The silk and wool exhibitions are, so to speak, only the avant-garde of the Pilonetto exhibitions. The high, bright galleries stretch out, intersecting and succeeding one another, soberly decorated and closed by blinds that shed a quiet, even light on the exhibits.
Among the manufacturing industries, next to the wool industry, there is the collective exhibition of leather, an industry that is flourishing throughout Italy, but especially in Piedmont, with its production centre in Turin. Japan, together with China, has placed a complementary industrial exhibition in the gallery overlooking the Po. There are coloured lamps, fans, trinkets, sports articles, games; the screens, works of the needle fairies, so admired in the Palace of Industrial Art, are again on display.
The gallery now changes in character and colour: manufactured goods have given way to foodstuffs. Here are colossal trophies of wine and liquor bottles; here are giant barrels of 120, 200 hectolitres capacity. Flour, pasta, and daily bread alternate with refined confectionery products, with delicate early fruit, with bunches of grapes wonderfully preserved throughout the winter. In a section on the right is the collective exhibition of the Italian sugar industry.
We have now entered the Agriculture section, which will keep us here for a long time. The agrarian industry has nowadays taken on a worldwide importance thanks to the exchange of its products from one continent to another. From this exchange new industries have arisen: the construction of transport tanks, the refrigeration industry and refrigerators. Everywhere, in the cultivation of the land, the machine complements the work of man, replacing the increasingly expensive and scarce labour force. Thus there is mechanical ploughing, steam, benzine, electric; clod breakers, sowers, threshers, lifts, presses, forage cutters, grain dryers, and so on, a whole new mechanics invented by science and put by industry at the service of agriculture.
The importance of the agrarian industry explains its international character and the great development it is taking here. First we enter Germany, then Switzerland, and from there the French agricultural exhibition. At this point, the exhibition makes a right angle, cutting across the head of the great inner square of the Pilonetto, and running, with Italy, Hungary and Japan, along the front of all the successive galleries: defence of the country, foresight, to stop only before the Italians abroad. The agricultural exhibition stretches out, curves, agile, flexible, to form the rib of the Pilonetto exhibition. It is Mother Earth, the Great Mother Cybele who triumphs over all human activity, and to whom a symbolic statue has been erected here, in the centre of one of the galleries, rising from a pedestal of sacks of chemical fertilizers.
The mining and chemical industries reveal a new aspect of the earth's industry by taking us into its bowels. We have the exhibitions of the Royal Mining Corps, the Sardinian Mining Association, the Brosso mines, the Cogne iron mine, the talc and graphite quarries of Val Chisone, the collective exhibition of chemical manufacturers. Let us observe the curious soap monument erected to King Victor-Emmanuel II with blocks of soap, one of which weighs five quintals and sculpted by prof. César Zocchi. Outside, in a separate pavilion, there is an exhibition of samples of the beautiful marble of Serravezza, in the Apuan Alps.
The mining and chemical industries are closely allied to metallurgy, which, through its furnaces, makes possible the processes and molecular reactions necessary for these industries. The art of shaping metals, as old as man, received with Vulcan among the divinities of Olympus, includes iron, copper, lead, tin, gold and silver just out of the mine. It purges them of slag, separates them from heterogeneous bodies, unites them into alloys, works them into colossal masses and very thin threads, bending them to all the demands of life, to all the fantasies of art, producing cast iron, steel, bronze and all the infinitely delicate creations of goldsmiths. Metallurgy preceded agriculture in the history of mankind; the latter was only able to transform pasture into stable soil cultivation thanks to the instruments manufactured by the former.
The furniture is located in the extension of the Defence of the Country gallery; it can be reached from this section or directly from the large entrance square of the Pilonetto.
©Guide Officiel de l'Exposition Internationale de Turin 1911