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THE SYDNEY EXHIBITION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 14, 28 October 1879
THE SYDNEY EXHIBITION.
♦- The Sydney Exhibition, considered as a financial speculation, has every prospect of being a very groat failure. This is no more than was to be expected, and what the New South Wales Government was perfectly prepared for. But there can be no doubt whatever, on the other hand, that the great end has been accomplished the Industrial Exhibition of the Southern Hemisphere was inaugurated to subserve. It has brought in competition upon Australian ground the great workshops of the world, and drawn together upon Antipodean soil the representatives of the world’s manufacturing skill. They came there competing for the good opinions of the Australian markets, and spreading the fame of the excellence of their productions still further over the world. The show of manufactures will enable our importers to obtain better information regarding the manufactures they have
hitherto been introducing into the colonies, and put them in a position to select, from actual comparison under their own eyes, the best factories from which to procure the goods they have hitherto been accustomed to receive, depending for choice upon the knowledge of the commission agents with whom they dealt. To many importers the names of the manufacturers of numberless classes of goods were but “ brands,” that had hut little meaning, because the specialties of each particular firm were not known ; and not seldom the goods of an inferior but lower priced house were innocently preferred. To a keen man of business the Sydney Exhibition will be a great practical lesson on this point alone, and one from which the whole of the Southern Colonies will profit. Manufacturers from every producing country are represented in Sydney, and even “strange Japan” puts in a not unimportant appearance ; the products ot every industry in the colony are sampled to a greater or less degree, so that young Australia has now had brought under her eyes, in one great panorama, the natural history of the world’s commerce. She will be able to estimate to some extent how far she is behind her older compeers, and mark out for herself the easiest course to pursue in the race to come abreast of them. The keen sighted men who have come from every corner of the earth to attend the great show, and if possible, by its agency extend their own business connections in these colonies, will have an opportunity of seeing what these great countries of ours are like. To their practical eyes our resources will be open for inspection, and they will go home with no unduly rosy story, no jaundiced report, but the “ plain unvarnished tale” of men who are earnest in the professions they follow, whose word can be trusted, and whose opinions are valued. We prophesy great things to the Southern Hemisphere from this “ World’s Show,” and the one that follows it, at Melbourne, and if the patriots of New Zealand have not taken advantage to the full of the opportunities now given the blame rests with themselves. But we are happy to say that advantage to a fair extent has been taken by New Zealand of the Exhibition, and the picture of her resources represented by her court in the great building will not fall upon eyes lacking collodion sufficient to retain the picture on the mind. As the summer goes on, we expect many visitors of a kind who have hitherto been strangers to onr islands—men who know how to estimate the practical value of resources—and those visits will not be without their influence upon the industries and commerce of our future. Crowds of sightseers may not flow into the Exhibition building, to swell the receipts in a proportion equal to the outlay expended to bring about the opening of such a great feature in the Australasian history ; but we feel assured the after results of the great Exhibition of 1879, will repay a thousandfold the paltry loss that may now be incurred, and those results will be shared in by the whole colonies of the south. New Zealand Court.
The following flattering description of the New Zealand Court at the Sydney Exhibition, is thus referred to in the Sydney “ Town and Country” : The enterprise and fraternal spirit manifested by our New Zealand neighbor is in the highest degree commendable, especially from a New South Wales point of view. The court is one of the most attractive and popular in the whole exhibition, and as an indication of the wealth, enterprise, and natural productions of the colony, the display made is very satisfactory. Perhaps the excellent and valuable collection of products and manufactures sent up from Maori land may be in some measure due to the influence of Sir Hercules Robinson, who, as he—well, not to put too fine a point on it —ran us into holding the show, could not do less than exert himself to secure the co-operation of the people over whom he now presides. However this may be we do not know. We only know that New Zealand makes a really grand display of her natural commodities. If she had sent nothing else than the magnificent samples of cereals to be seen in her court, she would have been entitled to our gratitude and admiration. In this line, so far as quantity is concerned, New Zealand is far ahead of all other competitors. There is more grain sent by her than by any of the other colonies. The samples, too, are of splendid quality. Over 150 growers have sent samples of the produce of their farms. The wheat is really grand and ought to put some of our own farmers to the blush, though the Mudgee farmers have upheld the honor of New South Wales in this particular. This cereal in quantity predominates over all other kinds of grain. Much of it is grown near Oamaru, Dunedin and Christchurch, in the South Island. One sample, from Christchurch, of Tuscan wheat, goes 081bs to the bushel, and one exhibitor alone sends 20 different samples. Besides wheat there is a great show of barley, oats, maize, peas, beans, pearl barley, mangel wurzel, hops, flour, meal, grass seeds in great variety, &c. Many of the samples of wheat contain full information respecting its growth, &c., as for example, the following : “ One bushel white velvet wheat, grown by E. Menlove, Esq., on his Windsor Park Estate, near Oamaru, on undulating ground, loamy soil, limestone formation ; average yield per acre this season, 50 bushels; value in Oamaru, 2s 6d per bushel. ”
The minerals of New Zealand ere moderately well represented ; but there is a fine show of native woods, furniture, woollen goods, and n orks of art —paintings and photographs. Wc observe that the Hon. Lady llobinson has sat for her photograph since her residence in Maori land. The furniture in this court, manufactured by Messrs Guthrie and Lavnach, a Dunedin firm, will compare favorably with anything shown in the palace. Messrs A. and T. Burt, another Dunedin firm, show a lot of splendidly-finished brass-work for engineers and plumbers ; also lead-soil pipes, rough brass castings, pumps, lead and composition pipes, bottling machine and syphon, gaseliers, Ac. A model of the splendid steamship Rotomahana attracts crowds of visitors. There are also several other models of a kindred character in the court. In the matter of wool and manufactures the colony is well to the fore, being represented in tins commodity by specimens of tweed, all made at the factory of the Mosgiel Woollen Factory Co. (Limited). There are 35 different patterns of tweed, all made from wool grown in the colony, and they are equal to any English stuff's. Some flannels and yams are shown with the other exhibits. This company, we understand, employs about 150 hands, and its tweeds are in great favor, and' bring paying prices. The Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company, of Canterbury, also send samples of their heavy tweed, blankets, and white cricketing flannels, all of a very superior quality. It is a pity these exhibits have not greater space assigned them than has been allotted. The court, though a large one, is somewhat cramped for room. Among other New Zealand productions are to be noticed some very nice confectionery and biscuits, bottled ale, preserved meats, flax, rope, cordials, liqueurs, boots and shoes, leather, saddlery, hats, plated-ware, fancy work, gum, hosiery, a plan of Lyttelton harbor, coffee, chicory, flock, stuffed birds, hand muffs, candles, soap, wool, and New Zealand greenstone. There is also to be seen in this court a bust of Hapuku, a late celebrated Maori chief. The paintings in this court possess great merit. There is one ancient sketch in the wool work, said to have been made by Alary Queen of Scots —not for criticism.
THE SYDNEY EXHIBITION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 14, 28 October 1879
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