Universal Exhibition of Agricultural, Industrial and Fine Arts Products - Paris 1855

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

May 15, 1855 - November 15, 1855


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England

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Here we come to the exhibition of Great Britain, which together with India, its colony, occupies the rest of this southern side of the gallery. Her remarkable precision instruments and clocks are presented first. We see, opposite the great door and on the left hand side, a showcase of the optician Mr. King, where he exhibits an achromatic microscope, photographic instruments, and artificial tourmaline, by Dr. Herapath. Next to it we see Mr. Pilisher's microscopes and a small balance by Mr. Oertling, which weighs 25 grams and is one-fifteenth of a milligram, and another next to it which can weigh 100 grams and is also one-fifteenth of a milligram. In front of the latter are some very remarkable microscopic injections by Dr. Hett, of London, placed under a microscope, and of great interest to amateurs of anatomy and physiology. These injections earned their author the medal at the London Exhibition. Messrs. Auber and Klaftenberger, the Queen's watchmakers, exhibit alongside watches and chronometers, as does Mr. Frodsham; the latter has, among other things, pocket chronometers, and an exact copy of the first chronometer, which was executed by his predecessor, Mr. Arnold, for Captain Cook, on his first voyage round the world. Messrs Smith and Beck follow, with microscopes which won them the great medal in London. Still on the same row, we see a large balance by Mr. Oertling, for weighing gold and silver ingots, weighing up to 40 kilograms and weighing 2 centigrams. The windmill-like instrument next to it is an anemometer, i.e. an instrument for indicating the strength, direction and speed of the wind and the amount of rainfall, invented and exhibited by Mr. Follet-Osler. Opposite is a pneumatic pump, by Mr. Ladd, and beside it the Observatory model, by Mr. Lee; the models of Count Rosse's astronomical instruments follow; opposite, the watches and chronometers and some parts of a detent escapement by Messrs. Frodsham and Baker. Messrs. Davis and Sons and Bennett also have chronometers and watches. Mr. Cole has a charming little exhibition of elegant clocks and watches, among others a tower which contains, besides the dial and its movement with an 8-day strike, a barometer, a thermometer, a calendar and a compass. Small baskets with a dial at the bottom, writing cases and other objects, all with watch movements, will also be noticed. In front of Mr. Cole's hut is the smallest watch that has yet been made, for it is only five lines in diameter. The escapement is anchor; it has ten ruby holes, and runs 28 hours. It is made by Mr. Funnell, at Brighton, and is worth 2,500 fr. Messrs. Nicole and Capt, next door, have chronometers and watches of great beauty and perfection, and watches very ingeniously arranged to be of use to the blind. A large display case next door is filled with all sorts of acoustic instruments, for the deaf, exhibited by Mr. Rein, of London. Continuing our tour around the display we find Mr. Loseby's chronometers, Mr. Thornthwaites' photographic apparatus with a photograph of the moon, taken at the Liverpool Observatory, and Mr. Penneross' helicograph or curved line drawing apparatus. The small showcase beside it contains some very strong watches, by Mr. Adams, in London, made for the American market. The fine chronometers next door are those of Mr. Pool, supplier of chronometers to the Admiralty and inventor of a compensator for chronometers. Opposite is a very curious collection of magnetic apparatus: first, those of Mr. Henley, among which is a magnet which can support 1000 pounds; then Mr. Allan's electric telegraphs; Mr. Varley's submarine telegraph, and Professor Tyndall's magnetic apparatus for demonstrating the laws of electricity. On the other table are the conducting wires for Mr. Walker's electric telegraph, and various telegraphic apparatus for railways. Colonel James has exhibited in the box on the right, leaning against the wall, a collection of instruments used in the cadastre of Great Britain. In the aisle we cross to the front of the gallery, on the right hand side, are the apparatus, models and drawings in use in the schools of science and art in the United Kingdom, exhibited by the Department of Trade and Commerce.

The Kew Observatory exhibits in the glass cases on the right and in the square in front of the visitor a large collection of optical and physical instruments, among which we may mention the very ingenious inventions of Mr. Ronalds for recording with the aid of a camera. Among these are the ingenious inventions of Mr. Ronalds for recording, by means of photography, the permanent state of the barometer, meteorological and other changes, in a very precise and constant manner; then the meteorological instruments which were employed during an ascent made in 1852 under the direction of the astronomers of this observatory; a portable anemometer of Mr. Robinson, etc. A display case adjoining the Kew exhibition, on the east side, contains astronomical instruments of the invention of Professor Piazzi Smith, at Edinburgh, among which is distinguished an electric apparatus for observing the direction and speed of the wind at sea, and others. Behind the Kew exhibition are placed a pulmometer or instrument for examining the lungs; models of Lord Ross's and Mr. Lassel's telescopes; terrestrial and celestial spheres, and instruments of surgery and orthopaedics.

Returning to the boxes on the south wall, we find in those next to the cadastre some very fine watercolour drawings and pictures, among which is a Soldier wounded in the Crimea supported by a young girl, drawn by the Princess Royal who came with her august mother a few days ago to visit the exhibition. The photographs in the next box are very remarkable. In the middle of this box are placed some admirably carved objects on wood by Mr. Tweedy, and in the middle, bronzes by Mr. Elkington, Mason and Co.

The lace and guipures which the visitor sees in the windows in front of these boxes are exhibited by Mr. Forrest in Dublin; tulles and muslins, lace of all kinds from Ireland, poplins, woollen, cotton, silk fabrics, English hosiery, millinery and footwear occupy all the windows we see before us. Let us return to the boxes on the wall, where we find the English stationery, printing and lithography, the last box along the wall is occupied by rubber clothing and the brush shop. Turning now to the left towards the transept, we find on our right the English silversmiths. Mr. Hunt and Mr. Ruskell occupy the first window with a rich collection of jewels and large pieces of silverware. Among the jewels is a set of sapphires and diamonds, worth 250,000 francs; but what will interest the visitor most is the large shield on the left hand, in silver oxidised with repoussé and chased, dedicated to Shakespeare. With Milton and Newton, Shakespeare is seated in the vessel of immortality, heading for the shore where Minerva and Apollo await him. The edge is decorated with subjects from Hamlet. In the other medallion, Millon is depicted dictating to his daughters his Paradise Lost, inspired by religion and poetry. The third medallion shows Newton leaning on a sphere and contemplating the sky. Behind him, Time, Truth and Science push back Ignorance and Superstition. This shield is modelled by M. Vechte, a Frenchman, and is worth 75,000 francs. The next showcase is that of Mr. Hancock, in which we see, among the jewels, the famous blue diamond of Mr. Hope, the only one in existence. This diamond was bought by King George III for 750,000 francs. A corsage set next to it, with four diamond pendants, is worth 500,000 francs. The largest diamond in this set is estimated at 200,000 francs. There is also a beautiful emerald belonging to the Duke of Devonshire. Amongst the silver groups, one should note that of Napoleon I climbing the Alps, and a beautiful vase, outside in a vase, in the style of the renaissance, representing in relief the interview of François with Henri VIII on the Camp-du-Drap-D'or. Mr. Garrard exhibits in the next window a fountain surrounded by horses. This beautiful silver piece is made for the Queen; the horses are copied from Her Majesty's favourite horses. Mr. Philipps also has a very fine display of jewellery and silverware, and among the latter a graceful statuette of a Horse-guard. Nearby, on the nave side, there are five beautiful silver candelabras in a large display case. These were commissioned by the London Goldsmiths' Company, in commemoration of the great London Exhibition, and executed by Messrs Hunt and Ruskell. The subjects relate to the history of this company. Messrs. Bisson, of Jersey, towards the centre, have bracelets of imitation gold; Messrs. Wilkinson and Co. and Mr. Richmond, candelabra, services, etc.

Let us go down the side of the nave, where we see in several showcases objects of all kinds, as well as bracelets, pins, etc., of very modest price, made of antediluvian oak wood found in the marshes of Ireland.

©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855