International Exposition of Paris 1867

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

April 1, 1867 - November 3, 1867

Back - List of Pavilions


Germany at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1867

We will not make special chapters for these small Germanic states, which at the time of writing have little more than a diplomatic existence.

Bavaria has won, in the person of Messrs Koenig and Bauer, the gold medal for a press that prints simultaneously in two colours. Without leaving the same cylinder, the sheet passes successively over two mutually complementary forms, coated with different inks by two groups of rollers.
A second gold medal was awarded to the railway boat bridge built on the Rhine, not far from Carlsrube, which we believe is the first of its kind. Thirty-four boats, moored side by side, support the deck and rails over the swift river. Without seeming to touch it, the placid Germans were the first to dare to launch a locomotive over a bridge of boats, subject to all the vagaries of the floods. The model, which floats on real water, is extremely curious and well made.

In addition, many procedures are used to get convoys across the Rhine. In Kehl, Cologne, and Coblence, monumental bridges have been built; elsewhere the rails run right up to the bank, and the wagons are loaded onto immense steam ferries which pass them from one bank to the other.

The capital consignment from Württemberg is the wood-paper machine; this paper is coarse, but at last, in the midst of the rag shortage, it arrives like manna in the desert, and we regret that this vast apparatus is placed in the Park, outside the gallery which we must confine ourselves to describing.

Baden has woodworking machines worthy of examination, and Hesse has machine tools, executed with particular care in the numerous workshops in Darmstadt.

But the prize goes to Royal Saxony, the California of Europe, the land of inexhaustible mines from which all metals are extracted, from bismuth to gold, from silver to that rare indium now worth 36,000 francs a kilogram, of which Saxony has sent two ingots.

There are no larger factories in England than those of two Chemnitz industrialists, Richard Hartmann and J. Zimmermann. Both were awarded the gold medal; the former for his flax spinning machines, an honour he shared only with the Englishman Lawson, the latter for his machine tools.
Mr. Zimmermann and a few other manufacturers presented elliptical gear wheels, the more than difficult manufacture of which, nowadays carried out everywhere, testifies to recent progress in mechanics.

Certain instruments characterise the peoples who imagine them. Prussia exhibits a beer vat, but a vat which is to other vats what the fifty-thousand-kilo cannon is to vulgar artillery; it is a steam engine which brews the malt in this vat à la Bismark.

Messrs. Otto and Langen won the gold medal for their gas machine, and could not fail to get it, for their machine is one of the few completely new inventions revealed by the Exhibition. Experimentally, according to the tests, the results would be very brilliant, since the machine hardly consumes, at equal force, more than a third of the gas burned in the engines of Lenoir and Hugon. But, in practice, will the results be the same? The numerous and rather complicated gears will absorb all the more force as they will be less well maintained, and their repair will be difficult and costly. Moreover, the machine is intended for use in inhabited places, and the noise it makes would make it entirely unsuitable for this purpose. It is fair to add that the inventors claim that this serious defect is peculiar to the device on display.

In any case, the Otto engine is based both on the principle of single-acting vertical machines and on that of clockwork movements with weights; but the effort of the hand that pulls up the weight is replaced by that of the expansion of a mixture of air and gas ignited by a nozzle. The piston, which is very heavy, after having been raised by the explosion, descends by its own weight increased by the atmospheric pressure, and communicates the movement to the apparatus.

Finally, let us talk about the ring furnace which was awarded the grand prize. Invented by Mr. Hoffmann of Berlin, the ring kiln is intended for the continuous firing of bricks, pottery, lime, etc.

In order to obtain a continuous firing and un-firing, Mr. Hoffmann moves the fire and makes the hearth successively go around the whole circumference of the ring kiln. The current of air that feeds the fire enters through the doors used for loading and unloading, travels through the first half of the kiln taking away from the fired objects the heat they had retained, brings this heat back to the fire, crosses the second half heating the objects to be fired little by little by giving up the heat carried by it, and finally exits through the chimney close to its point of entry after having gone around the ring.
In this way the section where the big fire was the day before is still red, the one where it will be tomorrow is already red.

The heating and cooling is gradual and the pottery is well fired.

As the fire slowly goes around the ring, the repairs do not stop the work.

The fuel is poured into a very hot space and ignites immediately, regardless of its quality. The air being heated to the red temperature, burns all gases, and no smoke is produced. The caloric is so completely used that more than two thirds of the fuel used by other furnaces is saved.

We have not mentioned in its natural place, in the English section, the Siemens regenerated-heat gas furnace, which also won the grand prize, because it seemed more logical to us to relate it to the Hoffmann furnace, which has a more special use and a simpler construction, but which is also regenerated heat.

The gas of the Siemens furnace is produced by the decomposition of water in contact with the incandescent coal; it consists of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, i.e. of gases whose blue flame everyone has observed above the stoves. After combustion, the exhausted but hot gases deposit their heat in a brick regenerator. Later the hot gases are directed into another regenerator, which they heat up, and meanwhile the air and water gas are directed into the hot regenerator, remove their caloric content, and, being strongly heated, mix and burn under the most favourable conditions. All the advantages are combined: saving of fuel, absence of smoke, rise in temperature, pure and clear flame.

Today, moreover, and this is one of the great results of the Exhibition, we have completely mastered a difficulty that was once considered insurmountable; we know, in almost all cases, how to feed a furnace without producing sooty gas. The proverb has ceased to be true, smoke is no longer the inseparable companion of fire.

©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée