A superb locomotive, built after Mr. Engerth for the Lyon railway, occupies the beam. This machine, of a new system, presents a complete connection between the boilers, the locomotive and the tender, the whole forming a weight of 60 tons, distributed on three axles. This locomotive is capable of negotiating gradients of 3/00. To the right, along the partition that separates the gallery from the roundabout, is a freight locomotive, by Cavé. A sign on it announces that these locomotives, built 12 to the Crampton system, have covered 35,000 kilometres without needing a single repair, which, according to the manufacturer, gives 97 cents of repair per kilometre. In the centre are two locomotives of Mr. Polonceau, then in the aisle on the right, the one of Messrs Blavier and Larpent, built by Messrs Gouin. This locomotive is remarkable for its huge wheel system of exaggerated diameter, and must cover 60 leagues per hour with the help of its coupled wheels and its third axle placed eccentrically at the front.
Opposite is an 80 horsepower locomotive built for a steamship on the Ebro (Spain) by the Cie du Creuzot; next to it is a steam generator from the same Cie. Next, in the centre, is an oscillating engine by Boyer, the type of steam engine so fashionable at the last exhibition and now beginning to be abandoned. Next, we notice a series of metal globes dipped in water; this is a magnetic warning device for steam engines, which is intended to give notice of excess pressure by blowing a whistle. This is followed by the machine which was used to strike the medals of the exhibition with the specimens sold alongside; then a series of chocolate machines, in the middle of which is an ingenious machine by Bonnet which wraps the bars in the sales paper. Saint-Pierre (Calais) then exhibited a beautiful lace machine, - after which a capsule machine of the Ministry of War is seen manoeuvring.
A little further on, a machine which makes 2400 corks per hour, then printing machines, an envelope machine from Rabatié, Paris, which makes 4000 per hour; and finally an elegant press in which the ink places itself on the rollers. Along the wall we see a mechanical sawmill, and tiles. In the centre stands a large 6-horsepower Flaud locomotive for agricultural work. Mr. Mulot, who drilled the Grenelle well, has exhibited some drilling equipment. When the visitor compares the cross-section of this artesian borehole, executed with such happiness and success, with this immense machine with four tools which was used at Epinay for a similar work, he is astonished by comparison of the heaviness and the complication of this system. A frame erected in the middle of the annex shows the friction mill driven by turbines, presented by Messrs Fromont, Fontaine and Brault, from Chartres. This system allows each millstone to be engaged and disengaged separately during operation. The valves open symmetrically, and the grinding wheels are linked by gutta-percha pulleys.
Here the visitor arrives at the moving machines. A huge shaft, only 8 centimetres in diameter, supported from distance to distance by cast iron pillars, is armed with pulleys on which the belts of the machines are wound, some of which give the movement while others receive it. The boilers which supply the steam necessary for the machines are placed outside the gallery, on the side of the Seine.
The steam arrives through pipes placed under the floor and carefully wrapped with felt and woollen cloths to avoid cooling and condensation.
The first machine in motion is the one that strikes, in the presence of the visitor, the commemorative medals of the Exhibition, which are sold inside the Palais. Next to it, there are machines for moulding and weighing chocolate by Mr. Devink, and another that wraps chocolate, invented by Mr. Daupley. A very fine lace loom, driven by steam, exhibited by the Saint-Pierre factory, a machine for making fulminant capsules, exhibited by the Minister of War, and another for making corks, producing 2,400 per hour. Next come the typographical presses, among which we shall mention that of Mr. Dutartre, which can print two colours at once on the same sheet; another of the invention of Messrs. Vaté, Huguet and Carlier, in which the inking and dampening of the stone are done mechanically. Among the many presses for copying, stamps, etc., we shall mention the one intended for the mechanical numbering of industrial papers, and those intended for the printing and checking of railway tickets, by Mr. Lecoq.
Among the machines and looms on the right, along the north wall, we note a mechanical saw, and a large sugar refinery machine. Continuing into the centre, one sees M. Decoster's vise-feeders, and a small steam agricultural machine; on the right, a mechanical saw, and in the centre, machines for cutting and rolling metal. This is followed by a collection of machines for combing and spinning linen, hemp, cotton and wool, and on the left by knitting machines. On the other side, i.e. the Seine side, we see various models of flour mills, and in the centre, one of the machines that set the bed shaft in motion. Next are weaving machines, typographic presses, a bottle-capping machine and, next to it, sugar refinery equipment. Mr. Jackson's bottle-cleaning machine, shown here, cleans 50,000 bottles a day. Next to it, a large forge hammer completes the exhibition of French machines.
©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855