CHEMICAL ARTS - PHARMACY - PERFUMERY.
CLASSES 87 AND 90.
The Belgian exhibitors of class 87: Chemical and Pharmaceutical Arts and those of class 90: Perfumery, having got together, decided to organise, at joint expense, the installation and decoration of a special showroom to receive their products, which would thus be presented to the public in much more favourable conditions than in previous exhibitions. For the first time in Belgium, instead of having their showcases scattered without order, the participants had the good idea of getting together and thus the Collectivité des Industries Chimiques was formed, which, to the great satisfaction of all, centralised all the efforts and gave full satisfaction.
For reasons of location, the paper manufacturers also joined the chemical industries, and the governing board of this Collective was formed by Messrs Fr. De Walque, of Louvain, president; L. Laoureux, of Liège, secretary; Th. De Malte, of Liège, treasurer, to whom were added, as vice-presidents: Messrs Alf.
Derneville, Ach. Jonas and J. Chandelon, of Brussels.
Alas, two of these devoted collaborators, Messrs. De Malte and Chandelon, are no longer with us, and in recalling all the services they rendered to the community, we bid them a moving and supreme farewell.
The Commissariat of the Exhibition, which had been asked for 800 square metres of space, was only able to give us 640 square metres to set up the windows of the 69 exhibitors we had to place and the four paper manufacturers who had joined our participants.
Despite the small size of the site at our disposal, we managed to install all our exhibitors in fairly good conditions. However, a number of exhibitors were in separate pavilions and some in other compartments.
Let us review the main industries, focusing on those that were awarded the Grand Prix or are of particular interest.
Sulphur industry. - Only one exhibitor, Messrs. Koch and Reis, of Antwerp, showed the products of refining raw sulphur from Sicily; sulphur in barrels and in loaves, absolutely free of arsenic and sulphur in flower of ordinary or extra-fine quality required for the manufacture of rubber. Very important improvements have been made by this important company in the layout of the condensation chambers and distillation retorts. The turnover of this firm is 2,225,000 francs. It was awarded the grand prize.
Soda industry. - MM. Solvay et Cie, who were the first to manufacture ammonia soda industrially in the Couillet factory, now use their processes in most industrial countries and produce 1,200,000 tonnes of soda ash annually. In a pavilion set up in the gardens were displayed the remarkable products of this manufacture from the Belgian and French factories, as well as detailed information on the social welfare institutions, which provide not only medical and other assistance in the event of sickness or an accident at work, but also old-age pensions for its workers.
This firm, it is easy to see, won the grand prize right away.
Sulphuric and other acids and fertilisers industry. - The manufacture of sulphuric acid, which is so important in our country, could have been better represented and we do not have to mention any great prize here; however, we should mention the very interesting exhibition of the Société anonyme des Engrais concentrés d'Engis, with its fertilisers with a high phosphoric acid content and its liquid phosphoric acid, which was awarded the diploma of honour. We should also mention the firm Verstraete, from Ghent, with its sulphuric acids, etc., and its copper sulphate, and the firm Lekeu et Cie, from Liège, with various products that were awarded the gold medal.
Refractory Products Industry. - This industry, whose products are so necessary to the chemical and metallurgical industries, occupied a large place in our compartment and we must mention, with the same words of praise, the products exhibited by the firms "Société anonyme des Terres plastiques et Produits réfractaires d'Andenne" and the "Société des Produits réfractaires et Terres plastiques de
Seilles-Andenne". Their products, both refractory bricks and porcelain stoneware cylinders and coils, were able to satisfy even the most demanding customers. Both were awarded the grand prize.
Next to them was the exhibition, out of competition, of Mrs. L. Escoyez's widow, in Tertre, with products similar to the previous ones and factory paving or relief slabs for chimney bottoms, all products whose reputation is well established.
Manufacture of candles. - This manufacture has been practised for a long time in Belgium; it could not be better represented in Liege, by the three most important firms: the oldest of our factories, the Royal Manufacture of Candles of the Court, in Brussels, founded in 1835, employs 300 workers and its annual products reach a value of 4,000,000 francs.
The Royal Candle Factory De Roubaix, Oedenkoven et Cie, in Antwerp, founded in 1852, has 550 workers and its annual production is worth 10 million francs.
Finally, the Société anonyme de la Stéarinerie H. Bollinckx, of Brussels, was founded in 1872 and has 175 workers.
The candles are mostly exported. They are manufactured with the greatest care.
Industries for the distillation of petroleum products and coal tar.
The manufacturing of this category has acquired a considerable and daily growing importance. The firm of G. Rayemackers et Cie was one of the first to work with the residues from the refining of crude oil to obtain petroleum jelly, petroleum jelly oils and lubricating oils for steam and gas engines.
Wasserfuhr et Cie, of Haren, founded in 1890, also showed similar products, extra-fine petroleum jelly for use in pharmacy and perfumery, and very famous petroleum jelly oils.
These two companies received the grand prize.
Also to be mentioned in the same industry are the fine exhibitions of Berthold Spier et Cie, of Antwerp, of Mr. de Keyser, of Brussels and of Mr. Tayart de Borms, of Forest.
The distillation of coal tar was represented in a very complete manner by the Société anonyme des Agglomérés réunis du Bassin de Charleroi, which tastefully displayed the various by-products: light oils, benzols and essences for varnishes or for heating lamps, phenic and cresylic acids, a disinfectant, cresylatine, the use of which is becoming more and more widespread, purified naphthalines in all commercial forms, anthracene, pitch and coal briquettes which form one of the most important parts of its manufacture.
This company has received a large award.
The products of tar distillation were also represented in good conditions by the Société de Flawinne, one of the oldest factories in Belgium, which has been in operation for more than a century.
factories in Belgium that have been involved in the distillation of tar.
Soap industry. - The manufacture of soap is one of the oldest in the country and that of soft soap, in particular, constitutes small
local industries delivering the quality demanded by the public in the region. This part of the soap industry had only one local representative, Messrs Cristel et Cie, from Liège, whose products were awarded a gold medal.
The hard soap industry is much more important.
MM. Lever frères, the great English manufacturers who created the Sunlight soap, in Port-Sunlight in Cheshire, in England, have, a few years ago, founded a branch in Forest lez-Bruxelles. This really model installation, set up from the start for a large production, 10,000 kilograms of soap per day, was inaugurated in 1905, during the Liège Exhibition. Everything is arranged in such a way as to ensure good hygiene and
hygiene and safety in all respects. The various operations, cutting and pressing soap briquettes, printing cartons and making cardboard boxes and packing cases, are all carried out by machines of the highest precision.
The products of the Belgian factory reached, from the very beginning, the perfection of the English manufactures and the great prize was granted to this firm for its English and Belgian products.
Mr. Pierre Ney, from Verviers, has a factory of already old foundation; aware of all the progress, he has applied himself to bring about notable improvements both in the manufacture and in the healthiness of the workshops.
He exhibited household soaps, industrial soaps of remarkable manufacture, as well as toilet soaps very carefully manufactured and of an exquisite perfume.
He was therefore awarded the diploma of honour.
Glue and gelatine industries. - The manufacture of strong glues by means of hide trimmings and tannery waste is one of the oldest in the country, but this industry has become increasingly important since the use of raw bones as raw material, as well as the waste from various industries that work with bones (buttons, brush handles, knife handles, etc.).
Bone processing is now carried out in several large factories and in other smaller ones in the country; the products they deliver to the trade can compete in quality with the best that France has to offer.
Bones are processed in two very different ways.
In the first, the well-sorted bones are autoclaved with water and under the influence of high-pressure steam, the water dissolves the organic matter of the bones to form a gelatinous broth and leaves, as a residue, the bones degelatinised with 30 per cent phosphoric acid and 1 or 1 1/2 per cent nitrogen; these bones, crushed, are used for the manufacture of fertilisers.
In the other process, the bones are treated with water acidulated with hydrochloric acid, which dissolves all the mineral part of the bone and leaves the organic matter intact; this bone, freed from all traces of acid solution, is treated with boiling water to give the gelatinous broth directly. As for the acid solution, it contains calcium acid phosphate and calcium chloride which, when saturated with milk of lime, produces precipitated lime phosphate, which constitutes a rich and pure phosphate that can also be used as a soil fertiliser or to make a special feed that has been advocated for cattle breeding.
As for the gelatinous broth obtained by either process, it is defatted, which gives a fairly important by-product, then evaporated under vacuum, either in triple effects similar to those of sugar factories, or in Kestner apparatuses, until a fairly concentrated product is obtained which is poured into cooled stoves where it sets; The block of jelly thus produced is cut out by machine and the plates placed directly on grids are dried in drying rooms with forced air flow, which makes it possible to work in any season.
The greatest progress was made in the evaporation of the broths and in the drying of the gelatine plates.
The Belgian participation was remarkable.
The oldest factory, G. Humbert et Cie, from Vilvoorde, which produces 450,000 kilograms of gelatin and gelatin glue and 600,000 kilograms of glue per year, presented its most beautiful products. It exhibited out of competition and the same was true of the products exhibited by the recently created Belgian Ossein factory in Ronquières.
Alongside these two firms, the Belgian Manufacture of Chemical Products of Messrs. Hertz and Wolff, of Hasselt, showed strong glues, gelatins and gelatin products of very superior quality, which were greatly admired by the Jury, which awarded them the diploma of honour.
Two other companies, the Société anonyme des Produits de Grimberghen in Vilvoorde and the Société anonyme de Vilvorde (Usine Duché), also exhibited glues and gelatins of high quality. The gold medal was awarded to each of these companies.
Explosive products. - If we did not have enough space, we could have spoken in detail about the explosives industry, which has always been very important in our country and has never stopped developing. Let us mention only the firms that appeared with honour at the Liège Exhibition.
Firstly, the Poudreries royales de Wetterren (Cooppal et Cie), the most important of our factories. In addition to powders and other explosives, this company also produces considerable quantities of sulphuric and acetic ethers, which it sells to various industries in Belgium and abroad (excluding competitions).
The Société des Explosifs de Clermont (MuUer et Cie) also had a most remarkable exhibition and also exhibited out of competition.
The Société anonyme des Dynamites de Matagne, in Matagne-la-Grande and the Compagnie "La Forcite", from Brussels, both obtained a great prize.
Matches. - After the establishment of the match monopoly in France, two of the most reputed manufacturers of this country came to use their experience and skill in the manufacture of candle matches in our country; they founded the Société anonyme
Caussemille jeune et Cie, E. Roche et Cie, in Ghent; the remarkable factory installed in this city has an available power of 200 horsepower and a staff of 6 to 700 workers. Wooden matches are also manufactured there. Annual production, eleven billion matches, which are divided about half in candle matches and wooden matches.
This factory exhibited out of competition.
Artificial silk industry. One of the most successful articles at the Liege Exhibition was artificial silk.
The quotations on the Stock Exchange of the shares of the various factories, the fantastic profits made in one factory and the collapses
on the other hand, were all likely to draw attention to this product.
The luxurious pavilion which the Tubize Artificial Silk Factory had erected in the gardens at the entrance to the Exhibition contained, displayed with remarkable taste, a whole series of damask fabrics, furnishing fabrics, ribbons and trimmings of all kinds, embroidery threads, etc., and the place of honour was occupied by an embroidered reproduction of Queen Marie-Antoinette's bedspread in artificial silk.
The Tubize factory uses the Chardonnet process, which is also used at the Besançon factory in France. It alone produces from 3 to 400,000 kilograms of silk per year, i.e. from one-fifth to one-quarter of the total quantity currently produced, which is estimated at 1,500,000 kilograms. The profits made by this factory are fabulous, the shareholders have long since been reimbursed for their capital outlay, and the dividend for the financial year just ended is still forty per cent.
Successes of this kind were bound to give rise to competition; many companies were formed in Belgium to follow the path laid out, but so far none has been able to realise the hopes of the beginning and several have already had to liquidate.
A few notes on the manufacture of this remarkable product may interest the reader.
Natural silk, the cocoon of the silkworm, has always commanded very high prices, and for a long time attempts have been made to produce fibres with the same appearance if not the same properties. Artificial silk differs immediately from natural silk: when a thread of the latter is set alight, it mends and gives off a particular odour of horn or burnt wool, whereas artificial silk thread burns with a flame and gives off no odour. The former is a nitrogenous material of animal origin, the latter is simply cellulose.
Already in 1884, Count Chardonnet seemed to be succeeding, and at the 1889 Exhibition in Paris, artificial silk and various fabrics could be admired, which were a real success as a curiosity; but industrial success did not follow, and it was only after long and costly trial and error that the Chardonnet process could be put into successful operation at the Besançon factory.
The difficulty in the manufacture of artificial silk lies in obtaining a dissolution of cellulose and Chardonnet succeeded in obtaining this by first transforming the cellulose into nitrocellulose or cotton powder; This product is soluble in a mixture of alcohol and ether to give a true collodion which, sufficiently thick, can under pressure pass through glass spinnerets which let out a stretched and then spun filament; the ether quickly volatilizes, the filament dries taking on the shine of silk and can be wound. In this state, it is still powdered collodion and this nitrocellulose is denitrated, i.e. transformed back into cellulose without losing its shiny appearance.
For this chemical decomposition, it is sufficient to pass the nitrocellulose thread through an alcoholic bath of ferrous chloride, alkaline sulphide, etc. When it emerges from this alcoholic solution, the thread is denitrated and it is this thread, freed by a current of air from all traces of alcohol and ether, which constitutes the artificial silk. These filaments are twisted several times to obtain yarns of various sizes and then reeled into skeins.
In spite of the perfection of the processes and the benefits which can be achieved, this manufacture still presents many desiderata and interesting problems to be solved; among these, first of all, is that of making these factories less unhealthy than they are, by recovering alcohol and ether, in the interest of the worker obliged to work in an atmosphere whose effects are not long in making themselves felt.
Another manufacturing process, patented in 1899 in favour of Fremery and Urban and, in 1900, in favour of Bronnert, has also given good results; it is the one in which the solution of cellulose is made by means of copper ammonide. A concentrated solution of cellulose in this product is also passed through glass spinnerets and the thread formed by passing through water acidulated with sulphuric acid leaves the ammonia and copper behind, coagulating the cellulose in the form of a shiny thread which is dried under vacuum at a low temperature, and the dried thread is then assembled and joined together in skeins. This yarn appears to be somewhat less lustrous than Chardonnet silk, but is said to be more water resistant and of a higher
water resistant and more durable.
In any case, the cost price is at least 30 per cent lower and the manufacture presents no danger from the point of view of the health of the workshops or of fire.
This process is working successfully in Germany and an installation was set up last year in Belgium, but has not yet produced the expected results. In the French section, the company "La Soie artificielle" exhibited very fine products obtained by this process in its factory at Givet.
A third very interesting process is that of Viscose which has given good results in France, at Arques-la-Batallle and in Germany, at Stettin. At the time of the Liège Exhibition, where artificial silk fabrics were exhibited by the "La Viscose" Company, a factory was being set up in Belgium, according to the processes of Messrs Cross, Bevan, Stearn and Zopham. The fabrics on display were made from viscose silk, prepared in the German factory.
This process involves some complicated manipulations. The cellulose in contact with a 15-17 per cent caustic soda solution swells and gelatinises, which is also the basic reaction in the mercerisation of cotton yarn. The treated cellulose is taken up by the carbon sulphide, which combines with it to form a highly viscous, water-soluble compound that spontaneously breaks down into cellulose hydrate, alkali and carbon sulphide.
This viscous solution is passed under pressure through spinnerets and 15 to 20 very thin filaments are collected and passed through a concentrated solution of ammonium sulphate which coagulates the strands, twisted into a thread, then hanks are made which are passed through an extended solution of ferrous sulphate and then through acidulated water of sulphuric acid at around 40 to 50 degrees centigrade and finally
washed first in cold water and then in soapy water. If necessary, they can be bleached with chloride of lime and then dried, after thorough washing, in an oven maintained at a temperature of about 45 degrees centigrade.
The resulting yarn is very bright, softer and stronger than Chardonnet silk; it is very water resistant. Its cost price seems to be two or three times less than that of Chardonnet silk, and the process can easily be kept very clean. This process, if one can rely on the information obtained, seems to have a bright future.
Liquefied carbon dioxide from fermentation. - One of the most interesting installations in the Chemical Industries section, and the one that gave it the most animation and success, was the one in which Louis Meeùs, of Wyneghem, demonstrated, powered by an electric motor, the entire process that he has imagined and that he has been using with advantage since 1894 to use the carbon dioxide that is released so abundantly during the fermentation of grain musts for the production of alcohol. The Meeùs company has, as is well known, the speciality of the manufacture of genever known as "de la Clef" and baker's yeast; a single figure will give an idea of the importance of these productions: in 1904, it manufactured more than 90,000 hectolitres of genever, for which it had to pay 13 and a half million francs in fiscal duty to the Belgian Government.
In addition to this quantity of alcohol, 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide are produced, which Mr. Meeiàs recovers, in part, to the great advantage of the health of his cellars.
In a few words, this is the process that is followed: after leaving the fermentation tanks of the grain musts, where the maltose sugar is transformed into alcohol and carbonic acid, the latter gas goes into a gasometer from which a suction pump takes it to pass through a series of purifying devices containing the most suitable substances to retain the impurities that can contaminate the fermentation gases, especially the vapours of water, alcohol and other products. The gas, after this purification, passes to a second compressor which pushes the pressure to 65-70 atmospheres and delivers the gas into a cooled coil where it condenses into a liquid state and from where it passes into steel bottles or tubes tested at a pressure of 250 atmospheres. Each of these bottles receives 10 kilograms of liquefied gas, which is weighed accurately by a scale. The bottled gas is ready for shipment and is used in the manufacture of carbonated water, for cold production and for the flow of beer in cafés.
The gas sold by Mr. Meeùs after the purification mentioned above is extremely pure, as shown by the analyses carried out by Mr. Girard, chief chemist of the Paris Municipal Laboratory, and by Mr. De Walque, professor at the University of Louvain. From these analyses, it results that the liquefied gas contains 99.9 per cent pure carbon dioxide.
Various industries. - Effront processes. - We cannot pass over in silence the very interesting products exhibited by the Société pour l'Exploitation des brevets et procédés de M. Effront.
Some of these processes, in particular the use of fluorine compounds, have had an enormous impact on the distillery industry, and acclimatised yeasts and processes for the manufacture of food peptones are destined to have the same impact; according to the information given, more than 2,000 factories make use of one or other of the processes devised by this tireless chemist, Mr Effront.
Condensed milk, etc. - It is again of a new industry introduced in Belgium that we have to say a word and the firm of the Dairy Products of Montzen, under the intelligent direction of Mr. Licops, would seem to be called to a brilliant future if one judges by the quality of the products.
judging by the quality of the products exhibited in Liège. The condensed milks, the malt flours based on wheat malt flour and condensed milk, containing 12 per cent of albuminoids, are carefully manufactured and quite remarkable.
The biscuits exhibited by the same firm, of exquisite appearance and taste, can compete with the best brands and the Jury awarded Montzen Milk Products the gold medal.
Pharmaceutical products. - Beside the brilliant French participation, it would have been difficult for our pharmaceutical products exhibition to stand out.
However, some displays did not fear comparison. Let us quickly mention that of Mr. A. Derneville, from Brussels, with his first aid boxes, portable pharmacies and medicinal capsules manufactured with the greatest care, then the very interesting
exhibition of the Ecole de Pharmacie pratique de Liège which, under the direction of Mr. Brasseur and the collaboration of various pharmacists as teachers, trains pharmacy assistants.
This completely private institution, which does not receive any subsidy, renders the greatest services and the Jury thought it necessary to reward this bold and useful initiative with the grand prize.
The Optima Laboratories, of Schaerbeek, obtained the diploma of honour for the perfection of the products exhibited: ampoules, pencils, ova, capsules, various tablets, etc., which this company exhibited and which can be compared with those of the best factories.
Laboratory equipment. - Only one exhibitor presented apparatus in this category. Mr. L. Laoureux et Cie of Liege, which manufactures Bunsen burners, gas grills and other burners, also showed us a whole range of special laboratory boilers, alembics, sterilizing ovens, and ovens of all kinds that can compete with those supplied in Belgium by the most reputable foreign manufacturers. This exhibition was out of competition.
Various very interesting products, which received the diploma of honour, were exhibited by:
M. David et Cie, from Moustier-sur-Sambre, small chemical products;
M. Destrëe Wiescher et Cie, of Haren-Nord, aniline colours;
Société anonyme de Produits chimiques et électrolytiques, of Hemixen, wood extracts for dyeing and tanning.
M. Berthold Spier et Cie, of Antwerp, various oils, petroleum jelly, vaseline oils, etc.
THE 90TH CLASS.
Finally, a few lines devoted to the products of class 90 which, as we have said, had been combined with class 87 to form the Chemical Products Collective.
The manufacturers of essential oils from England, Germany and America did not appear at the Liège Exhibition, but fortunately the French firms filled the gap and we had the good fortune to have, in addition to the community of petrol distillers, the exhibitions of Mr. Charabol, of Paris; of Mr. Justin Dupont and of Mr. Faure Bertrand fils, and as for Perfumery proper, the luxurious and so artistically displayed exhibition
and so artistically displayed in the French compartment, included the exquisite and inimitable articles of the houses of Houbigand (violet extract), Pinaud whose extract of golden broom was so successful. Pivert et Cie, Dorin, Chouët et Cie, etc.
The soaps of Mr. Michaud, from Aubervillers, also shone in the first rank by their irreproachable composition, by their neutrality, by the exquisite delicacy of the perfume and the elegance of the packaging.
In the Belgian participation, which is of special interest to us, we also had some good exhibits.
The firm of E. and A. Jonas Hannart, from Brussels, shone in the first rank (out of competition) with a very large collection of essential oils and raw materials for perfumery; it also presented a remarkable collection of natural fruit essences without ethers, coffee essence and essences for liqueurs, syrups and sodas.
Mr. Lambert Gosselin, from Charleroi, gold medal, exhibited soluble essences and perfumes for liquorists, lemonade makers and confectioners.
Mr. A. Tondeur, from Mont-sur-Marchienne, obtained a silver medal, as well as Mr. Demey Arthur for their essences and perfumes for liqueurs.
Finally, the Toilet Soap Factory was represented by Mr. Des Cressonnières, by Mr. P. Ney, who has already been mentioned, and by Mr. Dubois. Their products, of exquisite perfumes and careful manufacture, can be compared with the products of foreign factories.
Conclusions. - In the preceding few pages, we have made a point of highlighting the exhibitors who were able to give the compartment of the Chemicals Collective the brilliance it shone with at the Liège Exhibition. Belgian industry showed itself to be equal to foreign competition and the progress made in the many different branches of the community showed that Belgium also knows how to make all the sacrifices necessary for the development of its industry.
Belgium also knows how to make all the necessary sacrifices and give all its care so that its products can compete with those of other nations.
The Liège Exhibition will not have done little to make this demonstration, and the foreigners, who visited it in such large numbers, will be the best agents for making our products appreciated and ensuring their worldwide expansion.
The manufacture in Europe of the material made from dried rag pulp dates back to the 11th century. The first papers were made in Italy, around Bologna and in Bologna itself. A century and a half later, this new industry was introduced almost simultaneously in France and Switzerland; it soon spread to Belgium. The first centre of this industry seems to have been Huy; the purity of the
the purity of the waters of the Hoyoux was the reason for the choice of this place. A certain John the Spaniard, who had undoubtedly learned the secrets of the manufacture of the new parchment from the Moors, came to Huy in 1405 to found a paper mill, thus laying the foundations of an industry which, after various vicissitudes, was to become one of the most flourishing in modern Belgium.
Without doubt, at that time, as everywhere in Europe, the manufacturing processes were rudimentary: paper was made, so to speak, sheet by sheet.
Improvements were not long in coming. The oil pestles, which were used for threshing and which replaced the oriental club, were in turn dethroned in the course of the 18th century by the Dutch pile, so called because its inventor, whose name remains unknown, is of Dutch origin.
The bamboo sieve used by the Japanese became, in the West, a wire sieve, and then, finally, a circular and endless mechanical screen. This last advance was the invention of the paper machine, with combinations of dewatering cylinders and steam-heated cylinders for drying the sheets.
The Orientals used to wash the bark of the paper mill with tobacco and buckwheat ashes; now rags or straw are washed with lime or soda in fixed or rotating boilers.
At present, Belgian paper mills are scattered throughout the country, and have been established mainly in places where there is an abundance of pure water.
The country itself supplies them with most of the raw materials they use, such as linen and cotton rags, the waste cloth, rope and thread that form the basis of good quality paper, rye, wheat, oat and barley straw.
Other substitutes, such as esparto grass, natural wood or wood that has already been processed into pulp (half-pulp), come largely from Scandinavia, Canada and the USA.
The filler and chemicals used for bleaching, colouring and sizing are also readily available.
Paper is produced almost exclusively by machine; only paper for stamps and banknotes is produced by hand.
Current paper production can be divided into five categories:
1° wrapping paper, made from various raw materials, depending on the qualities to be obtained. Ordinary grades include straw paper coated with different coloured papers. Fine wrapping paper, which is made from light-coloured pulp, includes: bubble paper, blue chicory paper, tissue paper, transparent paper, especially cellulose paper, made exclusively from wood pulp, imitation parchment and peel paper;
2° newsprint, or ordinary printing paper, always contains a large quantity of mechanical wood pulp; it is the lowest quality white paper.
We will give an idea of the tremendous consumption of this paper by saying that the printing house of the Petit Journal de Paris consumes 50,000 Norwegian pines, 25 to 30 years old, annually for its paper production.
3° Ordinary papers are made from rag substitutes and contain a high proportion of mechanical pulp. This category includes
Paper for bedding, i.e. paper intended to receive a layer of colour; wallpaper which is transformed into wallpaper; paper for the inside of playing cards, for spinning nozzles, for matchbox linings, for tramway tickets and for the inside lining of cardboard boxes;
4° Medium and fine papers not containing wood pulp: the best qualities are made exclusively from rags. This category includes
Printing papers for books and writing papers; coloured papers for thin covers; blotting paper; drawing paper; peeling paper for copying; strong papers for visiting cards and postcards;
5° Special papers include a large number of species, suitable for the most diverse uses. These include: a) Vegetable or parchment paper, including :
Paper for fat packaging, red or white paper for worsted wool mills; parchment for osmosis, used in sugar factories; opaline; tracing paper; b) gelatin paper, especially used for writing; c) art paper, intended above all for printing phototypes; d) cigarette paper; e) duplex paper, made up of two superimposed layers of pulp, to which two different colours can be given.
Belgium produces mainly grey and semi-white cardboard and straw cardboard. The first type of cardboard is made with waste paper in a rewinder and is generally very thick. Felt board or woolly board, which is used to make bitumen board, is a speciality that falls into this category.
The second type of board is a straw board, called posted board, made by continuous machine or rewinder; this board, which is exported a lot to England, is obtained by gluing together several sheets of mechanical board.
The average production of paper in Belgium is currently 70,000 tonnes per year, three quarters of which is sent to all countries in the world. The main exports are writing and printing paper, newsprint, solid packaging paper and strawboard. The main export countries are England, the English Indies, the Netherlands, the Republic of Argentina, China, Japan, the United States, etc. The annual quantity of wood pulp exported is 25 to 30,000 tonnes.
The paper industry is mainly concentrated in the provinces of Brabant, Antwerp, Liège and Namur. Apart from three small factories that produce only wood pulp, there are 47 factories in Belgium that produce ordinary paper, packaging paper and cardboard.
Some of these plants are very large and have a worldwide reputation.
The total number of workers employed is about 6,500 and the power used is about 10,000 horsepower.
Class 88, which had as its programme everything related to the manufacture of paper, hardly brought together the majority of its factories; it was even noticeable that some very important ones were absent, as some of them also stood out for the well-known sound of their name. Among these, we shall point out the Papeteries Godin, of Huy, which exhibited papers of all kinds, cardboards; the Union des Papeteries, of Brussels, of which one noticed superb specimens of parchments; the Papeteries de Huy, which exhibited papers for all kinds of printing; the Papeteries de Saventhem, which presented a white and coloured printing paper for newspaper and poster, a paper of hangings, confetti The Franco-Belgian company Gevaert et Cie, from Vieux-Dieu lez-Anvers, which attracted attention with its baryta papers for awareness-raising, for use in photography.
All these exhibitors were part of the Chemical Arts community. Two individual exhibitors still participated in class 88.
They were the Anciens établissements De Vriendt, from Forest lez-Bruxelles, with various collections of classified waste paper, and Mr. Auguste Cornand, from Vilvoorde, with waxed and varnished papers, a humidifying paper, papers with adherent fabrics, papers glued on canvas and on muslin.
HIDES AND SKINS
Class 89 includes raw materials, equipment, processes and products for the leather and skin industry.
Tanning is one of the interesting industries in Belgium. In the past, the most important centre of tanning was Liège, where strong leather was produced, and later on, croupon for belts and carding leather for Verviers.
Stavelot, Namur and Luxembourg were next. Tournai, which currently occupies a very important place in this industry, with an annual production of 25 million francs, did not enter it until later.
The prosperity of the Tournai tannery is due to the initiative of one man, Mr. Cherequefosse. Having noticed in France the leather known as smooth cow, he conceived the project of introducing finished sole leather to Belgian customers, as he had seen it in our neighbours. His attempts, crowned with success, gave rise to imitators who were no less successful than he. Tournai had a new and important industry as well.
The Belgian tannery not only processes native hides, i.e. more than 700,000 large hides, but it also imports more than 50 million kilos of hides of all kinds, among which we should mention beef, horse, buffalo, goat and sheep hides.
These imported skins, dried or salted, come mainly from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Holland and Germany; Belgian tanners receive from Australia and South America sheep skins tanned into crusts and sheep skins into hair which are untanned in Belgium.
The large skins are tanned with oak bark or tanning extracts from oak, quebracho, etc.
For some years now, they have also been tanned with chromium, a new process which gives excellent results. Goat and sheep skins intended for leather goods are tanned with sumac; those intended for chamois leather are tanned with fish oil; finally, the shaggy skins are tanned with alum and salt, mixed with flour and egg yolk.
Some tanning materials used in the tanning, leather goods and leather goods industries are of Belgian origin, notably oak bark and various extracts. Belgium imports, however, a good half of these tanning products.
Belgian tanners produce sole leather, smooth shoe leather, strap leather, card leather, sleeves, straps, etc. for the spinning industry.
Sole leather is manufactured all over Belgium. However, the major manufacturing centres for this article are Stavelot, Saint-Hubert, Laroche, Namur, Tournai, Péruwelz and Soignies. Smoothed cowhide is manufactured more specifically in Hainaut. Strap leather is produced in Liège, Verviers, Hervé and, to a lesser extent, in Soignies and Péruwelz.
Verviers has the speciality of leathers for spinning. The leather goods industry is based in Brussels, as is the chamois leather industry.
Finally, glove skins are sometimes tanned in Brussels and Brabant; patent leather is manufactured in Brussels, Soignies and Assche.
There are 537 tanneries and tannery-corroieries, employing a total of 38,219 workers and with a driving force of approximately 1,700 horsepower.
The tanning and dyeing of hides and skins is carried out in 43 establishments employing more than 100 workers.
The leather industry and the sheepskin washing industry employ more than 1,200 workers, spread over a dozen workshops, activated by a driving force of about 500 horsepower.
Following the example of Germany and England, Belgium has a tannery school, responsible for training those who are destined for this industry, which in Belgium is too often stuck in the rut of old routines.
The Liège tannery school was founded in 1898 under the auspices of the "Bourse aux Cuirs de Liège".
The courses comprise two years of study in elementary physics and chemistry, tanning, technology and chemistry applied to the leather industry.
The school has a laboratory with equipment that can be used by full members of the Association. They can find a teacher there who can help them with any research they may want to do.
The director of the Liège Tannery School is Mr. Nihoul, to whom was awarded, in 1905, the prize instituted by Messrs. Seymour Jones, of Wae.xham, in favour of the chemist who, by his studies and research, would have contributed most to the progress of the leather industries.
Let it be said here, although this subject is only indirectly included in the programme of the Chemical Industries Group, that the participation of this school at the Exhibition was very conspicuous.
Most of the apparatus in use in its laboratory, curious microscopic sections by Professor Palmer, pamphlets relating the various works and lectures of M. Nihoul, plans for the construction of a modern and model tannery, which would have been sufficient to establish the superiority and undeniable usefulness of this special school, were noted.
In any modernised industry, mechanics play a great role.
In the tannery, the ancient pit has been supplanted by the barrel-mill, which produces in a few hours what its predecessor could only provide after many months.
In addition to the fuller, the smoothed cow tannery uses washing barrels, re-shovelling machines, rolling machines, threshing machines, smoothing machines, dehairing machines and so on.
Most of these machines are in common use; they come from Germany, France, England and America; only one Belgian manufacturer is involved in the manufacture of these machines; as such, its exhibition in the tannery pavilion was of great interest.
Two powerful associations have been formed in the two main tanning centres of the country. One, founded in Liege in 1882, was called "La Bourse aux Cuirs de Liège", the other, founded in Tournai in 1871, "La Bourse aux Cuirs de Tournai".
The compartment occupied at the Exhibition by the Belgian tanners gave a general idea of the value of their industry in the country.
At the head of the class, Mr. Alexis Bouvy, from Liège, tanner, member of the Conseil supérieur du Travail and member of the Commission supérieure de patronage, had been placed as president.
For many years, Mr. Alexis Bouvy has been involved in the tanning industry.
He never ceased to devote his efforts to it and to work for the general interests of the tanners.
He was one of the founders and the first president of the Bourse aux Cuirs de Liège and personally spared no effort to organise a tanning school in Liège.
Mr. Alexis Bouvy found the most devoted secretary in the person of Mr. Jules Hogge, of Liège, trader, vice-president of the Leather Exchange and judge at the Commercial Court.
Finally, let us mention the name of the assistant secretary, Mr. Fortuné Quanonne, of Tournai, town councillor, secretary of the Tournai Leather Exchange. Mr. Fortuné Quanonne also had the arduous task of secretary-rapporteur of the International Leather Jury. He was not only the faithful interpreter of the appreciations of his competent colleagues, but he also indicated in his report, which thus acquired an importance that would outlive the World's Fair, the various weak points of the Belgian tannery and the means to remedy them.
The Belgian tannery pavilion was one of those whose good organisation was especially noticeable, in that it offered the clearest and most favourable grouping for the examination of the products exhibited.
It was divided into different compartments; the staff walls separating the compartments were embellished with bovine heads; the general decoration of the interior of the pavilion was formed by fans of pleated leather, happily combining their colours.
Here again, we found the very successful system of collectives; the general collective of hides and skins included the collectives of Liège, Stavelot, Tournai and individual exhibitors.
Each of these groups presented the products of its members as a group.
The Liege community presented itself first; its products were numerous and varied. Recently, the Liege tanneries were obliged to temporarily restrict their production following the increase in customs tariffs in Germany, to which they had been sending respectable quantities of belt backs.
Fortunately, new outlets will open up, which will allow the tanners of Liège to resume their scale of production.
In the community, there were magnificent belt backs from the important firm of Alexis Bouvy and the firm of Aug. Hacken. Messrs. Bouvy, Gottschalk, Hacken and Jamolet presented chrome leathers of very good appearance and smoothed croupons, showing very significant progress in their tanning.
The house of L. and A. Schweitzer exhibited magnificent strong leathers, tanned off-line.
Let us also mention the leathers of Messrs. Demolin and Medaets, of Liège, the industrial leathers of Messrs. Fairon and Wertz, of Dison; the leathers for the shoemaking industry of Messrs. Hogge frères, of Mr. Lucien Maréchal, of Messrs. J. Dewez, of Hervé; the first quality tanned leathers of Mr. J. Van der Heyden, of Liège, and the backs for belts, the saddlery leathers, the leathers for uppers and straps, the smoothed leathers of Mr. Wauters-Rigo, of Bressoux-Liége.
The Tournai community was no less well represented. Its exhibition of "smoothed cows" was imposing, complete and perfect in every respect.
The number of participants gave an exact idea of the production power of the Tournai tannery, which reaches nearly 400,000 hides per year.
The firms Bar-Fichaux, from Tournai; Delaunoy, from Celles; Gorin frères, from Kain; Qorin-Dubar et fils, from Tournai; Kensier frères, from Péruwelz; Lemaire, from Tournai; Masure-Dhalluin, from Estaimbourg; Pépin et Fontaine, from Tournai; Fortuné Quanonne, from Tournai; Georges Quanonne, from Warchin; Vaast, from Tournai; Verriest, from Tournai.
The participation of the interesting "Société des Sous-Produits de la Tannerie", founded in 1901, was also noteworthy. Its aim is to help the tannery to find a good use for its by-products, such as trimmings.
This society exhibited strong glues and gelatins in Liege; these products are recognised as being of superior quality.
The third community was that of Stavelot, a town where the manufacture of strong leather or cuir à la jusée was concentrated almost exclusively.
All the tanneries whose products were included in the leather section are located in Stavelot. They were those of Messrs Bock frères, Brandebourg, Cornesse frères, Léon Courtejoie, Courtejoie-Bonnelance, Dumont-Massange, Gillet-Defosse fils, Grandprez et soeurs, Herman-Cornesse, Louveigné, Massange et fils, t'Serstevens.
A respectable number of individual exhibitors occupied the rest of the compartment.
First of all, we will mention "L'Union industrielle" of Tournai, a company that has fortunately specialised in the production of machine tools for the tannery industry.
It is the only one in the country to produce beating hammers, tanning barrels, rolling, smoothing and winding machines.
The important Théodore Houben factory in Verviers presented special types of tyres for cars and bicycles in chrome leather. The same oak tanning process was used by Lebermuth et Cie, of Brussels, which exhibited beautifully treated goat and kid skins.
The calves, for cylinder covers, for bookbinding and embossed leather, of Mr. Charles D'Anvers, of Ghent, attested a finesse and beauty which are the perfection of the genre.
Peltzer et Cie, of Verviers, is a tannery and leather goods manufacturer; it produces leather for shoes, clothing and fancy goods in ordinary sheep. Its participation in the Exhibition was worthy of its reputation.
Special attention was paid to fine leather for saddlery, coloured leather for travel and hunting articles, as well as leather for bodywork and automobiles from Messrs. Charlet et Cie of Brussels, industrial leather from Mr. Coopman fils, of Verviers and Theux; strong leather from Messrs. Bequet et Minette, of Namur, whose company was founded in 1304, leathers of all kinds from Mr. Vandervelpen, of Waremme, leathers intended for industry from Mr. Fairon and Wertz, of Dison, and from Mr. Radermecloer, of Verviers, smoothed vaclies, in mixed tanning, from Mr. Alfred Lemaire, of Tournai.
There were also specimens of varnished cowhide from Mr. Versé frères, of Cureghem, who are the only ones in Belgium to engage in this type of manufacture; hats and chamois leather from Mr. Thiry and his sons, of Brussels; smoothed and beaten leather from Mr. Foulon, of Theux Foulon, of Theux; chrome leathers for tyres, belts, hunting whips and "anti-skid" of M. Gottschalk, of Liège; samples of grey and waxed calves of M. Petit, of Tirlemont, whose annual production amounts to twenty-five thousand skins; finally, chrome leather and box-hides of the Tannerie et Corroierie of Saint-Amand lez-Puers.
Finally, the Société anonyme de Produits chimiques et électro-chimiques d'Hemixem presented quebracho extracts, liquid, pasty and dry, soluble in cold water. The tannin extracts of this important company, the only one in Belgium to engage in this type of manufacture, are excellent from the point of view of decoration and very rich in assimilable tannins.
Among the 60 firms in the hides and skins class, there were 49 tanneries employing a staff of 2,205 men and 210 women, using 1,845 horsepower and producing leather annually for a sum of about 35 million.
These figures eloquently prove how important the participation of the Belgian tannery in the Liege Exhibition was.
TOBACCO - Class 91.
Finally, there was class 91, whose programme, summarised in a single word: "Tobacco", was no less vast, as this industry has taken on a very great importance in our country in all its forms.
Indigenous consumption is relatively high; whether in the form of snuff, chewing tobacco, smoking tobacco, cigars or cigarettes, there is not a single Belgian who does not contribute to the prosperity of the tobacco industries; its annual consumption amounts to 18 million kilos of tobacco, or about 6 kilos per head of the male population. If we add to this figure that of exports, we will have an idea of the expansion that this industry has taken in the Belgian country.
Its prosperity is, however, quite recent. Until 1840, tobacco was mainly consumed in the form of snuff; each family had, among the household utensils, a grater to convert the tobacco carrot into dust. Tobacco was also chewed, but cut coarsely or rolled into strings; few people smoked.
The first cigar factories were established in Antwerp and Ghent between 1840 and 1850. Grammont and Arendonck followed, and then the industry spread to many cities in the country; soon Belgian cigar production became known throughout the world.
At present, the number of cigars manufactured annually in Belgium can be estimated at four or five million.
The origin of cigarette manufacturing is even more recent, since it was not until after 1870 that a few companies began to manufacture cigarettes.
In its early days, it even met with very strong hostility from the old tobacco manufacturers. The first cigarette manufacturers were foreigners or Belgians who had never been involved in tobacco.
We know how important this industry has become today; we can estimate that nearly one billion cigarettes are manufactured annually in Belgium.
The expansion of the tobacco industry, and the need for its members to group together to defend their interests, have
contributed to the foundation of trade associations.
Among these, it is worth mentioning first of all the National Tobacco Union, which originated in a congress held in Antwerp during the 1894 Exhibition. This congress appointed a 50-member commission to request a revision of the legislation, which was unfavourable to the tobacco industry. Later, this committee founded the National Tobacco Union.
This union has 154 members and is composed of a committee of 17 personalities taken from among manufacturers in all parts of the country.
The other associations are the Antwerp Tobacco Industry Union, the Brussels Tobacco Chamber of the Union Syndicale, the
Syndicat du Tabac du Cercle commercial et industriel de Gand, the Chambre syndicale des Fabricants de Tabacs de Liège and finally the Association des Détaillants de Tabacs et de Cigares de Belgique, which has a widespread bulletin: L'Organe du Tabac.
Such a well-ordered defensive organisation with men of value and dedication should have led to the expectation that the tobacco industry would play an important role in the Exhibition. These hopes were not disappointed; the tobacco community was among the most important collective participants in the Belgian section.
This success is due to the Chambre syndicale des Fabricants de Tabacs de Liège; the president of this organisation, Mr. Philippe Philips, was also the president of the association, which had Mr. Joseph Van Zuylen as secretary.
The latter's activity and zeal were truly remarkable; with unbounded devotion, he constantly occupied himself with the community, which he dreamed would be even more important, wanting in particular to exhibit a series of machines used in the tobacco industry. This desire was only partially fulfilled, however, for reasons beyond his control.
A legitimate tribute must also be paid to Senator Delannoy, President of Class 91, who greatly facilitated the preliminaries.
For many years, Senator Delannoy has been involved in the interests of the above-mentioned industry. In particular, he was vice-president of the Commission resulting from a decision taken at the Tobacco Congress mentioned above, president of the Syndicat national des Tabacs, and then honorary president of the Chambre des Tabacs of the Union syndicale de Bruxelles. Such titles suffice to indicate the importance of his influence in all that concerns the interests of the tobacco industry.
The dedicated secretary of the class was Mr. Gustave Lamarche, who also made a large contribution to the common work.
The tobacco community covered an area of 500 square metres, with elegant shop windows and interesting facilities, around which paths were laid out.
In the centre of the community stood the curious monument of the Chambre syndicale des Fabricants de Tabacs de Liège.
Four pylons, made of "rolles" barrels, supported by large bamboos, were built in a square. Joining these four pillars, arcades were rounded, made of the same barrels. The whole was embellished with tobacco leaves artistically arranged here and there and gathered in garlands at the top of the monument.
This coquettish and ingenious installation, as well as the general arrangement of the community's windows, had been conceived and designed by Mr. Emile Jaspar, and executed by Mr. Auguste Lemaire.
A penetrating yet discreet aroma revealed the surroundings of the community; it was a pleasure for the smoker - and there were very few visitors who were not - to walk around the elegant display windows, where the tobacco leaves, gathered in sheaves and tied with favours, the cute packets of cigarettes, luxurious, pretty, decorated with various vignettes, the brown cases where cigars of all shades lay.
The main centres of the cigar industry are: Antwerp, Arendonck, Turnhout, Brussels, Leuven, Grammont, Ghent, Ninove, Sint-Niklaas, Bruges, Mons, Liège, Arlon, Surice, etc.; the specialty of fine cigars is located in Antwerp and Brussels.
The latter city is mainly the centre of cigarette manufacturing, but this is also done in Liège, Louvain and Cul-des-Sarts.
Tobacco cutting is an important industry. In addition to the various exotic tobaccos, this industry processes all the indigenous tobaccos: Wervicq tobacco harvested in Wervicq, Menin, Gheluwe, etc.; Blandain tobacco, grown in the vicinity of Tournai; Grammont, Ninove and Appelterre tobacco; Obourg tobacco, Semois tobacco, Raisin, Flobecq tobacco, grown in Flobecq, Tubize, Ath, etc.
In Belgium, there are about nine hundred workshops, mechanical or manual, for cutting tobacco. These workshops employ about 2,500 men and women.
Until 1884, the cut tobacco industry worked only with exotic products. From that date onwards, thanks to the new legislation on tobacco cultivation, the industry has grown considerably.
this industry has grown considerably. At present, almost 50 percent of Belgian cut tobacco consumption consists of indigenous tobacco.
The tobacco community brought together the main representatives of these various industries.
On a more general note, there were a number of installations that aroused the public's curiosity.
First of all, there was the installation of the Belgian Cigarette Machine Company, which operated, in front of the public's eyes, a number of machines from which heaps of cigarettes were produced with incredible speed. The workers grabbed a handful of cigarettes, counted them and packed them in the blink of an eye.
In another part of the community, attention was drawn to a massive, heavy instrument, quite reminiscent of the old straw chopper that can still be found on some farms; it was an old tobacco chopper, known as the "Wolf". Messrs. Van Zuylen frères, from Liège, who presented this ancient and crude instrument, exhibited next to it the current choppers, of a surprising precision and speed.
Next to this stand was the installation of the Société anonyme Gilles Lamarche, which exhibited a machine for packaging cut tobacco.
The rest of the space reserved for the community was occupied by displays of tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
The rest of the space reserved for the community was occupied by display cases for tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, etc. Cigars of all brands and qualities from Messrs Bejai and Contamine, De Hert, Benedictus and Pinkhof, Frey, Sannes, José Tinchant y Gonzalès et Cie Léonce Verreecken, Société anonyme Louis Tinchant were on display. All these companies were Antwerp-based. Messrs Baetslé-Van Bambrugge, from Ghent, Philips frères from Liège, Smeets-De Vos from Grammont, Thiriart-Andrien from Liège, Hubert Zeegers from Tongeren, also presented, in interesting installations, products of the same order.
Next came the exhibitions of companies generally involved in the manufacture of cut tobacco, cigarettes, rolles, etc. MESSRS. Robert Billiard, of Menin, exhibited leaf tobacco; Baras-Rousseau et fils, of Huy and Grammont, tobacco, cigars, cigarettes; Carlens et Pinsard, of Brussels, cigarettes and Turkish tobacco; Victor Collard, of Liège, tobacco; the Russian Company Sadzawka, of Brussels, cigarettes and Turkish and Russian tobacco; Delin Raymond, of Brussels, tobacco; Delogne frères, of Alle-Rochehautsur-Semois, Semois tobacco leaves, cigars, cigarillos and cigarettes in Semois; Dendauw-Schaltin, of Aalst, "rolles"; De Nève et Cie, of Bruges, tobacco and cigars; Delannoy et Hartog, of Brussels, leaf tobacco; Louis Doize, of Liège, smoking tobacco of all kinds, cigars, cigarettes, powdered tobacco, etc.; Clément Goblet, of Liège, cigars, cigarettes, powdered tobacco, etc. Clément Goblet, of Saint-Gilles (Brussels), cigarettes; Halleux-Gulikers, of Liège; Henvaux-Preud'homme, of Charleroi; Eugène Jacobs, of Brussels; Missak, M. Missirian, of Brussels; Poulain-Devaux, of Mons; J. Soeten, of Antwerp, cut tobacco; the Manufacture Royale Belge de cigarettes, of Brussels, leaf and cut Turkish tobacco, cigarettes and cigarette papers; the Société anonyme Gilles Lamarche, of Liège, smoking and snuff tobacco, cigars, cigarillos and cigarettes; Nestor Renard, of Liège, cigars and chopped tobacco; the Société anonyme Veuve Dumont et Cie of Liège, tobacco, cigars and cigarettes; Edmond Scohy, of Liège, Khiva, Kévie, Yalou Dubecq and Yalou fin cigarettes; Tchamkerten et Cie, of Antwerp, oriental leaf tobacco, cut tobacco and cigarettes; The Savoy Cigarettes Manufacturing Co, fine cigarettes, Egyptian style; Tirou-Diricq, of Charleroi, cigarettes of various brands; Van Zuylen frères, of Liège, cut tobacco, cigarettes, cigarillos, snuff.
Among the exhibiting companies were some of the oldest known in Belgium. The Société anonyme Gilles Lamarche, from Liège, whose foundation dates back to 1767, is probably the oldest. We should also note a company, also from Liège, the Société anonyme Veuve Dumont et Cie, which was established in Liège in 1770.
Special mention should also be made of the Liège firm of Van Zuylen frères, founded in 1804, and the firm of Poulain-Devaux, from Mons, which was established in that city in 1772.
In order to appreciate the qualities of our manufacturers, it would have been necessary to conduct a jury. One would then have noticed how much skill the manufacture of such a tiny cigarette revealed, the difficulty for this other manufacturer to rid the cigar of most of its nicotine, without taking away its aroma.
Among the houses we have mentioned, some have a universal reputation and an importance worthy of being highlighted.
Ernest Tinchant, of Antwerp, employs 1,300 men and women. In addition to its community showcase, its luxurious sales pavilion, designed by the architect Hasse, and erected opposite the entrance to the halls, was noted at the Exhibition. Another Antwerp company, José Tinchant y Gonzalès et Cie, employs 1,700 workers and produces 74 million cigars annually.
These figures provide eloquent proof of the importance of the tobacco industry in Belgium.
We cannot, of course, list all the titles of the many brands of cigars whose labels were visible to visitors. However, we think we should mention here, because they were quite appropriate, the Jubilee brand of the firm Van Zuylen frères, of Liège, and the Liége-Exposition brand of the firm Nestor Renard, a brand that our fellow citizen registered in 1897, and which, because of its vogue, contributed not a little to the propaganda of the Liège work.
The installation of the periodical L'Organe du Tabac completed, with the two volumes of the Annuaire International des Tabacs in 1905, exhibited by Mr. Dieudonné Couche, of Brussels, and a panel occupied by the graphics of the Syndicat National des Tabacs, the exhibition of the whole community.
©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Liège 1905