A glance at this little showcase set against the right-hand wall, and a thought of esteem and sympathy for the man who exhibits it. He is one of those to whom the textile industry in France owes the most; he is M. Alcan, professor of spinning and weaving at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. In him, the man is at the level of the scientist.
The son of a soldier of the Republic, employed as a child in the fields, later an apprentice in Nancy, he robbed sleep of the hours he devoted to study.
The Société des amis du travail rewarded his studiousness with a medal. In 1830, he was in Paris on the barricades. The Awards Commission called him before it: "What can we do for you? - I only ask you for instruction. "He was given the cross. He was 19 years old. Soon afterwards he passed his examination at the Ecole Centrale. Three years later he graduated as an engineer. To complete his studies, he undertook a tour of France, on foot, with a bag on his back. Once in Elbeuf, he founded free courses for workers; he remembered what he had been. At the same time, he multiplied his discoveries, especially in perfecting the weaving process. The Société d'émulation de Rouen, the Société industrielle de Mulhouse, the juries of our national exhibitions awarded him honorary prizes. In 1845 he was appointed professor of spinning and weaving. Three years later, the department of Eure sent him to the National Assembly, where he usually voted with the left. When the legislature ended, he returned to his fruitful work. The showcase here contains the last two works of Mr. Alcan: a Treatise on the work of wools and a Complete Treatise on the spinning of cotton. Below is placed the apparatus known in the industry under the name of the Alcan experimenter and designated by the inventor under the name of phroso-dynamic, an apparatus which serves both to determine the elasticity and tenacity of yarns of all kinds, as a sizing meter, and to determine the most suitable angle of twist in all cases that may arise.
©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée