International Exposition of Paris 1867

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

April 1, 1867 - November 3, 1867


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Chalet Kæffer

Chalet Kæffer at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1867

The Napoleonic Code has just received, at the Exhibition of 1867, an attack which was certainly very unexpected. It was at least unnecessary, until now, to have studied the origins of law, like the Demolombe, the Toullier, the Zachariæ, and to have commented on the Institutes of Justinian or the Reasons of Locré, in order to know that a house is an immovable, and our revered master, M. Rugnet, would never have asked this question to even the most naive student, 'Is a house immovable by nature or by destination? "

Well, here is a recent invention that has shaken the most well-founded convictions and formally refutes article 518, which states quite peremptorily: "Land and buildings are immovable by nature. "Indeed, a house is no longer, as it was for our fathers, a massive construction, held to the ground by powerful attachments, forming a body with it, and participating in its nature; it is a game of patience, to be assembled and disassembled at will, and which the whim of its owner transports, at his will, from the mountains to the plains as easily as trunks or boxes.

You have, at the Champ de Mars, a very pretty specimen of these portable constructions. It is the large chalet which almost touches the chalet of the Commission and in which musical instruments have been exhibited. M. Kaeffer, the builder of this elegant house, has endeavoured to meet the indispensable conditions of solidity and comfort. In addition, the many visitors who visited this pavilion were able to ensure that it was completely safe.

This problem has been solved. The house becomes a piece of furniture, like a folding chair or a stool. In the spring, you dismantle your house, put it on the railway, and install it on the banks of the lake of Enghien. At the first breezes of autumn, you pack up and take your building back to Paris. At the same time, you eliminate the problems of the neighbourhood, if you are stable, and the hotels and their accessories, if you travel. Everywhere you are at home.

It all sounds like a joke. Well, talk to Mr. Kaeffer. The honourable builder will tell you that for 25,000 francs, he will take care of bringing to your home and rebuilding the chalet that he exhibits at the Champ de Mars. This ingenious construction deserved, it seems, a reward. So the jury, composed probably of owners from whom this innovation can take away tenants, hastened to give Mr. Kæffer an honourable mention which this exhibitor hastened to refuse, for which I am far from blaming him.

©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée