manufactures at Dune-din; an international exhibition, chiefly agricultural, by Germany, Holland, and Belgium, at Cologne; and an interesting international display of fishing tackle, etc, at Boulogne. Working men's local exhibitions were also held at Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Preston, etc, and one at Vienna which distributed 613 prizes to 1,025 exhibitors, and made a profit of 2,000 florins, which was given to city charities. Several comparatively small working-class industrial shows were held in London, but only one of them was financially successful. Of two similar exhibitions in London in 1866, one, by having a hall rent free, secured a small surplus, which was distributed in prizes; the other had 1,492 exhibitors and 53,000 visitors, and, with £1,066 rent, made £900 profit. In 1866 Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland combined in a show of Scandinavian industry at Stockholm, in which manufactures in iron, steel, woollens, and earthenware were principal features.
The Melbourne exhibition of the same year assembled 3,360 exhibitors from South Australia, Victoria, New Zealand, New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania. The Brazilian exhibition of 1866, first at Pernam-buco and afterward at Rio de Janeiro, was mainly of raw produce, which was subsequently sent to the Paris exhibition. - The Paris universal exhibition of 1867 was held in the Champ de Mars, in an oval building 1,550 ft. long and 1,250 ft. wide, covering 11 acres, while smaller buildings increased the area to 35 acres. Seventy surrounding acres, partly laid out as a garden, were covered with all kinds of buildings, including model cottages, restaurants, theatres, and even places of worship. The main building was a series of ovals one within another, starting from a central pavilion containing the coins, weights, and measures of all nations. The ovals were devoted to the following uses: 1, to works of art; 2, to materials, etc, of the liberal arts, printing, books, stationery, surgical, scientific, mathematical, and musical instruments; 3, to furniture and household goods; 4, to clothing; 5, to raw materials; 6, to tools and light machinery; 7, to cereals, vegetables, food preparations, etc. There was also a gallery which exhibited the progressive history of labor.
From the central pavilion avenues radiated like spokes through the ovals, and the spaces between the avenues were assigned to different countries, so that visitors making the tour of each oval could compare the productions in each class of the different nations. The exhibition was open from April 1 to Oct. 31; there were 50,226 exhibitors and 10,200,000 visitors; the medals and honorable mentions numbered, with 44 grand prizes for especial merit, 12,944, of which United States exhibitors received 3 grand prizes, 17 gold, 66 silver, and 94 bronze medals. The exhibition expenses, including buildings, were about $4,000,-000, of which the government and city paid $2,500,000; the receipts for admissions, etc, were $2,000,000; and there was a claimed profit of about $600,000. A fishery exhibition at Havre in the same year included fishing boats and all the appliances for curing fish, making fishermen's clothing, etc. A still more important international maritime exhibition of marine engines, nautical instruments, ships' fittings and furniture, fishing boats and tackle, life-saving apparatus, etc, was held at Havre in 1868. - There was a local exhibition of the industries of the Northwest Provinces of British India at Agra in 1867, and local industrial exhibitions were held in St. Petersburg, Ghent, and Berlin in 1868. The Amsterdam international exhibition of 1869 had 2,325 exhibitors, and was remarkable for its display of cheap clothing, prepared foods, house fittings, furniture, and other articles of domestic economy.
The St. Petersburg industrial exhibition of 1870 was local, to show the Russian progress in the manufacture of steel guns, armor plates, rails, locomotives, etc. The intercolonial exhibition at Sydney, New South Wales, in 1870, was important in the exhibition of raw products, preserved meats, etc. It had 2,914 exhibitors, was open 29 days, and there were 184,000 visitors. The London annual international exhibition of 1871, from May 1 to Sept. 30, was the third in the originally proposed decennial series, but was made the first of an annual series, each to be devoted to specified branches of industry. It had 1,142,-154 visitors; there were about 4,000 fine-art and 7,000 industrial entries, and 33 foreign countries were represented. There were no prizes, and the receipts were equal to the expenses. The Italian industrial association began at Milan in 1871 a series of annual exhibitions, each year to be devoted to specialties. Naples held an international maritime exhibition in 1871. Minor exhibitions were held in 1871, at Jersey, of the products and industry of the Channel islands; at Lima, of the products and manufactures of the South American Pacific states; and at Cordova, of Argentine industry and of foreign implements adapted to the development of local resources.
The London annual international exhibition of 1872, was devoted principally to the show of arts connected with printing, paper, music and musical instruments, jewelry, cotton goods, and fine arts. The Dublin exhibition of the same year comprised chiefly Irish produce and manufactures, and was held in the building erected in 1853, which had been purchased by Sir Arthur Guinness, and was given rent free for this exhibition. Other exhibitions in 1872 were the international one at Moscow, intended to compare the progress of Russian industry with that of other nations; the show of Scandinavian industry, with 4,000 exhibitors, at Copenhagen; the universal exhibition of silk, silk goods, furniture, machinery, tools, fine arts, etc, at Lyons; and the display of Colombian products and manufacture at Bogota. In 1873 the London annual international exhibition made a feature of cooking science and apparatus. There was a school of popular cookery, with lectures which from April 14 to Aug. 15 were attended by 31,784 persons. - The Vienna international exhibition of 1873 was opened by the emperor May 1; the prizes were distributed Aug. 18; and the exhibition closed Oct. 31. The main building, of brick and glass, erected on the Prater, was 2,985 ft. long, 82 ft. wide, and 52 1/2 ft. high, with a central dome; and opening out from this hall were 32 transverse galleries 250 ft. long and 49 ft. wide, the whole presenting a form which was compared to a gridiron, or to a fish's spine with the projecting bones.
There were also a machinery annexe of brick 2,614 ft. long and 155 ft. wide, a large fine-art hall, and numerous smaller buildings. The transverse sections were devoted to different countries in the order of their geographical position, beginning at the southwest main entrance with North and South America, thence in succession to Great Britain, France, Spain, Scandinavia, Germany, etc.; China and Japan occupying the remotest sections at the northeast end. The exhibits were classified into 26 groups, following nearly the plan of the divisions in the great exhibitions of London and Paris; but there were such special features as group 16, devoted to the art of war, and including everything for the equipment of an army and the care of the sick and wounded; 17, covering everything relating to sea, lake, and river navigation, ship building and fitting, construction of harbors and lighthouses, etc.; 19, private dwelling houses, inner arrangements, and decorations, to illustrate the domestic economy of different nations; 20, farm houses, furniture, and utensils of different countries; 23, art applied to religion in all the industries and fine arts employed in public worship.
There were efforts also to show a history of prices of various important articles, at average periods of five years, as far back as possible, and the gradual conversion of waste into use in manufactured articles. The industries of nearly all the world were represented. The prizes were: 1, grand diplomas of honor; 2, bronze medals for progress, merit, fine arts, good taste, and cooperators. Of these, 349 were awarded to 643 exhibitors from the United States. The total number of visitors was 7,254,687. The exhibition cost more than $12,000,000; the original government appropriation was $3,000,000, accompanied with a provision that it was not to be exceeded; and as the receipts from visitors barely paid the running expenses, there was a deficit of about $9,000,000. Among the causes which contributed to this failure were the financial panic and the comparatively small number of visitors during the summer months, which was due partly to apprehensions of the cholera, and especially to the utterly inadequate accommodations and the extravagant prices of living.
But the industrial benefits of the exhibition to the Austro-Hungarian dominions, in bringing their productions to the notice of the world, and especially in the introduction of American agricultural implements and other foreign labor-saving inventions, were regarded as more than compensating the loss. The advantages gained by foreign exhibitors of valuable productions were also very great. - Of other industrial exhibitions in the United States, besides the world's fair in 1853, the most important are those of the American institute of the city of New York, founded in 1828, and incorporated in 1829, for the encouragement of commerce, manufactures, and art. For several years the annual fairs were in part agricultural and horticultural, but lately they have been almost wholly industrial, and are open to exhibitors from all parts of the Union. The large space required for the fairs has compelled the use in successive seasons of such places as Castle Garden, the crystal palace (1854-'8), and now (1874) the premises known as the "Rink," near the Central park, which the institute has purchased. The association has a fund of $75,000 in government bonds, and owns real estate in New York renting for $12,000 a year. Its fairs are profitable.
The 42d exhibition, in September and October, 1873, had 1,146 exhibitors and more than 600,000 visitors; the receipts from admissions and other sources were $63,382 32; expenditures, $48,675 94; profit, $14,706 38. The Franklin institute of Philadelphia, similar to the New York American institute and founded about the same time, is especially devoted to the mechanic and inventive arts, and has held occasional exhibitions; it also publishes a valuable journal, which at the close of 1873 had reached the 93d semiannual volume. An association in Cincinnati has held four industrial exhibitions, and the fifth is announced for September, 1874. The ninth industrial exhibition of the mechanics' institute of San Francisco, from Aug. 18 to Sept. 18, 1874, is announced as "open to all the world." Baltimore, Boston, and Buffalo have held successful local industrial exhibitions. For several years past nearly all the county and state agricultural societies throughout the Union have made annual exhibitions of local manufactures, industries, and arts, as well as of agricultural products, with liberal prizes to competing inventors, manufacturers, and exhibitors. - Among important industrial exhibitions that are now projected may be mentioned an international one of female industry at Florence, probably in 1874. The announcements of special industries to be exhibited at the annual internationals in London are made for each year from 1874 to 1880. A law of congress, March 3, 1871, authorizes " the celebration of the centennial of American independence by an international exhibition of the arts, manufactures, and natural resources of this and other countries." The proposed exhibition is to be held in Philadelphia from April 19 to Oct. 19, 1876. An act of congress, June 1, 1872, fixed the capital at $10,000,000, which the commissioners apportioned among the states according to population.
Up to June, 1874, New Jersey had appropriated $100,000, Pennsylvania $1,000,00.0, Philadelphia $1,500,-000, and local subscriptions, together with individual subscriptions throughout 25 states and territories, brought the sum total to about $4,000,000; and an effort was in progress to procure private subscriptions for the balance. - Among the more important works relating to the principal exhibitions are: "The Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of 1851" (4 vols. 4to, London, 1851); " Official, Descriptive, and Illustrated Catalogue" of the same (3 vols.); " Reports by Juries " (6 vols.); "First Report by Commissioners" (1852); the elaborate work printed for the commissioners (13 vols, fol.), and the same in French (13 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1857-'66); " Report of the World's Fair" (New York, 1853); Exposition univer-selle de 1855, by the French commission (3 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1857-'8); "Reports of the International Mixed Jury " (in French, 2 vols. 4to, Paris, 1856; in English, London, 1856); the reports of the royal commissioners on the exhibition of 1862 (4 vols., London, 1862); "The Exhibited Machinery of 1862," by D. K. Clark (London, 1862); the reports of the French and English commissioners on the Paris exposition of 1867 (Paris and London, 1867); reports of the United States commissioners on the same (6 vols., Washington, 1870); the special report on " Machinery and Processes of the Industrial Arts and Apparatus of the Exact Sciences," by F. A. P. Barnard, LL. D., a commissioner for the United States (Washington, 1869); and "Reports of Artisans selected by the Society of Arts to visit the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 " (London, 1867). No comprehensive work on the Vienna exposition of 1873 has yet appeared (1874), though several minor reports have been published.