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Exhibition proceedings, to which the Queen graciously replied. The Archbishop of Canterbury implored God's blessing upon the undertaking, and the choir sung the Hallelujah Chorus.
A Royal procession was then formed, headed by Mr. Paxton, and Messrs. Fox and Henderson, followed by the official persons of the Exhibition, Foreign Commissioners, Foreign Ambassadors, Prince Albert and the Queen, with their attendants, and the members of the Court. The procession made the circuit of the nave of the building, which was filled with the visitors—the organs in different parts of the immense structure, successively playing at the Queen's approach.
On her Majesty's return to the platform, the Queen declared “The Exhibition opened,” which was announced by the firing of a Royal Salute on the banks of the Serpentine, near the Palace, and Her Majesty, the Prince, and their attendants left the building, and returned to Buckingham Palace.
The exhibition thus opened, was no longer a private undertaking, but identified with the history of the world—and it is to be hoped that the expectation of Prince Albert, will by the blessing of Divine Providence, be realized. He remarked,“ the first impression which the view of this vast collection will produce will be that of deep thankfulnesss to the Almighty for the blessings which he has bestowed upon us already here below! And the second, the conviction that these can only be realized in proportion to the help which we are prepared to render to each other—and therefore, only by peace, love and ready assistance, not only between individuals, but between the nations of the earth.”
Soon after the opening of the Exhibition, the arrangement of the jurors who were to pass upon the varied contents of the palace was completed. There were thirty classes of jurors, and three sub-juries, one subordinate to class No. 5, and two subordinates to class No. 10. A chairman and deputy chairman were appointed for each jury, and a reporter. The chairmen of the
juries, thirty-two in number, composed what was called the Council of Chairmen-to whom all the awards and recommendations of the juries had to be submitted for final action. The duties of the council of chairmen-composed of nearly an equal number of British subjects and foreigners, there being 17 British and 15 foreigners—were to determine the conditions upon which, in accordance with certain general principles previously laid down by the Commissioners, the different prizes should be awarded-to frame rules to guide the working of the juries, and to secure as far as practicable, uniformity in the result of their proceedings.
The Juries were also divided into groups—the first division, Raw materials, was composed of Four Juries. The second, Machinery, of Seven. The third Textile Fabrics of Ten. The fourth, Miscellaneous Manufactures, of Nine. Before a jury could finally make its awards, they had to be submitted to the group of Jurors, and receive their favorable consideration. The group had power to confirm the awards or otherwise, and to investigate any disputed decision. Before the awards were finally disposed of, they were submitted to the council of chairmen-whose duty it was to see that the regulations had been complied with. In many cases the decisions of separate jurors were overruled by the vote of the group, and in not a few instances, the decisions of the group in recommending a council medal, was reversed by the council of chairmen.
The Commissioners had expressed themselves desirous that merit should be rewarded wherever it presented itself, but anxious to avoid recognition of competition between individual exhibitors, they had decided that the prizes should consist of three medals of different sizes—and that these should be awarded, not as first, second, and third in degree, for the same class of subjects and merit, but as marking merit of different kinds and character. The council of chairmen found that it would be impossible to lay down any rules for the awarding of the three medals, by which the appearance at least in denoting different degrees of success among exhibitors of the same branch of production, could be avoided. They requested
that one of the medals should be withdrawn-which was assented to by the Commissioners, and only two medals, were to be given. The Prize medal, or the second in size, should be conferred whenever a certain standard of excellence in production of workmanship had been attained—utility,cheapness, adaptation to particular markets, and other elements of merit being taken into consideration, according to the nature of the object; and this medal was to be awarded by the Juries, subject to confirmation by the groups. As it regarded the Larger Medal, the conditions of the award required, were “some important novelty of invention, or application, either in material, or process of manufacture, or originality combined with great beauty of design; but that it should not be conferred for excellence of production or workmanship alone, however eminent; and it was further suggested that this medal should be awarded by the council of chairmen, on the recommendation of a Jury supported by its These were the general principles by which the Juries were to be governed—but they did not give entire satisfaction—and in carrying them out instances occurred in which they were not in all respects fully complied with. This was scarcely to be avoided, in some instances, where the lines between the larger medal and the prize medal came very near each other. As a substitute for the third medal, the jurors were authorised to make Honorable Mention of such articles as were deemed worthy of special notice, though not possessing the standard of excellence required for the Prize Medal.
Each Jury was superintended by a chairman, appointed by the Commissioners, from the Jury, and a deputy chairman and reporter selected by the Jurors themselves. Each group of Juries received the assistance of a deputy commissioner and of a special commissioner to record the proceedings, to furnish information respecting the arrangements of the exhibition, and otherwise to facilitate the labors of the Juries composing the group. The separate Juries also kept a record of all their proceedings. The Juries were instructed to award prizes without reference to the country of the exhibitors, the exhibition being considered, in this respect, as recognizing no distinction of nations. The number
of Jurors assigned to the United States was twenty-one, leaving this country unrepresented on nine of the Juries and sub-Juries.
It will be perceived from this brief history of the arrangements made for the examination of the articles exhibited, that much care was exercised by the Commissioners, in order to secure a complete examination of the great variety of articles on exhibition. The requirements for a review of the decision of the separate juries by their respective groups, and those of the groups by the council of chairmen, were calculated to bring under review the various articles exhibited from the different nations repre- . sented. It would be too much to say, that no articles were overlooked, but I think I am justified in saying, that there were comparatively very few articles but what received an examination.
As regards the exhibition from the United States, every effort was made to bring each article under the supervision of the Jurors. Mr. Dodge, while the acting commissioner, addressed a request to each Jury in relation to the articles before them, and I did the same in respect to the articles from this State, and was assured by some member of each of the respective Juries, that the articles had been examined.
I deem it due to the gentlenien comprising the Juries, who were generally selected by their respective governments, or authorized representatives with much care, and who were men of standing in their respective countries, to state, that an earnest desire was manifested to do justice to the exhibitors. The English Jurors, who composed at least one-half of the whole number, were selected with reference to the class of articles upon which they were to pass, as being conversant with them, and they certainly evinced, so far as I had the opportunity of ascertaining, a desire and readiness to examine carefully the contributions before them, and to ascertain the facts in each case, and they yielded to evidence in relation to the merits of articles examined, where evidence was given, with a manliness that certainly did them great credit. Having had an opportunity, not only as a Juror upon an important class, " Agri
cultural Implements and Machinery," but also as having been called before most of the other classes of Jurors, when they examined the articles in the United States Department, I think I can speak from opportunities of observation, that gave me facilities certainly equal to others for ascertaining the manner in which the Jurors discharged their important and very onerous and perplexing duties. I have considered it proper to make these remarks, because it had been suggested that there was great danger to be apprehended in reference to the awards; and since the awards have been announced, many complaints have been made, as appears from the Foreign Journals. Whatever ground of complaint there may be in regard to the articles in the British department, of which I am not competent to form an opinion--so far as this country is concerned, although articles have been omitted, which in my opinion and in that of others of the Jurors from this country, should have received prizes, and some in a higher class than they did receive; still, I think it will be found, that as a whole, the awards, to this country, are in the highest degree creditable to our exhibitors, considering the circumstances under which the articles from this country were prepared.
It should be borne in mind that the exhibitors from this country were placed in a very different position from any other foreign country. The exhibition from the United States was made by the exhibitors themselves, without aid or assistance, in their preparation, from the government, and although many have complained of this want of apparent interest on the part of the government in the objects of the exhibition, it is not by any means certain but that the influence of our exhibition has been far better upon the world, has more powerfully demonstrated the peculiar advantages of our free institutions, in the development of the energies of the people, than could have been done if the government had made a large appropriation for the purpose of preparing articles specially for the exhibition. Our exhibition was made by our citizens themselves, and showed their enterprize, their energy, their skill and ingenuity; and when this was known, it was a matter of surprise to foreigners that we exhibited as much as we did. The character