International Exposition of Paris 1867

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

April 1, 1867 - November 3, 1867


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Chemical arts

manque image

The scene changes, and it is now the equipment of the chemical arts that we have before us. The testing laboratory, the soap, candle, rubber, petrol and varnish, chemical and pharmaceutical factories, the gasworks, the tobacco factories, the laundries, the glassworks, the tanneries and the electroplating factories have brought their machines, apparatus and utensils, As for the others, they have had to be relegated for safety and hygiene reasons either to the park under the shelter of isolated pavilions, or to a pavilion on the bank where you will see the highest temperatures that science has been able to produce and industry to use.

On the right, leaning against the wall of the gallery, you have the exhibition of portable gas, an interesting industry which has managed to maintain itself, despite the competition of its powerful rival, current gas. Nearby, a showcase, as rich as a goldsmith's, displays admirable platinum utensils, including two enormous stills, magnesium in the form of wires and ribbons designed to produce, by their combustion, that dazzling light, as pure as day, which is one of the most recent conquests of science and which, in all appearance, will enter domestic practice before electric light. Next to this, the products of the rubber factories, arranged in an immense array, show you all that we know how to do today with a substance which we have so recently learned to use, and which, unused in our childhood, is already one of those we can no longer do without.

On the right, opposite, therefore, are exposed the terracotta appliances. Next to them is an ingenious electroplating apparatus which automatically interrupts the electric current as soon as the metal deposited on the parts being made has reached the thickness and weight that we want to give it.

In the middle of the gallery, powerful forge bellows attract our attention by their humming; a sheet of paper approaching their mouth is carried away like a projectile by the breath that escapes from them: an experience often repeated by the exhibitor. These metal vats, pierced with a multitude of small holes and placed inside full vats, are spin-dryers; animated by a rapid rotation movement, they soon rid the wet linen placed inside them of its humidity. - This long machine, if it comes out of its rest, which I hope it will, will make you witness the numerous and interesting operations which transform tallow into that humble and precious product: candle. - This is a machine used to extract the iron filings from copper turnings: a simple vertical wheel, above a sieve. The rim of the wheel is made up of a number of electromagnets, from the sieve the filings flow onto the wheel. The wheel, in its downward movement, drops the copper filings into a special compartment and, in the other part of its movement, allows itself to be stripped of the iron filings that collect in another compartment by the friction of a brush that is stronger than the magnetic attraction. Not far from there is the material for a new method of bleaching yarns, fibres and fabrics of vegetable and animal origin by permanganates; this brand new industry full of future has as its creators the famous glassmakers of Metz: Messrs Tessié Du Motay and Maréchal. - You cannot fail to find out the purpose of these large copper apparatuses of such a beautiful polish, which rise almost halfway up the gallery; they are used for the distillation and rectification of alcohols, which they allow to be carried out on the spot: this is of great value to the agricultural industry.

At this point, we see, for the first time, the platform on which we are walking, widening to form on our right a large square landing; this first landing is occupied by large and beautiful sugar mill machinery, among which we distinguish a three-cylinder cane mill, equipped with its engine and transmission.

©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée