M. Turgan, - whose authority and competence are absolutely unquestionable, especially in this matter, - wrote the following lines in ta France concerning mines and metallurgy
"Class 43 opens onto the Rapp gallery, where it manifests its presence through the brilliant dresser of the Lyon-German counter, where the public never tires of admiring the silver and gold ingots, the threads of these precious metals from which coins, medals and all the objects that one wants to keep unaltered are made.
"Next to it is the Christofle electroplating installation, where the products of the new industry based on nickel and the manufacture of white alloys are produced.
At the foot of the installation are blocks of nickel ores that look like malachite. In the showcase, this same ore, under the name of Noumeïte, is cut into green cabochons which are in green colour what turquoise cabochons are in blue. The reduced metal is not in brines, but in large consolidated droplets, the largest of which are almost the size of a walnut; the metal deposited by electroplating gives metal objects a shiny and hardly oxidisable covering which protects them from deterioration. By means of this nickel and in various proportions, more or less white alloys are composed, on which silver is then electroplated.
"In the centre of the picture, Christofle has arranged the different states of a spoon and a fork before they are covered with silver. The Saint-Denis factory, where nickel is refined and cutlery metal is made, employs 345 of the 1,320 workers employed in Christofle's factories.
"Pure molten nickel for anodes costs 14.50 francs a kilogram; the same pure metal in granules is worth 10.50 francs; alloyed with 50% copper, 6.40 francs.
"Let us note, in passing, the figure of 64,210,220 grams, approximately 65 tons of silver electrically deposited on the pieces manufactured by Christofle.
"If one enters the gallery of class 43, one is first struck by the installation of Messrs Letrange et Cie, whose factories in Saint-Denis and Romilly are justly famous. One recalls the magnificent installation made in 1867 by this important company, which had been allocated a very large site at the entrance to the Iéna vestibule.
"Limited this year by space, it had to be content with presenting generally reduced specimens of its numerous manufactures, shown at the Champ de Mars in the state in which they are delivered to the trade and without having undergone any additional work of exposure.
"Red copper in the rough, refined into slabs and ingots, rolled into boards and bars, forged and hammered into all forms: drawn into seamless tubes or drawn cylinders, into rods and stamped wires, worked in all ways; this exhibition is arranged around a large basin which attracts visitors from afar.
"Copper, alloyed with zinc and tin in the state of brass, bronze or half-red for jewellery, is exhibited in all the forms in which industry employs it; lead, rolled, drawn or embossed, forms tables, pipes, rods and wires for all the uses of this metal; Zinc can be found in ore, in new or remelted ingots, in sheets, in plates, in electric battery elements, in mechanically manufactured nails for lining and in most of the forms that this metal, so useful in modern industry, accepts from both the physical and chemical points of view.
"The annual production of the Letrange company is about twelve million kilograms.
"We find, at the same exhibitor, new applications of cupromanganese, whose white colour, instead of being close to grey like nickel alloys, is rather slightly pinkish. When introduced into brass, cupromanganese whitens its yellow tint and increases its hardness and toughness; when alloyed with copper, it produces a metal with a beautiful polish and a colour that varies from pink to white, depending on the quantity of manganese in the mixture.
"Next to it are the copper and brass wires produced by the factories of Mr. Mouchel, at Tillières and Boisthorel, wires which today play such an important role in electric telegraphy; for this latter use, it is essential that each millimetre of a long wire has exactly the same chemical proportion, the same diameter, the same weight. When hundreds and thousands of kilometres are involved, it is easy to understand how difficult it must be to manufacture. To show the degree of finesse to which his establishments can spin their brass, Mr. Mouchel put a real blonde wig made of metal hair on the head of a hairdresser's doll.
"In the middle of this room is the small temple erected by the Royal Asturian Company, which I thought was a Belgian company, although it has a very important establishment in France at Auby-lez-Douai; in this temple, in addition to statues and other objects made of molten zinc, the Royal Asturian Company exhibits zinc ores from its Réocin mines, situated in the Spanish province of Santander, raw zinc and sheets of laminated zinc; one of these, 8/10ths of a millimetre thick: In the centre is a painting on zinc plate.
"At the end of the gallery are the coppers, brasses and zincs of Messrs. Oesger and Mesdach, one of the most powerful and wise trading houses in the metals industry, whose main French factory is located at the end of the gallery.
Then comes a small square room, where space has been sparingly allotted to samples from the mines, quarries and salt mines of the French soil. Here are types of fat and lean coals, phosphates, plastic or refractory earths, ochres and blocks of rock salt, lithographic stones and, finally, everything that, on the surface or in the depths of our French soil, can be industrially used.
"In this same room are specimens, photographs, and watercolours showing the products and working methods of an already ancient manufacture, in a rudimentary state, but quite new as a major industry. This very interesting exhibition was put together by Mr. Ernest Borde, current director of the Blancs Minéraux factory in Meudon.
"Everyone knows these small friable cylinders sold under the name of blanc d'Espagne or blanc de Meudon, and used in domestic life for so many purposes; their material, a simple carbonate of pure lime, is today used by a large number of industries, either loyally, as in the production of carbonic acid for seltzer water, for the impastoing of mastics, rubbers, waxed cloths, bitumens; or for less avowable uses, of which the manufacturer himself must be ignorant.
"It is easy to understand, moreover, without enumerating them, what applications an absolutely white, odourless and tasteless body already has and may have in the future, which can be reduced to a powder as fine as the finest flours and the most impalpable powders, with which it can be mixed with impunity, because it is not toxic.
"The factory, which is situated in Meudon itself, has been set up with a real luxury of machines and appliances, which one may be surprised to find in a production which seems, at first sight, so simple; but the regrettable M. But the unfortunate Mr. Paul Borde, founder of the factory, had understood that the cheaper the material to be processed, the more labour
But the late Mr. Paul Borde, founder of the factory, had understood that the cheaper the material to be processed, the more labour had to be reduced, and he had spared nothing to achieve this result: driving machines, mixing mills, stirrers, automatic means of transport, drying tables, everything was executed on the latest model and in the most absolute perfection.
"In recent times, three continuous filter presses have been established in Meudon, based on the system of Mr. Tissot, built by Mr. Durenne, and which provide the greatest services for the rapid drying of pasta.
"We urge the industrialists who have seen this filter press at rest in the annex of the avenue de Labourdonnaye, to go and see it working industrially at the Meudon factory.
"With very slight modifications, this machine can be used in a large number of different industries, as a beet juice press, an oil press, and to a certain extent as a grape press, in short, whenever one has to express a liquid contained in excess in any body.
"It is, I believe, difficult to find a better instrument, when it has been adapted normally to each kind of production. Whenever it is possible to change an alternating effect into a continuous one, there is always a great advantage in doing so; for a long time the continuous filter press has been sought.
"On the shelves of the Société des blancs minéraux, we also find coloured pastes where the carbonate of lime is dyed in the tanks themselves. There is again a whole series of applications for different industrial operations for which the acquisition of cheap and fully prepared tons of coloured paste will constitute a great saving of money and time.
"Further on is the very interesting installation of the Japy company of Beaucourt. The movements of watches and clocks, the locksmith's trade, the hardware, the wood screws, the introduction of the anduze mills into domestic life, the small model of the worker's house, and above all what is not exhibited at the Champ de Mars, and what cannot be too much admired and spread, the worker's institutions which govern the numerous establishments founded by M. Adolphe Japy, had well deserved the high reward with which this industrialist was honoured.
"In the next room is the beautiful installation of the Société des usines à zinc du Midi, founded in the Hérault around 1870; it has established at Bousquet d'Orb, at the very entrance to one of the galleries of the Graissessac colliery, a considerable zinc smelter which is beginning to take on a great development since the difficulties inherent in the introduction, in France, of such a new and little-known industry have been overcome.
"The creation of this smelter, which also includes a rolling mill, has determined the discovery and facilitated the exploitation of considerable French metalliferous deposits, of which the exhibition of the Société du Midi gives samples not of a few kilograms, but of several tons. A block of blende, in one piece, cut at Les Avinières, near Le Vigan, measures more than a cubic metre. Calamines, blendes, galenes of great richness, raw zinc, zinc for art casting, rolled metal and repoussé demonstrate that France is as rich in ores and as skilled in metallurgy as Germany and Belgium.
"Further on, the eyes are drawn to the great pot containing four thousand litres of liquid that can be contained in only 1,300 kilograms of metal melted into cast iron by the great family of Rozière, near which the farmers, who have come in great numbers for the last two months to the Champ de Mars, are still crowding in front of the great panel covered with scythe blades by the Pont-Salomon steelworks.
"The metallurgists, the builders of wagons or artillery pieces have studied the dresser of M. Martin de Sireuil, the inventor of the famous Martin furnace, which has made as great a change in the fine steel industry as the Bessemer apparatus has in the manufacture of bulk steel and homogeneous irons.
"Blow-free cast steels, metal for compressed wheel tyres in the liquid state, hollow cast axle, breastplates, rifle barrels and all Mr. Martin's samples have been a good subject of study during the past few months.
"As novelties, we must point out the hollow and tube irons made by the house of Mignon et Rouart in their factory in Montluçon. Visitors will notice in particular a coil, made in one piece, 12 metres long and of equal diameter throughout and the large coil of 92 metres which surmounts the colonnade of large pipes erected in the middle of class 43.
"One cannot imagine the importance of our metal trade; thus, the tinplate industry produces an almost infinite number of various objects whose value reaches nearly one hundred million francs per year; the hardware industry and its derivatives transform each year three thousand tons of stamped and pressed irons, annealed sheet metal, enamelled cast iron, malleable cast iron, cremone bolts, locks, and hinges exported throughout the world.
"Without counting the large forges and construction workshops, in one department alone, that of the Ardennes, thirty thousand workers are employed in locksmithing products, in the manufacture of bolts and screws.
"Among the many French industries, none more than the metal industry should attract more attention from the government and the Chambers; none is more in need of well studied legislative provisions, of well conceived and above all soon executed economic means of transport.
RAW TIMBER. CUT AND PROCESSED TIMBER.
ANCILLARY FOREST PRODUCTS.
The class we are entering is very interesting and would provide material for long dissertations and in-depth studies, if one wanted to write a special and technical work.
For us, who are only passing through, we shall limit ourselves to pointing out to the reader the most curious of the samples exhibited, which will give him an idea of the thousand ways in which wood has been used today.
From the point of view of beauty and size, we know of nothing more remarkable than the magnificent block of oak wood exhibited by M. Relouze, in the park of the Champ de Mars, in front of the Military School.
We see in turn the wood reduced to sheets for parquet flooring, prepared for making brushes, arranged in handles for tools of all kinds.
Further on, we see bean stalks for paper-making, shapes, mouthpieces, boot boards, glove sticks, clogs, vats, broom handles and, finally, the entire forestry industry of the Vosges.
The other curiosities of the forestry industry can be found in the Trocadero Park, in the pavilions we have already visited.
HUNTING AND FISHING.
The products of hunting are furs and pelts, hair, pigs' bristles, hair and ivory.
Furs, it goes without saying, were the great attraction of this class.
There were crowds of people especially in front of the animals represented in natural size, in particular in front of the lion strangling a marcassin and attacked by a huge boa.
This dramatic scene attracted and held the crowd.
The French furriers can be pleased with themselves; their exhibition was far superior, not in raw material, but in execution, in elegance, in finish to the foreign exhibitions.
What could be more ravishing than this beautiful red velvet dress edged with sable marte? What could be more graceful than these flowers in furs? Another new fashion on the horizon.
Finally, let's note the insect repellent Vient, which is in its rightful place and seems to be the guardian of all these luxurious and expensive things.
The main products of the fishery are sponges and whalebone.
Sponges are a great import item and a source of considerable trade.
One of the most watched displays was that of Herbert and Co., which exhibited magnificent corals.
In the same class, in the second section, fishing and hunting gear is shown.
Hunting gear was poorly represented; only a small number of traps could be seen; fishing gear, on the other hand, was numerous and gave a very complete idea of the procedures used to catch the various types of fish.
The Moriceau house, the Trosseille house, had particularly remarkable shop windows in front of which all the amateurs stopped.
The class of non-food agricultural products included cotton, hemp and flax, cocoons, hops, tobacco, honey and wax, tannin, fodder.
We will not go into the details of these various exhibitions; we have already spoken of them on several occasions and, in assessing the object manufactured, we have already spoken of the raw material, its origin and its applications.
We have already spoken a little about the handling of tobacco, when we visited their pavilion in the park of the Champ de Mars; the reader will allow us, however, to return to this subject and to emphasize some interesting details.
One of the most curious machines in the tobacco pavilion, and therefore one of the most crowded, was the cigarette-making machine.
Once the tobacco had been packed by the worker, in a sort of gutter within reach of the machine, the end of a huge roll of fine paper was presented to this machine.
It immediately seizes it, cuts it at the desired point, fills the narrow sheet with tobacco, rolls it, closes it at one end and throws it through a tube into a basket arranged to receive it.
After that there is the machine for checking the weight of the tobacco packets. The packets, prepared by another machine, with a water column, are presented to this one: it seizes them by means of a claw and places them on a scale which, if they have the required weight, lets them fall back into a basket placed in the centre; if the packet is too heavy, the scale rejects it on the right; if it is too light, it rejects it on the left. This is the first time that this ingenious machine, of recent invention, has been shown at an exhibition.
Another machine allows only sufficiently fine grains to pass through the snuff and rejects the others to be handled again. Various operations, wetting, drying, etc., are carried out by hand, others by means of very elementary machines, which are consequently not very curious.
Opposite the gallery of working machines are exhibited scale models of the various machines used in the State's factories: mechanical washers, roasters, rolling mills, drying cylinders, grating, chopping and pressing machines, wringers, etc.
The chemical industry comprises a large number of branches which have no other links between them than those imposed by the chemist through his combinations.
Chemicals proper, colours, varnishes and glues, stearine and fats, soap and oils, processed products, pharmaceuticals, such are the five major divisions of chemicals.
The progress of chemical products is demonstrated by the enormous increase in the production of sulphuric acid, which in the space of ten years has risen by ten million and reached the enormous figure of 90 million kilograms.
Let us now turn to the application of chemicals and speak first of French and Italian varnishes; let us mention in the first line the exhibition of the Dugny factory.
Thanks to the improvements he has made in his method of manufacture, M. Rouquier-Millius, director of the factory, has finally succeeded in removing from our country the tribute it had long been paying to England.
After thorough studies on the various manufacturing processes, after tests made a hundred times and a hundred times over, where it was necessary to take into account the prices of the raw material, as well as the costs of labour and tools, he finally arrived, in 1874, at a complete result.
The varnish obtained was, after experience and comparison, more durable, as beautiful and much cheaper than the English varnish.
It was only then that the difficulties began and that it was necessary to fight against prevention and the spirit of routine; Mr. Rouquier-Millius did not escape this terrible pitfall, before which many others have succumbed.
Seeing the obstinacy with which the major railway companies refused to adopt his products, he had to offer to do the varnishing work on a certain number of wagons at his own expense, thus offering a reliable means of comparison.
The experiments lasted several years, at the end of which it was clear that Rouquier-Millius varnish was superior to English varnishes.
From then on, several companies used only this varnish, abandoning even the English super-fine varnish, which had until then seemed indispensable.
Such is the undeniable and important progress from the point of view of the national industry which has been achieved at the Dugny factory.
We will not return to the stearery or the soap factory, which we have already mentioned and which we have sufficiently indicated the method of manufacture and the progress made.
Before tackling the pharmaceutical products, we will ask the reader's permission to place before his eyes, concerning the chemical products, some extracts of a conference that Mr. Bertin, professor at the Polytechnic Association, made on the derivatives of coal, it is in the newspaper La France that we find these extracts:
"Starting with a piece of coal, Bertin successively reviewed the various products derived from it, to finally arrive at these rich colours which are used today to dye wool and silk. This industry is not more than twenty years old, and as it is interesting to know how a dress can be dyed blue, pink, purple or yellow with a lump of coal, we will follow, if you please, the speaker and see that in a lump of distilled coal, nothing, absolutely nothing, is lost.
"We already know that coal, when distilled, produces gas, ammonia water and tar in abundance as a residue of coke.
"We already know the use of gas.
"The coke is used for heating and sold directly to the consumer.
"The ammonia water and the tar remain, for a long time without use, encumbering the factories, and today sources of enormous wealth.
"Ammonia is extracted from ammonia water, which is frequently used in medicine; but, above all, it is used to form ammonia sulphate, which is used in agriculture as a fertiliser. This is the only ammoniacal salt whose use should be encouraged and which produces a truly useful effect on the land it is intended to amend.
"Tar is formed of hydrogen carbides, bases and acids in varying proportions; but, if distilled, it simply separates into light oils, heavy oils and pitch.
"The main use of pitch, a black, thick, shiny material, is to make agglomerates or briquettes. It is used as a cement to agglutinate all the parcels of coke that cannot be sold or burned, and which has long embarrassed the factories. The result is a fuel that gives a lot of heat, lights up quickly, is easy to store and is sought after for all these qualities.
"The heavy oils, left to themselves, at a slightly low temperature, allow the naphthalene to deposit, which is used in medicine and which can already provide a dye: Bismarck brown.
"Once the naphthalene has been removed, the heavy oils are used to inject wood. It is known that wood is made more durable by injecting into its cells an anti-rotting material that replaces the sap. It is hoped that heavy oils will make railway sleepers last as long as the steel rails they support.
"From heavy oils we obtain phenol or phenic acid, so used in medicine, and other products, the most remarkable of which is picric acid, a very energetic yellow dye, for 1 gram of picric acid is enough to dye a kilogram of silk.
"It is mainly from light oils that we obtain the dyes in abundance. It would be too long to enumerate all the processes followed, for each shade requires special practice; but, as all these colours are derived from Y aniline, we shall only see how it can be obtained.
"The light oils furnish a well-known material, benzine, whose services in the household are the lesser qualities. Benzine is used to dissolve rubber and gutta-percha, and consequently to obtain these materials in excessively thin layers. It is used to make paper transparent without making it greasy, and, finally, it forms nitro-benzine, which is used in common perfumery to replace bitter almond oil.
"Nitro-benzine, in its turn, provides aniline, which is a violent poison, but which, on its own, gives the whole range of colours, of incomparable purity and brilliance.
"We cannot too strongly urge readers who may be interested in these matters to visit the beautiful collection of aniline colours exhibited in the French section of the Exhibition, in the chemical products class.
"Finally, we would like to point out that these dyes are very easy to use, that it is sufficient to soak the fabric to be dyed in a hot solution of these colours, that they do not require any primer or mordant, and that in short, if they had always been known, the art of dyeing would never have existed.
"And all this is obtained with a piece of coal!
In dealing with the stearine and fatty substances, we forgot to mention the Arlot house, of Aubervilliers; it is one of the largest tallow factories.
Every day, forty of the company's cars collect from the 1,800 butchers of Paris and the suburbs something like seven to eight million kilograms of fat, waste, etc.
With these raw materials, Arlot manufactures one million kilograms of tallow each year, which it delivers to the soap factory and stearery, one million kilograms of household soap, and three million kilograms of fertilizer, which is much sought after by agriculture.
The main pharmaceutical products are: opium, cinchona, ipecacuana, senna, aloe, etc., not to mention secondary products such as vegetable alkaloids, salicylic acid, chloral, etc.
We will not return to the pavilion of mineral waters, which the reader will remember having visited at length and in detail.
We have now arrived at the chemical processes of bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing.
We borrow from the official document the very comprehensive and at the same time very concise definition it gave of these four industries:
"Bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing are four industries whose purpose is to appropriate for our uses textile materials, of animal or vegetable origin, which are very often used in their raw state. The factories where these operations are carried out generally work under contract.
"Bleaching rids fabrics of the fatty or resinous substances they contain.
"For animal fibres, degreasing is done by successive baths of soap and soda, and bleaching by sulphurous acid; for vegetable fibres, the resinous parts are attacked by lime leaching and bleaching is then done with chlorine.
In the case of vegetable fibres, the resinous parts are attacked by lime leaching and the bleaching is then carried out with chlorine. "The operations are doubled and the fabric is bleached with a mixture of blue and violet when it is to remain white and is not intended for printing.
"The fabric intended for dyeing must undergo the following operations:
"1. Screening. - The unbleached fabric, as it falls from the loom, is covered with a heavy down which is removed by passing the pieces either over a semicircular metal plate heated to red, or in a gas flame strongly activated by a current of compressed air.
"2° Disgorging. - After weaving, the fabrics are generally greasy and stained. They are purified by passing through hot water, soap and soda baths and rinsing. Thus disgorged, they are sent for dyeing.
"3° Dyeing. - Dyeing consists of an intimate combination of the dyeing material with the textile material that makes up the fabric. This combination does not always take place directly; it is necessary to have recourse to intermediate products, called mordants, which are generally salts of alumina, tin, iron or copper, to which acids and various other chemical products are added. The dyes form insoluble, wash-resistant lacquers with the mordants.
"The aim of the finishing process is to remove the hairs and fluff that are present in the fabric and that have been raised during the dyeing process. To achieve this result, a machine known as a clipper is used. After being subjected to the action of this machine, the fabric is lightly moistened with pure water or gummed water, and then dried by various processes that make it supple and firm.
"Printing. - The printer, like the dyer, uses dyes and mordants. The drawings are engraved on wooden plates or on copper cylinders.
copper cylinders. The colour-coated engravings are applied to the previously bleached and degreased fabric; this is what constitutes printing.
"The discovery of lacquer and madder extract, and the more recent discovery of artificial alizarin, have made it possible to print both madder and ordinary colours and to fix them by a single spraying.
The reader will be grateful to us for completing the information that we have just placed before his eyes.
M. Blanche, a manufacturer in Puteaux, has given a very complete lecture on this subject; we have borrowed the most interesting passages from the account of France:
"It is especially India, the country par excellence of dye plants, which can be considered as the cradle of the art of dyeing. Moreover, from the earliest times, the same methods were used as today, and Pliny, who has explained at length the way in which the ancient inhabitants of India went about obtaining the rich colours of their fabrics, has painted a picture which is still accurate today of the means used by the Indians.
"We will say a few words about the practices used; but before that, in order to clarify the question, we will establish some principles and develop some notions.
"We must not confuse colouring matters with coloured matters; the former are used in dyeing and the latter in painting. To be used, the former must be dissolved in water, in order to completely impregnate the fabrics they are to dye; the latter, on the contrary, must form a paste with oil, gum or water, which is removed with a brush, in order to fix it on the object to be painted. Finally, as a last distinction, the former do not hide the fabric they embellish, and the latter completely hide the wood, canvas, paper or whatever material they are applied to. It is also curious that some dyes do not have the shade they give to the fabric, and we will see a striking example of this with indigo.
"As the dyes are dissolved in water, it is not always enough to immerse the fabric in it to give it the desired colour. In this respect, there are enormous differences between textile products from plants, such as linen, hemp, jute and cotton, and those supplied by animals, such as silk, wool, horsehair and hair of all kinds. We can even use these differences to obtain effects and designs. Thus, for example, wool is very eager for colour; it easily takes on dye, and the workers accuse this property by saying that it is in love with it. Cotton, on the other hand, is difficult to hold. If, therefore, we make designs in a woollen fabric with cotton threads, and if we dip the whole in a madder bath, we shall have a red woollen background, on which the cotton threads which have not taken the dye will stand out in white.
From the earliest times, the Indians were concerned with dyeing cotton to make their admirable fabrics, Indian and Persian. For this purpose they invented the use of mordants, i.e. salts of various kinds which are impregnated into fabrics before dyeing them and which, without colouring them, make them suitable for retaining the dye, the shade of which they modify. The mordants are of several kinds: alumina salts give light shades and copper and iron salts give dark shades.
"Now, here is the admirable process that the Indians followed even in Pliny's time. They coated the fabric with mordant with a brush, the flowers and arabesques they wanted to decorate it with; they prepared their effects by varying the salts, - note that mordants are colourless, - and they then immersed the whole fabric in a dye bath.
The mordanted parts alone retained the colour and gave different shades according to the mordants used, although the dye bath was the same.
"It is still the same method that is followed today in India. And although we obtain in our factories more vivid colours than by this simple process, the talent of Indian artists and their sense of harmony are such that the effect they achieve is always superior to ours.
"In dyeing, there are only three colours from which all the others are derived, by mixtures in various proportions; they are: blue, red and yellow; and by following the history of one of them, one traverses the whole history of the art of dyeing.
"Let us take red as an example. The best known ancient red is purple, the secret of which has now been lost. It is said that a Phoenician, seeing his dog reddened by a shell he was eating on the shore, had the idea of making it. It is certain, in fact, that a shell of the genus murex was used to make it, and a purple factory and large deposits of these shells have been found at Pompeii.
"We must then come to the discovery of sorrel to note a salient fact. Lichens are a kind of moss; for what other name can be given to a plant that has, so to speak, no roots, no stems, no leaves and no flowers? Among other uses, sorrel is used today to colour Easter eggs or to redden the alcohol in thermometers. This remark will fix its nuance in the mind.
"Finally, in the fifteenth century, Gilles Gobelin set up a factory in Paris, on the banks of the Bièvre, to manufacture cochineal red. The cochineal is an exotic insect that lives on cacti. Only in 1630, under the powerful impetus of Colbert, was scarlet red discovered at G. Gobelin's factory. Finally, in 16S0, the Gobelins became national property, and the manufacture of tapestries was introduced. From that day on, this establishment entered the era of prosperity that has made its reputation universal.
"In 1690, an attempt was made to introduce the manufacture of Indian tapestries in France. But the processes used gave colours that were not very strong, and the complaints were so strong that this new industry had to be banned.
"The ban was maintained for more than sixty years. Only in 1758 a Swiss, Abraham Frey, who knew the world and knew the courtier's trade, offered Mmc de Pompadour a complete furnishing in Persian, hand-made in Corbeil. The gift was a pleasant one, and Abraham Frey soon obtained permission to found the first printing factory in France.
"The industry progressed steadily from that time onwards. Michel Haussmann then built a factory in Rouen for the production of Turkish red or Andrinople red, and finally, in 1759, Oberkampf established the factory in Jouy-en-Josas. At first he proceeded like the Indians, using brushes to apply the mordants; but he soon saw the immense future of this industry and invented rollers, which emboss the designs and print on the fabric the mordants with which they have been impregnated or the colours with which they are covered; in this way Oberkampf founded in France the real industry of dyeing and decorating fabrics.
"Finally, following the French Revolution, came the great pleiad of famous chemists, of whom an illustrious representative, M. Chevreul, is still alive today. The processes which had been handed down from age to age, without realising their value, were then studied and investigated one by one, and the result of this research, aided by the increasing progress of mechanics, was the magnificent development of this industry.
Immediately after this class, which is perhaps a little dry, we come to the leather gallery.
This gallery, we are forced to confess, did not inspire the public with the interest it deserved, it was absolutely deserted.
Yet it is one of our great national industries. The last official statement gives its export figure as - 116,661,016 francs.
On the other hand, the exhibition of the commercial ports, which we will take the reader to and whose complete visit will crown our account of French trade and industry, was full of visitors.
THE EXHIBITION OF OUR COMMERCIAL PORTS
This part of the Exhibition inspired a general interest, and there was never a shortage of visitors from the first to the last day.
Twelve ports were represented in the following order: Marseille, Bordeaux, Dieppe, Honfleur, Fécamp, Dunkirk, Paris, Rouen, Brest, Boulogne, Cette and Le Havre. It may be objected that Paris is not yet a seaport. One could almost reply to this objection that Paris receives English steamers from the Seine-et-Tamise Company, which everyone has seen or can see operating their cargoes at the port of Saint-Nicolas, opposite the Louvre; but a better reason for including it in this exhibition is that Paris is the real centre of our maritime trade, because it is the centre of the network of our great communication routes and the general warehouse of the ports.
Let us go through this interesting gallery.
Attached to the walls are plans, drawings, maps, and statistical tables showing the progressive movement of our maritime trade, the tonnage entering and leaving the country, and the number of sailing and steam ships that frequent the various ports. We also note two oil paintings representing a view of the lower Seine and the tidal bore at Quillebeuf before it was dammed up; these paintings appear in the Rouen section. As for the products, they retain here, as far as possible, their natural division into import products and export products, or, if one prefers, into inward and outward freight.
The first port to be offered is Marseille, the port of wheat.
Marseilles imports wheat from the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azof, etc. Its exhibition was necessarily very brilliant.
Its exhibition was necessarily very brilliant; one saw rice from Piedmont and India, pulses from Italy; coffee and cocoa from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, India, Haiti; oilseeds from the Levant, Spain, the coast of Africa, India: sesame, peanuts, colza, linseed, ravison, poppies, etc, raw sugar from the West Indies, Reunion, Brazil, Mauritius, Manila, Madras, Calcutta, wool from Algeria, the Levant and La Plata, cotton, silks and cocoons, lead from Sardinia and Spain; chemical products, drugstores, dyeing plants, tobacco, dried fruits, construction and dyeing wood; marble, bricks and tiles; preserves, wines, liquors, teas, spices; coal, mineral oils and colonial goods of all kinds, in a word.
Here is Bordeaux with its local wines for export and those of Spain for import; hides, skins, timber, oak casks, rice and spices from India, gums, tobacco and cigars.
Here are Dieppe, Fécamp, Dunkerque, Boulogne, Brest, with their important collection of fishing and sailing gear; sails, ropes, curious models of steamers, merchant ships and fishing boats; specimens of floors for ships, planed floors and stamps, and finally food preserves.
The Paris Chamber of Commerce has had the ingenious idea of drawing up a small map of Paris in relief, on which flags indicate the categories of industry: nothing is more graceful and at the same time more exact and clearer than the ensemble of all these houses, all these streets, all these avenues, all these squares, all these monuments so well in place.
©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878