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Section Internationale - Expo Liege 1905

Section Internationale at the Exhibition Expo Liege 1905

Among the many memberships that reached the Executive Committee were producers belonging to countries that had no official participation or in which it had not been possible to form unofficial organising committees.

The creation of an International Section offered the means of bringing together in a single group all these exhibitors, who were joined by some producers belonging to countries represented at the Exhibition, but who, for various reasons, could not be classified in the compartments reserved for their compatriots.

This was the case of The Belgian Trading Company, of Antwerp, which, being Belgian, could not be admitted to the Chinese section and whose products, being Chinese, could not be accepted in the Belgian section.

The Executive Committee placed Mr. Guérette-Douxchamps, Consul of Spain in Liege, at the head of the International Section as Commissioner General.

The Executive Committee's choice could not have been more judicious, especially as Mr. Guérette-Douxchamps was a veteran of the Exhibitions. He was, in fact Official Commissioner of the Belgian Government at the Barcelona, Liverpool and Chicago Exhibitions.

The distinguished Commissioner General had chosen as his collaborator Mr. Alfred Ancion-Van Put, Vice-Consul of Spain, in Liege, who had the title of Deputy Commissioner General of the International Section.

Thanks to the dedication and activity of these two personalities, who were assisted in their efforts by several Liège notabilities with connections abroad, as well as our diplomatic agents in the various countries, the International Section took on a very important character.

The efforts of the distinguished Commissioner General were mainly directed towards Spain. He succeeded in bringing about the creation of three propaganda committees in Spain, one of which, the one in Madrid, was particularly noteworthy.

On this occasion, special tribute should be paid to Baron Joostens, Belgium's Minister Plenipotentiary in Madrid, whose great influence was decisive in the circumstances. It is appropriate to add to this high personality Mr. Emilio Campion, engineer and Belgian Consul in Madrid, who was one of the promoters of the Spanish Commission of Propaganda in Spain.

The combined efforts of these high officials contributed to Spain being represented not only by various industrial exhibitors, but also by an unofficial Fine Arts Commission, which was subsidised by the Spanish Government and succeeded in bringing some good paintings of the contemporary Spanish school to the Palace of Fine Arts.

The Spanish Commission of Fine Arts had the honour of having as its president His Excellency Don Eduardo Vincenti y Régnera, alcade of Madrid and, since 1885, deputy to the Cortes for Pontevedra.

Distinguished writer, president of the Madrid Circle of Fine Arts, former director general of the Department of Fine Arts, H. E. Don Eduardo Vincenti y Régnera added to his high qualities a very sure knowledge of Spanish art and its main representatives.

S. E. Don Eduardo Vincenti y Régnera was awarded the Grand Cordon of Villa Vicioza de Portugal.

The honorary vice-presidency of the same Commission was given to Mr. Emilio Campion, Consul of Belgium in Madrid, whose collaboration in this matter is well known. Finally, wishing to give Mr. Guérette-Douxchampis a high mark of the esteem in which he held his efforts, the Spanish Government appointed him General Commissioner of this Spanish section of Fine Arts, of which he had been the promoter, Mr. Paul Douxchamps was chosen as secretary of this special Commission.

The International Section, located between the Italian section and the ramp leading to the Exhibition station, occupied a bay 42.50 metres long and 15 metres wide, i.e. a surface area of 637.50 square metres.

The need to create a central path in the middle of this gallery, so as not to conceal the entrance to the Dominican Section, located at the back of the International Section, reduced the usable area to 492 square metres.

The appearance of the International Section was well suited to capture and hold the visitor's attention.
the visitor's attention.

On the old green pediment of the façade, above a large banner bearing the inscription: International Section, a large cluster of flags united the flags of all the nations represented in the Section.

Posters of brutal colour, giving a good idea of southern enthusiasm, evoked the bullfights of Seville and various Spanish cities; the eye was then drawn to displays of trinkets of real artistic value, such as the jewels of Eibar and San Sebastian made of steel inlaid with gold, so well worked; by lace of ravishing finesse, most of which came from Barcelona, by bronzes and silks from Bombay, by perfumes and vases from Monaco, by artistic jewellery from Norwegia, superb translucent enamels on a gold and silver background, by old Norwegian silverware, delicious in its hues and forms.

These variously delicious hues caught the eye and were of great interest to visitors, while here and there, scientific and industrial exhibits were offered more particularly to the attention of technicians.

The exhibitors in the International Section were from the following countries: Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Brazil, Romania, Monaco, India, Egypt, Republic of Cuba, Argentine Republic, China and Mexico.

Let's take a quick look at the main products exhibited in the twelve compartments of the Section.


Of the nations in the International Section, Spain, as we have already said, was the most heavily represented, both in terms of the surface area occupied and the number of exhibitors. It was this fact that prompted the Commissioner General to place the Spanish stands at the head of the Section.

At the entrance to the Section, on the left, was the luxurious stand of the "Union Espanola de Explosivos", a company with a capital of 25,000,000 francs, formed in part by Belgians, and operating a Spanish State monopoly. The façade of the stand was composed of a beautiful series of Louis XVI arcades, white and gold.

Inside the stand, there were relief plans of the different factories of this important Spanish company, samples of all its products and models of some of the appliances it uses.

Next to it were artistically displayed Spanish lace.

Then came the exhibitors from the islands of Malorca, represented by their fine embroidery.

The Palos house, from Palma, exhibited beautiful lingerie trousseaux.

The jewellery, known as "Spanish", was displayed in two elegant and beautifully designed installations by Mr Lopez and Mr Eguiazu.

These jewels, inlaid with gold wire in steel, are very artistic and highly sought after. Alongside pins and brooches, there were vases worth 10,000 francs and dishes worth 20,000 francs, of absolutely remarkable workmanship.

The waters of Solarès, in Santander, had an important and very pretty pavilion, where they exhibited a table water and photographs of their magnificent bathing establishment.

From this product of the earth, we moved on to another product of no less importance, coal, of which the Puertollano collieries, directed by one of our fellow citizens, Mr. Lafleur René, exhibited a block measuring 2 metres by 0.70 metres and weighing 2,100 kilos. This coal was extracted from a layer 2.80 metres thick.

The latter stand also displayed a collection of silver lead ores and ingots.

The Jerez de la Frontera Water Company exhibited a tube from its pipeline, which intrigued many people. In fact, the tube presented a scientific problem, interesting to solve; the water that has passed through the pipe for 35 years has left a stony deposit of about three centimetres in the tubes; it is this deposit that must be removed. This is the problem.

Then came the Spanish wines, widely represented by the shipments of many winegrowers.

Mr. Sanguineti's beautiful gold and black pavilion was by far the most important and the most beautiful, with its copper columns framing a luxurious red carpet.

The stands of Messrs Guisande, Ventaso, Egéa and Dignan de Vigo were also worth mentioning, as well as the elegant installation of the "Compagnie Hollandesa Espanola", which presented superior quality sweet wines.

The production of canned food brought together a large group of manufacturers from Vigo and the surrounding area.

Finally, the graceful pavilion of Mr. Gilles, the important manufacturer of preserves from Alicante, attracted attention for its originality.

Further on, three of Barcelona's most important companies represented the piano industry.

The house of Estela, the oldest piano factory in Spain, founded in 1830 by Mr. Boisselot and continued by Mrs. Pierre Estela's widow, presented itself first.

This firm, which built the 25,630th piano in its factory and whose trade extends as far as the Far East and America, exhibited models of study pianos with vertical strings, an iron frame and a grand piano.

The Chassaigne company, one of the most important in Spain, presented three beautiful pianos: a grand, a quarter-top and an upright; finally, Messrs. Ortiz and Cusso exhibited an upright piano and two grand pianos to complete this special exhibition.

The important lithography workshop of Mr. Ortéga, a renowned artist in Spain, was responsible for posters of remarkable design and workmanship, and a collection of painted silk posters, which are truly charming and whose evocative power we mentioned earlier.

Then came the "Suizo-Espanola" establishments, presenting, in an elegant stand lined with green plants, all the equipment required for the installation of a carbonated water factory.

The main machine, the one that saturates the liquid with carbonic acid, was of a new system. Instead of saturating the liquid by beating in a vessel containing carbonic acid, or by lowering it into a tower containing coke, the water is pulverised and thus divided and introduced into a cylinder containing carbonic acid.

This new arrangement is said to allow a much more complete saturation, the carbonic acid being automatically renewed in the bell as it is absorbed.

This machine allows the bottles to be filled at a much lower pressure than that required by other systems.

The saturation of liquids by means of this machine comes very close to the perfect execution obtained in laboratories.

The saturator being connected to the carbonic acid tube, the gas absorbed by the liquid is automatically replaced and the pressure regulator applied to the tube, maintains the same pressure to the liquid and saturates it constantly to the same degree.

The outlet taps are ingeniously placed so that two siphons, or four bottles, can be continuously filled.

These devices are interchangeable and can be changed in a few minutes.

Finally, let us say that a sparkling water factory, with machines from Suizo-Espanola, occupies only two metres and can produce 4,000 bottles per ten-hour day.

Various publications, of different orders and merits, completed the Spanish exhibition: they related to medicine, logic, accountancy, history and geography, aerial navigation, pedagogy and educational psychology.


In this compartment, we first encountered the Danish motorbike, the "Elleham" system, exhibited by the Copenhagen Patent Bank.

This motorbike, weighing 55 kilos and capable of running 30 and 40 kilometres an hour uphill and 60 kilometres on flat ground, had various advantages, including the simplicity of the mechanism and a very high degree of stability, due to the position of the petrol tank, which, unlike other motorbikes, is under the passenger's feet.

In the same order of products, the grease nipples of Mr. Henriksen of Copenhagen, of great reputation, were also noted.

But the specialists in the Danish section were particularly interested in a new industry that has a great future, not only in Denmark, but also worldwide: regenerated rubber.

In a separate display case, there was a collection of pieces of reclaimed rubber and various objects made of this product.

With rubber consumption increasing year by year and production not growing at the same rate, it is of utmost importance to find raw material elsewhere than in the new plantations.

The regenerated rubber industry, using Mr Albert Theilgaard's process, is the solution to a problem that we have been trying to solve industrially for the last ten years.

Next came the exhibition on the manufacture of cryolite.

Although processes for the extraction of aluminium from cryolite have been known for about 45 years, they have only been used on a large scale for the last 25 years.

Especially since the application of the electrolytic method of Herault, this industry has been spreading in Austria, France and Switzerland.

Since 1880, cryolite has also been widely used in the opal glass and enamel industries.

All factories in these countries process Oresunds cryolite.

Germany and Belgium use this Danish product, which has produced excellent and beautiful products.

Cryolite is used at a rate of 10 per cent in the manufacture of opal glass. This double fluoride is also used advantageously as a flux in the enamelled iron industry; this flux is highly esteemed, because it replaces the ordinary fluxes based on lead and tin.

The Oresunds Kemische Fabriker exhibited these products, the importance of which is shown by the above explanations.

Mr. Nathanson, of Copenhagen, concluded the series of Danish exhibitors by showing an electric thermophore, an apparatus used to heat beds and warm rheumatic limbs and employed in this capacity in hospitals, boarding schools, institutes, etc., in Denmark.


Norway exhibited its national products both in a pavilion in the gardens and in the International Section.

The Norwegian compartment of the International Section consisted of all the exhibitors imported in their respective industries.

The main exhibitors were Hammer from Bergen, Heffermehl, Nyegaard and C° from Christiania and Trandhjem.

The Hammer company, founded in 1812 by the grandfather of the present owner, has developed considerably since 1870.

The objects manufactured are objects for everyday use, such as tableware, vases, decorated or plain planters.

Its specialities are objects in complete or partial filigree and jewellery in translucent enamel on plain or engraved backgrounds.

Among the objects exhibited by her in the International Section were a green enamelled tea service with cloisonné ornaments, a small jardinière in the form of an antique
A small jardinière in the shape of an old warship, decorated with superb transparent enamels burnt in a high fire. A cup decorated with goat-leaves was also highly regarded.

Alongside these important pieces, brooches, necklaces, buckles, buttons, pins, very beautiful silverware, including a large horn, mounted in repoussé silver, chased in Roman style.

Mr. Hammer's work is not only appreciated by the layman, but also by the strict museum curators.

The Cari Heffermehl body shop, established in 1843 by the father of the present chief, exhibited beautiful sleds of various sizes, very elegant and much admired.

The house of Nyegaard presented to the specialists a remarkably pure Syrupus liyphorphitis Otto, prepared in the laboratories of Mr. Otto Oslebye, and widely prescribed by Norwegian physicians.

The powerful Norske Hesteskosomfabrik, of Christiania, exhibited one of the specialities of Norwegia, nails which are manufactured by the millions in that country.

The match industry does not only belong to Sweden, but also to Norway; the Jolsenstoendstikfabrik, established in Enebak in 1873, displayed its products here. This factory exports millions of sulphur and safety matches, called Swedish matches, which are sold in all the countries of the world and for a large part in the English colonies.

Finally, Mr. Klingenberg Ingvar, one of the largest exporters of dried fish in Norway, exhibited a series of different samples of all kinds of dried fish in a high pyramid topped by an eagle.

Next, a series of countries were presented, whose exhibitors were mostly grouped in a single showcase. We shall mention:


whose five exhibitors showed us fine and ordinary wines, high quality candied fruit and various other similar products.


Exhibitors from this country presented coffees, candied fruits and liqueurs.


Eighteen cigar manufacturers from Cuba formed a fine group displaying a collection of cigars at a wide range of prices.

Among them was The Castaneda Cigar factories Limited, which displayed a wide variety of Havana cigars in a large marquetry cabinet.

A Cuban distillery exhibited various fine liquors.


was exhibiting sterilised flour and milk from a major factory; its herd comprises 30,000 head of cattle.


Egypt was represented by a group of twelve sugar factories exhibiting various beet and cane sugars, including Champagne sugars.


The industry of this principality was represented by a series of various perfumes, olive wood objects, pottery and very original jewellery.


A photo artist from Guadaljara exhibited a dozen photographs of artistic beauty and superior finish.


The exhibits were ores, building stones, paving stones, coals, graphite and slate.

The plans and views were also those of the splendid Bilesco park in the town of Craiova.

The major works carried out in Craiova by the town council have transformed the town and made it healthier.

Promenades, squares, parks, public gardens and avenues now replace the old gypsy quarters.

Romania also had an important pavilion in the gardens dedicated to the oil industry.


The Belgian Trading Company Limited, a Belgian company exporting Chinese products, also exhibited in the International Section.

This company, not being Chinese, was unable to exhibit in the China section.

The objects presented were not Belgian and could not be accepted by the Commissioner General of the Belgian section.

These special conditions determined this exhibitor to appear in the International Section, of which he was one of the curiosities.


In a pavilion of 36 square metres, various silks and bronzes from Bombay were displayed, as well as Indian fabrics from different sources.

This installation completed the International Section and formed a picturesque corner of it all.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Liège 1905