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French Colonial Houses - Expo Liege 1905

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In addition to its superb pavilions grouping, with a judicious classification, the various products they represented and the Colonial Office synthesising the great central movement of the Colonial Administration, the French Colonial Exhibition would not have been complete if, alongside these elements, France had not shown types of colonial houses.

The ingenuity of these dwellings consists in the fact that, made up of numbered assemblies, they can be built in a few days, or even, as in the case of the smallest, in a few hours. However, in spite of their small size, they are convenient and their interior layout is judiciously adapted to the needs of the climate and to the need for the settler to find in them a safe haven to defend himself against any unexpected attack.

The interior rooms are furnished with light seats; there are beds with mosquito nets, collections of the medicines most frequently used in exotic countries, in a word, everything that any settler should generally have on hand.

At the Exhibition, these colonial houses were three in number. Two of them, located near the French Possessions in Asia pavilion, housed the Colonial Press Union and the office of the Colonial Commissariat.
The third colonial dwelling, of larger dimensions, was built on the grassy bank of the lake, whose waters, on the opposite side, reflected the large white flag of the French Possessions in West Africa. Three men could build this slightly elevated wooden house in three days, surrounded by a covered gallery.

This rather rustic-looking house housed, in its interior rooms, the Health Service's exhibition and the French Guiana's participation.

With graphics and brochures, the Health Service documented the state of health in the various colonies and the progress made in these possessions by reasoned hygiene based on the results of experience and major sanitation work.

The installation of hospitals or infirmaries in the colonies was still in place.

As for French Guiana, this colony was represented by samples of guaiac wood, ebony, ironwood and mahogany, vanilla and spices. The absence of labour, due to the false reputation of insalubrity and infertility of Guiana, leaves these plant resources almost completely unexploited; gold alone constitutes almost all of Guiana's exploitation.

The samples of plant products exhibited in the pavilion along with statistics will have allowed us to be convinced of the contrary.

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