In these days, when industrial life is so active and has taken on such great development, there are few people who have not heard, in a factory, the sharp whistle of steam, the whirr of wheels and flywheels, the sound of hammers striking and tools biting iron, etc. ....
But to be in the midst of a hundred factories at once, in one and the same space, factories of different kinds and types, each of which produces its own particular noise, is a spectacle that has no equal! Whoever wishes to enjoy it, to look at this jumble that disturbs the senses, to abandon his eyes and ears to such a strange effect, need only visit the machine hall of the Vienna Exhibition.
In this building, 2520 feet long, are exhibited machines from all countries, in the same order as the other products which appear in the Exhibition Palace, that is to say following the direction from west to east, according to the geographical map. In the middle of the hall stands a forest of iron columns which support the crossbar known as the bed shaft, on which the transmission belts are wound, by means of which the exhibits are set in motion by numerous steam engines, placed partly behind the hall, under the metal shelters, and partly in the hall itself. Underneath and between these iron scaffoldings are the machines, which are in operation all day long: weaving and spinning machines, machines for wire, nail and needle factories, paper-making machines, powerful turbines, all of a very varied appearance. Our drawing shows a group of machines from the German section. The dome-shaped machine shown here comes from the factory of C. Heckmann, Berlin, and is a sugar refining machine; this machine shines like a mirror, for it is made of yellow, polished copper.
The gallery surrounding it, and to which two iron staircases lead, is established for the service of the apparatus, whose numerous taps and pipes are located at the top. Here, at the Exhibition, this terrace offers a convenient view of a large part of the empire subject to the god Vulcan. At the bottom of the terrace, a spiral staircase leads to the lower opening of the cauldron. The powerful wheels, which we see beside this object, belong to a gigantic steam engine, from the Sigl factory in Berlin. It is a twin engine, representing 100 horsepower, and is distinguished by a very interesting arrangement.
There is a dynamograph which marks, by means of needles, the number of strokes of the steam piston and which seems to be composed of five watch dials: the first one marks up to 10 evolutions; the second one always 10 and goes up to 100 evolutions; the third one always 100 up to 1000 evolutions; the fourth one always 1000 up to 10000 evolutions; the fifth one counts according to 100000 and goes up to one million evolutions.
The public in the machine hall is composed of craftsmen and a number of people who do not understand much, so that they admire much more than they understand.
The Vienna World Exhibition 1873
The large machine hall (800 metres long, 50 metres wide and 20 metres high) was located to the north of the Palace of Industry, parallel to it.
The building consisted of brick walls, covered with an iron roof and had no ornamentation.
Alongside the building 2 railway tracks were built to facilitate the transport of the various machines.
This hall was in fact only a huge room where the latest technological innovations were presented. This place was also meant to be educational by presenting the functioning of the machines.
At the end of the exhibition, this hall was used by the railways as a depot.