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Class 11. Cotton Goods.-The exhibition in this class, considering the importance of the manufacture, was not large-set all the various departments of it were sufficiently illustrated. The exhibitors were from England, United States, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Belgium. As illustrative of the manufacture, were shown the preparations from the raw cotton, in all its stages, to the finishing of the cloth, in every variety in use. A Manchester firm had a collection of this description, of 48 preparations, from a sample of New Orleans Cotton, to the most beautiful and exquisitely finished white, printed and figured lace.
Prize Medals were awarded to the United States for an assortment of drillings, tickings, shirtings, sheetings and cotton flannel, exhibited by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, Manchester, New Hampshire, and the Willimantic Duck Manufacturing Company, for cotton sail cloth; the same material, I think, of which the sails of the American Yacht were constructed. As there was nothing very special in this class, and as I have given a full account of the progress of the cotton manufacture, under the head of machinery, I shall not dwell upon it. I regretted we had not a much more varied representation in this class—as we might have shown a variety of cheap fabrics that would have given more fully evidence of what we are doing, as well as what we may be enabled to do in this department of Industry. The number of persons employed in the manufacture in England is estimated at upwards of half a million persons—and the total annual value of the material manufactured at 36 millions sterling.
Class 12. Woolens and Worsteds.The exhibition in this class was extensive, and of surpassing richness in many of its branches. Broadcloths, Flannels, Tartans, Worsted, Alpaca, &c., in great variety, and from various countries displayed to great advantage, the skill and perfection of the respective countries. The exhibition, from England, Scotland and Ireland, was particularly interesting, as there were shown the extremes, from the finest products, that the skill and inventive talent of the country has produced, to the primitive manufacture of the coarsest woolen
goods made upon the hand-loom in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. There were many competitors for supremacy in this class from the Continent, and the beauty and excellence of their goods, secured a very liberal distribution of prizes. The French manufactures were peculiarly fine and highly finished, and Russia, Saxony, Prussia and Belgium, exhibited fabrics of very great excellence. Samples of Flannels from Massachusetts, which were very fine, received a medal, and Honorable Mention was also made of Blankets exhibited. There was but a small exhibition, however, from this country. The number of exhibitors from Great Britain of woolen and worsted fabrics, was about 500. The most extensive collections were from the west of England, so very celebrated for their manufactures, and where great perfection has been attained. An exhibition of goods made from the woolen waste, suggests some reflections. It is asserted, and doubtless truly, that some of the manufacturers, by using this, have sustained themselves, and have reaped a rich remuneration. If this is sold in market with a full knowledge of its composition, there certainly can be no objection to it—but if, as is alleged, it is sent to other countries and disposed of as an article of very different character, it cannot be justified.
Prince Albert exhibited articles manufactured from the wool of Cashmere goats, kept at Windsor Park. The articles were two shawls—two dress pieces, and a specimen of coarse cloth. The dresses and the shawls were very elegant in their appearance. The specimens were arranged in a glass case, in the main avenue of the palace, and attracted much attention. The following account of the preparation of the wool for the purpose of the manufacture, may not be uninteresting. “The cashmere goats wool, consists of two distinct materials, called wool and kemp. The wool is beautifully rich and soft to the touch, and is probably superior in this respect to the finest Continental lamb's wool. The kemp presents the appearance of a coarse rough hair, such as is avoided by the manufacturer in all purchases of wool. The two wools, as shown from the goat, are closely intermingled, and present the appearance of a coarse hairy wool of a low character; but a minute inspection shows that
part of it is of a very fine quality. In order to separate this fine quality from the coarse, it is necessary to do so fiber by fiber; and this has to be done by hand, no machinery having as yet been applied to this purpose. The process is very difficult, one person not being able to separate more than half an ounce in twelve hours.
" When it was known in Yorkshire that the Prince desired an experiment to be made in the manufacture of wool from his goats, hundreds of volunteers offered themselves to separate the fine wool from the coarse hair, and for sonie months 1000 persons were employed, as their leisure hours enabled them to give attention, without any remuneration required ; and an elegantly engraved certificate, with a view of the Crystal Palace, stating that the holder had been employed upon the work, was presented to each.” The experiment was an interesting one, though the question of profit in the use of the wool inay not have been determined.
Tartans and Alpaca goods were shown in great variety, and of surpassing excellence; and articles of wool and silk and wool and cotton, which are very extensively manufactured at the present time, were represented in several of the departments. A woolen manufacturer from the United States, whom I met at the Palace, a gentleman of great intelligence and well acquainted with the manufactures in our country, informs me, after a careful examination of the contributions in this department, he having been upon the jury for a portion of the time, that in very many of the descriptions of articles exhibited, we might have presented goods, that in every respect would have equalled those on exhibition. He also stated, that it was a most valuable and instructive exhibition, and one that would amply have repaid any person interested in the subject, to have crossed the Atlantic to examine. It appeared to me that many most valuable lessons might have been derived by our manufacturers from a careful study in this department.
Class 13. Silk and Velvet.--I have noticed under the 3d class all that I deem important in regard to that portion of the Exhibi
tion. The articles in this class were of great variety of excellence, and fully illustrated the perfection which has been attained in this department of manufacture, by which the most expensive and rich goods are supplied for the use of those whose means enable them to procure them.
Class 14. Flax and Hemp.—The exhibition, in this class, was quite perfect, and showed the various purposes for which Flax and Hemp are used—but, as I have given an extended description: of the improvements that are in progress in the preparation of Flax for common use, under Class 3, I do not deem it necessary to dwell upon the subject more at large.
Class 15. Mixed Fubrics, including Shawls.-There was a fine show of Shawls tastefully arranged, mostly in glass cases, and with due regard to their most advantageous display. Those from Paisley, long celebrated for its manufactures, were of great excellence, and of variety suited to every taste. Some of the Paisley manufacturers displayed Tartans, of every class, and they were objects of universal admiration and when the excursion trains brought up the Scotsmen, from the North, it was amusing to witness the delight they manifested in the rich display of their favorite Tartans.
In the United States Department some very fine shawls from the Lawrence Mills were shown, and attracted the notice of all interrested in this class, and received a Prize Medal. James Roy & Co., of the Watervliet Mills, New York, sent out late, a few of their superior shawls to my care, but they did not reach London until the Jurors had finished their labors. I had, however, the pleasure of showing them to the Chairman of the Jury, and a member from France, who expressed their admiration of these shawls and of their extraordinary excellence, and I was assured that had they been received in time, they would have found a place in their awards with the best Paisleys.
There was shown, from Paisley, a very ingenious machine, whereby patterns in checks, stripes and Tartans, may be combined and displayed by means of sliding mirrors and slips of colored glass. The principle is a modification of the power of the Kaleidoscope. Among the advantages claimed for it, was the extraordinary facility with which the idea of a pattern can be momentarily realized, modified or changed. When the pattern is approved of, it is not necessary to paint it upon paper, as brass scales affixed to the sides of the mirrors indicate, at a glance, the exact number of threads of each color, and how many repeats are necessary for the hreadth of the web. The patterns thus originated can be enlarged or diminished at pleasure. Another advantage is the simplicity, ease of adaptation, and the perfect manner in which the effect of finished cloth, the crisp transparent surface of silk, and the soft opaque texture of wool, are severally given. The importance of this apparatus, giving the power of realizing, without expense, any new idea that may occur, in the preparation of patterns, must commend it to those engaged in this branch of manufacture.
There were exhibited, from France, some very choice shawls, of admirable finish and richness, and great beauty of design. A Council Medal was awarded to a French house, for the discovery of a new and important process in the production of elaborate designs. This firm exhibited. Cashmere shawls, of great beauty, No other Council Medal was awarded.
Very fine exhibitions were made, in this class, by Austria, Prussia, and Belgium.
Class 16. Lenther, Saddlery, Harness. There was a very large collection of articles, and of a varied character in this class. The English exhibitors, as might have been expected, excel all the others in extent and variety of articles; in fact, some of the exhibitors from London, seemed to have brought their whole establishments.