- Bodywork and cartwrighting; saddlery and harnessing. - We will have completely finished everything concerning group VI by examining the last class it contains, class 60, devoted to bodywork, wagon-making, saddlery and harnessing. This class, which does not require motive power, as it does not show machines in motion at the Exhibition, has been placed in its place among the Luxury Industries exhibits in the Palace of Miscellaneous Industries (see plan). Here we find the most varied specimens of wheels, axle tires, springs and suspension systems. Then there are all the bodywork products: public cars, ceremonial cars, velocipedes, tricycles, etc. Finally, all the articles and accessories for harnessing and spurring: saddles, saddlebags, bridles and harnesses for mounts, beasts of burden and draught animals, stirrups, spurs, whips, riding crops, etc.
Our Parisian bodywork industry, an industry of luxury and taste par excellence, is presenting itself in this class with a brilliance that will certainly renew the success it has always achieved at Universal Exhibitions in France and abroad; we believe that on this point we can be a good prophet, despite the proverbial saying, even in our country.
The Furniture Industries.
CLASS 17 - Furniture. - French industry is incomparable in this branch of national production. To the invention of beautiful forms, to the delicate taste in the choice of material, is joined a prestigious skill of execution. Our cabinet makers are second to none. The characteristic impression of this class is the inexhaustible variety of works. From the oak chayère, with its fine gothic serrations, and the cacquetoire of which Henry Estienne said so pleasantly about the Parisian women of his time: From the oak chayère, with its fine Gothic lacework, and the cacquetoire, of which Henry Estienne said so pleasantly about the Parisian women of his time: "There is no appearance that they have frozen beaks, at least I can vouch for those of Paris, who could not resist calling their seats cacquetoires, to the bonheurs-du-jour, made of precious wood and worked like pieces of jewellery for the beautiful marquises of the 18th century, there is every conceivable piece of furniture, in the most diverse styles, severe, graceful and gallant.
The slavish imitation of the types of the past has given way to an ingenious search for elegance, fantasy and modern comfort. We are also witnessing a cheerful awakening of the provincial genius. The Faubourg Saint-Antoine and the Marais are competing with workshops from Lyon, Marseille, etc., whose work has a high degree of originality and artistic merit.
CLASSES 18 AND 21.
- Works of the upholsterer and decorator. - Carpets and tapestries. - In this class, the decorative genius of Parisian artists shines through. If the small worker, of a piece of ribbon and a flower crumpled by her cute hands, makes a masterpiece of spiritual grace, our tapestry-makers, with a few strips of velvet and satin, build, in the time of a dream, interiors which evoke the most luxurious enchantments. The most fertile and ingenious imagination is given free rein to drape and match upholstery fabrics picturesquely, to marry them with originality to marble, wood, stucco and wallpaper. Nowhere could one find more taste, charming fantasy and science of colour. Our tapestry and carpet manufacturers, instructed by the old masters of Gobelins and Beauvais, by the Orientals, show us new works, of a great decorative allure, all truculent and vibrant.
CLASSES 19 AND 20.
- Ceramics, Glassware, Crystals and Mosaics. - The ceramics class, because of the progress of this industry, presents an interest that it did not have at previous Exhibitions. This class includes four categories of products: 1° white and decorated porcelain; 2° white and decorated earthenware; 3° stoneware; 4° terracotta.
The first category includes a new product, the invention of which has brought about a veritable technical revolution in ceramics: New Porcelain.
For several years, the discovery of the formula of Chinese porcelain has been pursued at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. This porcelain has qualities in terms of paste and decoration that are not found together in either hard or soft porcelain, and which give the works of the ceramists of the Celestial Empire such great originality and value. In 1873, Salvetat, chemist of the Manufacture, obtained a first modified hard paste, able to receive on glaze the glazes of the soft paste, and, two years later, he succeeded in making hard porcelain, in conformity with the empirical formulas contained in the manuals of the porcelains of China.
Unfortunately, illness came upon the scholar and he was unable to continue his studies. When Mr. Lauth was appointed director of Sèvres, he set himself the task of completely solving the problem posed by the commission for the improvement of the factory in 1875: 1° to create a porcelain suitable for coloured high-fire glazes and to be decorated with backgrounds and paintings in half-high-fire enamels; 2° to find the composition and firing method of the celadons and flamed reds of the Chinese. He appointed Mr. Vogt, head of the chemical department, as his collaborator and two years later, Mr. Lauth presented to the members of the commission several specimens of a material to which the name of New Porcelain was given. Essentially kaolinic, it resists steel; its paste, of a great plasticity, fulfils all the desirable conditions for moulding and modelling. It is fired regularly and completely, at a temperature that must be developed to fire hard porcelain. Its glaze, white, well glazed and perfectly transparent, adheres in a thicker layer than the glaze of hard porcelain, which gives it the softness of soft bodies and multiplies the reflections and plays of light under the colours and glazes.
The Exhibition of the French National Manufactures contains the prototypes of this porcelain which, without however having to make disappear the two others, the hard porcelain and the soft porcelain, is called to a very great development of production.
Limoges, on the other hand, continues the manufacture of hard porcelain: See rather in the gallery of honor of 30 meters, the superb exhibition of Hâviland, which, by the variety of its models and by its new processes of manufacture, establishes today hard porcelain almost at the same price as earthenware; after 70 Germany had been able to take away from us the export in America, England, Russia, etc.
Today, we can say that thanks to the Hâviland factory in Limoges, France is well represented on foreign markets. As a result, our ceramists, in possession of absolutely reliable processes, can compete seriously with Chinese and Japanese potters in large decorative pieces and for the most vibrant and deepest colours. The Ceramics class shows the advantage that has been taken of this discovery by private manufactures.
Also to be seen is a considerable collection of flambé ware, of an unprecedented variety of shades in all imaginable colours, comparable to the best productions of China and Japan.
Finally, until recently, France was dependent on Italy for mosaics; today our artists can compete successfully with those of Florence, the Vatican and Petersburg. And the glassmakers! to what original and new production have they not arrived today, thanks to the research and work of scholars, who have brought to light the treasures of ancient art.
- Wallpapers. - On entering here, one might think one was in the silk and tapestry class: the walls are lined with nothing but velvet from Genoa, brocade, lampas, satin from Lyon, and greenery from Flanders, and the imitation has reached such perfection that the illusion can be broken only by touch.
The wallpaper industry has made immense progress; up to twenty-six colours are now printed, and the most intricately designed fabrics can be reproduced. As for the artistic question, it is indisputable that the taste for beautiful decorations has developed greatly. A few years ago, cheap foreign production had caused a sort of crisis in this industry; but the reaction in favour of French creations was not long in coming; today, the importation of wallpapers from England and Germany has decreased by 50 0/0.
- Watchmaking. - One is greeted here with great joy; the chimes of the clocks, which burst from all sides, are mingled with the trills of numerous mechanical nightingales. The spectacle is not the least bit fanciful. The exuberant imagination of the manufacturers of clock cases and watch cases has created some extraordinary inventions.
But alongside these pleasing eccentricities, there is the serious production of national industry, which bears witness to unceasing progress. Paris and Besançon offer us their precious chronometers and their elegantly decorated watches. The country of Montbéliard, Morez of the Jura, Cluses and Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, their clocks, their eight o'clock clocks, their alarm clocks, their regulators, series of showcases filled with materials, watch blanks, pinions, milling cutters, wheels, barrels, of an irreproachable work. In 1878, the jury's reports stated that watchmaking was one of our best industries. The Exhibition of 1889 did not alter this judgement.
Fabrics, clothing and accessories.
- Jewellery. - This is the land of Ophir of fairy dreams, where the sky's cap is an immense lapis, where the flowers are rubies and topazes, with corollas of emeralds, where agathes form the rocks and the rivers run with diamonds. No exhibition had ever before shown such a heap of riches and works of art. In this gallery, open to all female lusts, there are millions of gems and jewels. In the centre, a special showcase contains one of the largest diamonds in existence, a stone weighing 180 carats. Five historic diamonds alone surpass it in size: the Rajah of Matan, the Great Mogul, the Ko hi Noor and the Orloff. Not far away is a phenomenal 162-grain pearl, and here and there are some rich wrecks of the crown treasure, diamonds and various precious stones. They have been used to form new sets of jewellery or historical reconstructions; for example, the ruby necklace of Marie Leczinska, entirely reconstructed after the portrait by Van Loo, from the Louvre Museum, can be seen in a showcase. The Parisian jeweller's trade highly maintains its age-old reputation and fears no rivals.
The Exhibition of Gold and Silver Jewellery is the most brilliant that has been held for a long time. In the artistic manufacture of jewellery, a great number of important works show a brilliant efflorescence; new forms are being found, new alloys of metals are being made to give jewellery new colours. The revival of translucent enamel, known as "goldsmiths' enamel", the first attempts at which were seen at the 1878 Exhibition, has produced pieces which rival all that the old masters have created of the most beautiful in this kind of work; we must see in particular a triptych whose subject is taken from the famous tapestry of the Triumphs of Sens Cathedral; a crystal vase, with an enamelled dragon; a silver statuette representing a young girl wearing an enamelled gold shell in her ear; a vase, in the Sassanid style, made of cut rock crystal, with a fine gold frame, decorated with cabochons, and bearing on the body two enamel medallions depicting scenes from the history of the king of Khobad and, in the interior, a circular enamel band of the finest workmanship; a monstrance based on a design by Raphael.
Silver jewellery, hitherto neglected, seems likely to regain favour, owing to the new working processes which enable a marvellous and unforeseen use to be made of this metal.
As for the low-value export industry, it shows itself armed today with powerful technical resources and excellent models; and it can fight successfully against foreign competition, while preserving intact the universal reputation of loyalty of the French factory.
CLASSES 30 AND 31.
- Cotton, linen and hemp fabrics. - The industries whose products are exhibited here constitute one of the most important branches of national production. Cotton employs about 500,000 workers, linen and hemp more than 300,000. It is estimated that approximately 6,700,000 spindles are used for spinning and 330,000 looms for weaving, both mechanical and hand. The major centres of production are: Rouen and Lille, which have all the large cotton mills; Rouen manufactures, in addition, common indiennes, rouennerie and printed handkerchiefs; Roubaix, where cotton and woolen articles for dresses are? In addition, Roubaix produces cotton and woolen articles for dresses, trousers and waistcoats; Amiens produces cotton velvet for clothing and furniture; Saint-Quentin produces muslins and gauzes for furnishings, finettes, jaconas, calicoes, basins, tulles, etc.; Tarare is famous for its plain and brocaded muslins, gauzes, tarlatans, etc.; Thizy and Roanne produce much appreciated cotton fabrics.
Other less important centres are scattered throughout France. Flax is spun and woven particularly in the North and Normandy, hemp in Anjou and jute in Picardy.
In the midst of this heap of multiple and varied fabrics, whose merit consists especially in the solution of the great modern industrial problem, cheap production, there are numerous pieces which must be seen with interest, because of their technical perfection and where art plays an important role, canvases which, because of their finesse, would have even satisfied Anne of Austria, to whom Mazarin once said jokingly that, if she went to hell, she would have no other torment than to sleep in sheets from Holland
Class 32. - Woolen fabrics. - By following the gallery containing the products of the wool industry, it is easy to see the interesting successive transformations that the raw material undergoes, coming from all parts of the world to our factories to become a perfect sheet, ready to be used by the tailor and the seamstress: The wool is sorted, dehaired, washed, dried, greased, carded, spun and woven into a fabric that new operations degrease, pinch, crush, shear, press and make it definitively suitable for consumption. There are few industries that employ so many workers; it is estimated that there are more than 500,000 in France, who transform about 200 million kilos of raw material, representing 400 million francs. The major production centres are : Elbeuf, Louviers, Sedan, Roubaix, Mazamet, Vienne, Châteauroux, Lodève, Lisieux, Vire, La Bastide, etc. Most of them have a very ancient origin, four and five centuries; some, such as Vienne, date back to the Gallo-Roman period. The importance of the former is extraordinary; Reims, for example, weaves nearly 20 million metres of fabric annually. In the 13th century, the draper's trade was described in several official documents as a "haughty trade". In the 16th century, it took precedence over the five other trades in the city of Paris. Today, it has not lost its high reputation. The wool industry is the leading national industry in terms of annual sales and the population it employs.
Class 33 - Silk and silk fabrics.
This class comprises two great general divisions: the collective exhibition of the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons and that of the Chamber of Commerce of Saint-Etienne. Here French industry shines with an incomparable brilliance and asserts its immortal genius by a production which does not exist in any other country in the world. The centuries, far from exhausting it, give it a new youth, more radiant and more fertile. It will soon be five hundred years since the first silk loom was set up in Lyon by an Italian; half a century later, Lyon was competing with Genoa, Lucca, Siena and Venice, with its gold and silver cloths, its brocades and its velvets. In 1789 there were 12,000 looms; today, on the centenary of the Revolution, Lyon's manufacturing industry employs 125,000 looms and the value of the stars woven exceeds 400 million francs.
The ribbon industry, of which Saint-Etienne has retained the monopoly for about six centuries, occupies a vast gallery filled with marvels, to which the foreign competition from Basel, Zurich, Crefeld and Patterson cannot oppose any production equivalent in good taste and originality. And by a singular ethnographic fancy, these satins of such tender shades, these shaped fabrics on which are thrown such fresh and fine flowers, these velvets so delicate in their fluffiness, were made in the black country of coal and iron.
18,000 looms weave these masterpieces, whose annual consumption amounts to about 100 million francs. Art and technical skill play a great part in this industry, which is thus one of the most powerful agents of national prosperity, through the development of its export trade.
On the day of the signing of the Treaty of Peace at Frankfort, General Grant was receiving at the White House.
The five billion indemnity imposed by Germany on France was the subject of conversation. The French could never pay it, it was unanimously said. The President of the United States was the only one to remain silent; he was asked for his opinion: "The five billion," he replied, "we will pay it. It will be enough for France to send us a few ships loaded with ribbons and flowers.
- Laces, trimmings, embroideries. - From a technical point of view, lace can be divided into two large families: hand-made lace and mechanical lace.
The first one, which is manufactured with the needle or the tile, has four principal centres of manufacture, from which it draws a generic name: Auvergne, laces of Puy; Lorraine, laces of Mirecourt; Normandy, laces of Bayeux; Alençon, points of Alençon. The production of Auvergne consists of laces of wool, cotton and silk, of all colours; that of Normandy, similar to the old Chantilly, in large pieces, shawls, flounces, dresses made by means of bands joined by the stitch of raccroc... Alençon cultivates exclusively the stitch of France, created under Colbert, and Mirecourt, without a well-defined technical character, makes luxury fantasy. 200,000 workers live in France from this industry, which goes back to the beginning of the 15th century.
Mechanical lace, imported from England to France in 1817, is concentrated for the most part in Calais and Saint-Pierre-les-Calais; it has spread from there to Lille, Saint-Quentin, Roubaix, Douai, Caudry, etc. Lyon has created an exclusive speciality manufactured on Jacquard looms.
The lace industry, like the ribbon industry, undergoes the fluctuations of fashion; but the favour is always, fortunately, of longer duration than the abandonment, because the elegant women of the 19th century will never contradict the coquette of Abraham Basse.
Although I have enough beauty
To assure without vanity
That there is no more beautiful woman,
Yet it seems to my eyes
That with gold and lace
I fit even better.
Important pieces of great artistic merit are to be found in this class:
Embroidery comprises three branches of work:
1° white embroidery with plumetis and crochet, by hand or machine, used for lingerie, clothing and furnishing;
2° coloured, gold and silver embroidery, done by hand or machine, used for uniforms and church ornaments
3° hand-made tapestry embroidery. The main of these industries is the first, which employs no less than 200,000 workers and whose production centres are Tarare, the Aisne and the Vosges. The use of the embroidery machine, which makes more than 500,000 stitches per day and thus replaces 50 embroiderers, and the use of the sewing machine, have given it a great development.
Embroidery for furnishings is done particularly in Lyon and Parte and is distinguished by products of high artistic value. In this industry, a very interesting innovation should be mentioned. A manufacturer has devised an endless jersey fabric for use as a hanging, on which he performs mechanical embroidery; we can hope to see a revival of the considerable works of the Renaissance, of which the chronicles and account books have handed down to us descriptions, the astonishing works of the Gautier de Poulligny, the Nicolas Vacquier, the Bernard, the Castels and the Vallet.
As for trimmings, their manufacture and applications are of unprecedented variety; they are used in all trades, and are used as decorative elements in all types of adornment, for men, women and the home. It is one of the oldest French industries: under the name of "industrie des Crépiniers", Etienne Boileau gave it an important place in his book "des Metiers du XIIIe siècle".
- Clothing of both sexes. - In his Dialogues du Language françoys italianisé, Henry Estienne says: "There is a long time that one makes account of a painctre, which having painted the Italian dressed with the Italian, the Hespagnol with the hespagnolle, the German with the allemande and having made the measure as for ceulx of the other nations, coming to the Françoys fist otherwise; for foreseeing the change of manner of dress which the Frenchman might make the next day according to his custom, he did him this honour of painting him as naked as he had come out of his mother's womb, putting however a piece of cloth and scissors between his arms. " This witty satire would no longer be relevant today. Modern men's clothing is hopelessly monotonous and cruelly permanent. As for women's clothing, if, following the example of the Beaux-Arts, the exhibition of this class were to be held every ten years, it would contain all the elements of a retrospective museum of the history of costume, as complete as it is brilliant.
- Bronzes and Fonts of Art. - This class is one of the most important and useful to visit, because of the number, variety and artistic merit of the works it contains. No exhibition has ever been more complete and brilliant. By means of reproduction processes of absolute fidelity, it multiplies and popularizes the works of the ancient and modern masters; it gives the most delicate and the most daring artists a flexible and vigorous material which can realize all their creative dreams. The vast gallery it occupies is like a real museum.
With very few exceptions, it contains all the most beautiful pieces of contemporary French statuary. Next to them, without suffering from the neighbourhood, are the works of our ornamentalists, who count in their ranks men of genius, such as the much regretted Constant Sévin, whose colossal work is shown to us together.
An industry, which this end of century sees blooming again in a brilliant revival, the wrought Iron, shows us there, also, pieces of mastery that would have signed with joy the Mathurin Jousse, the du Monceau and the Lamour. Quintin Matsys himself would find that the superb fountain, leaning against the clock of Sévin, would look very proud next to the well of the Parvis Notre-Dame d'Anvers.
- Goldsmiths. - This great and glorious industry maintains its old reputation. The gallery it occupies is filled with works of high originality of invention and impeccable execution. One finds there series of table services which do not fear comparison with the most beautiful productions of the workshops of the past, pieces of furniture of the greatest decorative character, very beautiful statuary, prizes of races, agricultural contests, whose models were requested from the first sculptors of this time. The pieces of pure curiosity, as precious by the work as by the material, the objects of female adornment are very numerous.
Religious goldsmiths currently appear to be under the fertile influence of a veritable Renaissance of taste; they have created altars that are monuments of art, tabernacles, and reliquaries of a very great style. And Paris, in this genre, is not the only one to have masters; the provinces can claim their share of glory, and not the least in this exhibition which certainly eclipses all the previous ones.
Group V covers the raw and processed products of the extractive industries, which draw raw materials of all kinds from the ground and transform them into manufactured products ready to take their place in industrial life. As such, it covers one of the most considerable elements of public wealth, and this characteristic applies especially to classes 41 and 42, which include: one, mineral products, the other, wood, one of the most important vegetable products of the soil.
- Mineral products. - Straddling the large transverse nave that runs from the central dome to the machinery gallery, it contains the most diverse ores and the metal products extracted from them, from iron and the base metals (copper, lead, zinc, etc.) to gold and silver, with the coals and fuels that are the agents of this transformation. Iron and its by-products, from blocks of pig iron to the most elaborate and delicate tools, occupy the bay that opens on the left of the main nave; the other metals face it in the opposite bay.
Both bays open onto the central nave through the two monumental doors described for this nave, of which the one on the right groups together the industrial products of the Pompey forges in an artistic as well as decorative way, while the one on the left offers, in the form of panoplies set against massive portals, the most varied specimens of the products of the Loire industrial group. It is this group, i.e. all the large establishments built in the Saint-Etienne coal basin and using, in addition to indigenous ores, those coming from the large mines of Algeria, Spain and Sardinia, that one meets first in the iron gallery.
It would be necessary to mention everything in this first room, which is filled with magnificent forges, cannons and armour plates whose enormous dimensions evoke the memory of the work of the Titans rather than a work of human hands.
Here are first of all projectiles made of chromium steel and ship armour; this chromium steel, a recent invention of Mr. Brustlein, offers exceptional qualities of resistance which make it a most useful product for munitions of war. Look at these two marine projectiles: one has just left the factory, the other has already been fired, and you can hardly tell one from the other.
You have to measure them meticulously to realise the small difference in size they present, the imperceptible settlement produced in one of them by the colossal pressure experienced in the core of the piece. More war machines! Here, exhibited by the Marrel factories, are welded shafts for the navy, enormous armour plates, high-calibre cannons, marvels of modern metallurgy. The steelworks of Saint - Etienne show us these colossal frets for large calibre pieces and a rudder in steel cast in one piece, 5 metres high and 4 metres wide, a work of extreme difficulty and rare perfection of execution. A glance at the pretty exhibition of scythes and sickles in the Port Salomon and we find ourselves in front of the factories of Firminy which have joined to their marine machines in cast steel also specimens of their steel wires, an industry created by them, of which England formerly had the monopoly.
And here again are the superb and frightening products of the art of destruction: the famous forges of Châtillon-Com-mentry exhibit a torpedo-proof net and torpedo boat propellers of the highest interest; the forges of Saint-Chamond, battleship turret plates weighing 27,250 kilograms, bridge plates, and finally, a facsimile of a 110-ton block of cast iron that came out of their blast furnaces. To rest a little, let us stop for a moment in front of the graceful products sent by the Val-d'Osne factories, and in front of the beautiful portico of the Forges de Rimaucourt.
Here we enter a field very close to that of art: cast iron reproductions of marble or bronze statues. On a portal with a beautiful decorative effect, there is a bas-relief by Clodion of the most delicate execution, followed by statues cast after the marbles of Versailles.
Further on, in the gallery, the Lyon-Alemand pavilion shows the public its gold and silver ingots and precious materials, then the Société des laminoirs de Hautmont, and the Pont-à-Mousson forges, which show us a water pipe of extraordinary dimensions.
This bay also contains a monumental door by Hemerdinger in brass, a showcase filled with the products of the Société du Nickel, a pretty monumental decoration in Griotte marble from the Pyrenees; finally, two tiny buildings in chalk in the style of the Alhambra in Granada, and which, exhibited by the Société du blanc du Bary, show what can be done with this modest substance, of which the environs of Paris have a more or less exclusive monopoly
The Société de la Vieille-Montagne sums up in a beautiful pavilion all the practical ways in which zinc can be applied to a building. On the other hand, the Royal Asturian Society, which ends class 41 in this bay, wanted to prove that zinc could also be applied to works of art, and built, in embossed and stamped zinc, a Renaissance-style door of superb architecture.
We have reserved for the last place, although it is at the end of the left-hand bay, the exhibition of the gold ores of M. de La Bouglise, which includes the most marvellous specimens of crystalline agglomerations of native gold and gigantic nuggets. The intrinsic value of these specimens, further enhanced by the rarity of their mineralogical forms, makes this ensemble a unique collection in the world, at the same time as it is one of the most accessible curiosities of the exhibition of mines and metallurgy.
- Forestry. - This exhibition has two highlights. The first, the pavilion of the Administration des eaux et forêts, situated at the Trocadero, introduces us to the scientific processes and techniques of this industry, the greater part of which is necessarily in the hands of the State; we have already mentioned this.
The second is the personal work of a distinguished engineer, M. de Chambrelent, who has devoted his life to the realisation of the now completed task of regenerating the Landes and transforming their uncultivated marshes into beautiful pine and oak forests which, in the not too distant future, will completely free France from the heavy toll it was paying to Norway and North America, with which it is already competing on both continents. Our readers will no doubt remember the interesting study, based on an article in the Revue Scientifique, which the Figaro published last February on this subject of such great importance from the point of view of the industrial future of France.
We relate with the greatest admiration the truly marvellous results obtained by M. de Chambrelent in these countries, thirty years ago almost as desolate as the Sahara, today prosperous and productive, thanks to the persevering energy of the good man who has devoted his life to this task. The products exhibited by him are oak and pine woods, from the first seedlings made in 1850 and subsequent years in the most uncultivated and unhealthy parts of the Gascony moors. They present the strongest forest vegetation obtained in France.
The pines that adorn the front of class 42 were sown between 1850 and 1856. They are 19 metres high and have a circumference of 1.20 metres at the base.
These woods are now used to make mining poles, of which England alone consumes 200,000 tons a year, telegraph poles which are sent by the hundreds of thousands to all parts of the world, railway sleepers, and paving stones used by the city of Paris and sent en masse to America. The city of Buenos-Ayres alone placed an order for 37,000 cubic metres this year.
To be mentioned in the same gallery: 16 decorative panels made entirely of wood from the islands and from France, of the most artistic effect and the most finished work; furniture made of pichpin for everyday use; finally, everything concerning the manufacture of charcoal and representing the art of the basket maker.
Our elegant Parisian women will perhaps regret that this curious class has taken precedence over its neighbour (class 43), the products of hunting and fishing (furs and pelts), which are thus relegated a little far from the central nave. However, if they go that far, they will see the most curious products of the industries of the dressers, polishers and hair cutters, the three sub-divisions of the furs. It would take too long to note all the houses in Paris and in the provinces that display their riches before our eyes. It is the very essence of Parisian taste that we find in this superb parade of the fur industry, one of the living sources of France's wealth, which for some years now has been increasing in a considerable and continuous manner, already competing victoriously with the main centres of the same nature in Russia and Germany.
Then a whole series of interesting exhibits: superb natural horsehair, sponges of colossal dimensions, extraordinary imitations of beaver in rabbit skin, brushes in pig bristle, gums imported directly from Senegal - an exclusively French industry which has been developing for some years with fabulous rapidity; - finally, mother-of-pearl, which, by a happy arrangement of multiple and shimmering colours, composes one of the prettiest displays in this class.
All around the room are representatives of the following industries: pearls, sponges, corals, scales, silks, and herbs. Finally, hunting trophies and a product that is somewhat surprising in this environment, the truffle, legitimise the general label of: hunting, gathering and fishing.
- Chemical products. - Less accessible to all, requiring more knowledge, but no less interesting in its details is class 45 of chemical products, which follows the one we have just looked at.
It comprises seven main divisions, which are chemicals proper, dyes, petroleum and its derivatives, pharmaceuticals, soaps and fats, colours and varnishes, rubbers and printing inks.
Hides and skins follow the chemicals. It would be difficult to interest our readers with the rather thankless description of the very special materials of these two classes. However, if they wish to see beautiful electrically tanned skins, and in particular sheep skins sawn into three pieces, they will find them in this corner of the Exhibition.
Group V is completed by the exhibits in classes 44 and 46, which include Non-Food Agricultural Products and Dyes.
© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889