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it my duty to call the attention of the Jurors to all the contributions from this State, so that a proper examination might be secured.
The importance of this Exhibition, in which so much interest has been manifested by almost every nation of the world, will justify a brief history of its origin, rise and progress, in connection with remarks upon the exhibition itself.
ORIGIN OF THE EXHIBITION. Its origin may probably be traced to one held in France in 1814, somewhat similar in its character. Since that period, the subject of a National Exhibition in London, had excited much attention in Great Britain, and was frequently brought before the Society of Arts, of which his Royal Highness, Prince Albert, was the President, in 1815, and, it is mainly due to his exertions and influence that it was finally resolved upon. In order to carry out the objects of the exhibition, a Royal commission was formed, and funds to a considerable amount were raised by voluntary subscription, to aid in defraying the necessary expenses. After a large number of designs for the building in which the proposed exhibition was to be held, had been prepared and submitted to the Commission, and a plan for the building had been agreed upon, Mr. Joseph Paxton, submitted a new plan for a structure to be composed mainly of iron and glass, which was accepted, and a contract was entered into by Messrs. Fox and Henderson, on the 26th of July, 1850, to have the building completed and ready for opening to the public by the first day of May, 1851. Some faint idea of the magnitude of the work may be formed from the dimensions of the building.
Its entire length was....de
43 2nd do.
Total area of galleries, 217,100
72 66 408 6 110 66 64 16 72 56 48 66
Among the immense variety of objects of interest, which were presented from the various nations of the world, of which there were many of unsurpassed splendor, the palace itself was an object that attracted first of all, the attention of every visitor. "It was a striking exhibition of the extensive resources of the British Empire, and was alike creditable to the designer, and to the contractors and artisans, who aided in its erection. It was completed in about seven months, the first column of the building having been erected on the 26th day of September, 1850. Its adaption to the objects of the exhibition was most perfect, and the arrangement of its contents was made with great facility, and showed to much advantage, and its size was found to be fully adequate to the arranging of the entire exhibition; and yet the building was in the main fully occupied.' It is to be hoped, that it may be permitted to remain, not only as a memorial of the exhibition itself, but of the talent of the designer, the extraordinary tact of the contractors, and of the extensive resources of the country, which in so short a time could produce complete such a structure. A diagram of the interior of the building is annexed, showing the ground floor and the galleries, and the portions occupied by the respective countries that exhibited articles.
It has been well said," it is impossible to enumerate the many and lasting benefits which must result from this great Great Exhibition, when carried to its full development. It will ever be referred to, as the most stupendous conception of modern times, when the conviction has practically prevailed, for the first time in the world's history, that nations do not profit by each others losses, but that they grow to be great and thriving by each others prosperity, or in other words, that each individual portion is interested in the general prosperity.”
The number of exhibitors was about 17,000, of which nearly one-half were British, including the colonies and dependencies of Great Britain. The number of exhibitors from the United States entered upon the catalogue was 599. The British productions were arranged in the western half of the building, and those of foreign countries in the eastern. The exhibition was divided into four great classes : 1st, Raw Materials; 2nd, Machinery; 3d, Manufactures; 4th, Sculpture and the Fine Arts. In the location of the respective countries, a division was made according to the geographical position of the countries represented; those which were in the warm latitudes being placed in the center of the building, and the colder countries in the extremities.
OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION. The building was formally opened to the public on the first day of May, by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, with suitable and very imposing ceremonies.
Her Majesty, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Charlotte, and the members of the court, proceeded from Buckingham Palace to the great building in Hyde Park, arriving there precisely at twelve. The only special preparation for the ceremony, was à carpeted platform and a chair of State, placed beneath a canopy, suspended midway in the transept of the Palace. As the Royal procession advanced, the mighty organ and the choir gave the national anthem. Prince Albert, at the head of the Royal Commissioners, next read to Her Majesty the Report of the