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Mining and Metallurgy - Expo Ghent 1913

Mining and Metallurgy at the Exhibition Expo Ghent 1913

Next to the Palace of Luxury Industries and linked to it by the bay that housed the exhibitions of the towns of Tourcoing and Comines, a second palace faced the Avenue des Nations and the Avenue de Flandre. At the point where the two avenues met, the entrance to the City of Paris pavilion opened. In addition to this pavilion, the Palais included the French groups of small and large metallurgy, electro-metallurgy, mining, mechanics, agriculture, aeronautics and automobile, medicine and hygiene.

The exhibition of the Mining Class consisted of two distinct parts: fuel mines on the one hand, iron and copper mines, etc. on the other. In the centre, a Salon d'honneur housed, along with the Société de l'industrie minérale, the major corporate groups of the extractive industries: Comité central des Houillères de France, the Liévin test station, the Chambre des houillères du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais, the Comité des houillères de la Loire, the Comité des mines de fer de Meurthe et Moselle, the Chambre syndicale des Mines de fer de France, the Chambre syndicale française des Mines métalliques.

The quarrying and explosives industries were also represented; the statistics showed a deficit in French coal production in relation to total consumption.

From the point of view of metal mines, France is very unevenly divided. While the deposits of lead, zinc, copper and antimony are not very abundant, its soil has the finest known reserves of iron ore. Alongside the Briey basin, whose hydroxide ore is finding a rapidly growing outlet in local industry and beyond the borders, we are seeing an increase in shipments of ores from Normandy; the deposits in the Caen region, developed with activity and method, seem likely to provide world consumption with a growing supplement of carbonate-silica ore, whose reserves appear to be considerably larger than previously thought.

In addition to the mining processes and the variety of products supplied for consumption, the mining companies had endeavoured to draw the public's attention to their social works.

The French metallurgy industry has been going through an era of great prosperity for several years. Numerous factories have been developed and others, very important ones, have been created, notably in the East, in the North and in the West.

The metallurgical products exhibited by the French industrialists attracted attention by their value and diversity, in particular the Arbel establishments, which made a large contribution to the supply of forged parts necessary for national defence and for the battleships planned in the programme of the French Navy; they exhibited straight and bent shafts, a turbine rotor of 1.8 m. in diameter for a battleship turbine, a sleeve and a shell for a 30 cm. gun, shells, etc.

Small-scale metallurgy includes a multitude of different industries, from precious metals to the most common metals; it includes a considerable number of products, in particular foundry and forge parts, bolts and screws, hardware, copper, nails, etc; ironwork, metal closures, lifts and lifts; boiler making, locksmithing, tinsmithing and taps; sheet metal tanks, iron furniture, tools, steel parts, wire mesh, brambles and wires, perforated sheets, kitchen stoves, stoves, grills, etc. , kitchen utensils, hydrotherapy equipment, needles, pins, metal feathers, brooches, buckles, eyelets, buttons, etc.

The value and great variety of French products proved the remarkable development of small-scale metallurgy.

The mechanical group was located next to the small and large metallurgy groups, an arrangement that was favourable to all the manifestations of these related industries. It alone occupied a vast hall of nearly 2,000 square metres and, without presenting engines of exceptional power or machines of considerable volume, it was remarkable for certain new devices as well as for the perfection of the machines which were used.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle & Internationale de Gand 1913