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Merchant Navy - Expo Paris 1937

Merchant Navy at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1937
© La Photolith
Architect(s) : Bonnier, Saltet, Dubard de Gaillarbois

The façade of the building, 150 metres long, faced the Seine, on which two boats were moored; a lighthouse, buoys of all shapes and colours, and a pier gave this little corner of Paris the appearance of some port on the French coast.

The first floor was reserved for the Lighthouse and Beacon Service, the shipping industry and the major French ports. In the same gallery, you could see the activity of the maritime rescue and relief works, the excellence of the work of the Oceanographic Institute and the Oceanographic Society from which our fishing industry benefited.

At the end of this gallery, in a cinema room, films were shown on the sea, voyages, fishing and the mysteries of underwater life.

The second floor was occupied by the six major shipping companies in their individual stands, while the others were grouped according to their development. These collective exhibitions allowed you to appreciate the efforts made by the French shipping industry to improve certain special trades whose fate was linked to the economic life of our country. The Maritime Company of Suez, for which a special room had been reserved, gave you the illusion of a beautiful voyage thanks to a diorama representing the three ports of the canal.

The third floor was reserved for naval technology. You could see the birth of a ship, while in the neighbouring stands you could admire the latest creations of the industries working for the navy. The three most important problems facing shipbuilders - speed, safety and comfort - were studied in a room devoted to the synthesis of technology. Finally, the economic and civilising role of the navy was dealt with in a very comprehensive manner by the class, with the collaboration of the Ministry of the Merchant Navy, which had its own exhibition in the main hall.

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