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THE PARIS EXHIBITION., Issue 7988, 17 August 1889, Supplement
THE PARIS EXHIBITION.
■» [By Our Special Reporter.J No. ]. Pauls, June 24, The Paris Exhibition is disappointing in one respect, in that it entirely exceeds anj anticipation as to variety or interest whier, could possibly be entertained. Apart from the triumphs of mechanical skill in tin Eiffel lower and the palace of machinery, the Exhibition is the most marvellous the world has ever seen. It is for everybody, for all ages, for the learned as well as the least instructed, an incomparable school in which the teaching is universal. The manufacturer there finds models of which he may grasp every detail, and will know how to profit thereby; whilst the ordinary visitor can hardly fail to obtaiu a general idea, sufficiently comprehensive, of the marvels always in progress of modern industry. The ingenious may find there the road to fortune by the study of perfected processes designed in the fertile brain of inventors; the artist raise to the highest point the culture of his talents by the appreciative study of works and classes of works heretofore unknown, which never previously have come within the range or possibilities of observation. It has been happily said that this Exhibition combines and demonstrates in skilfully devised arrangement the elements of a gigantic encyclopedia, where nothing ia ignored or has been overlooked. We are shown how in this present year ISB9 the human race, in all its various branches, is supplied with food, drink, apparel, and lodging ; by what scientific processes man works to the satisfaction of his wants. The history, past and present, of the arts which adorn life, and of the sciences destined to render the individual more happy, more intelligent, and, consequently to raise society to a higher plane, is displayed and illustrated. Practically, in respect to all important purposes, the entire civilised world is represented in manufacture, art, and science; if there is any default, it is in the productions of the dependencies of England, many of them destined to be great countries. The next centenary of the French Revolution will assuredly see a very different political arrangement of the surface of the globe. It is the fault, of course, of the colonies themselves, but to be regretted from more than one point of view, that only Victoria and New Zealand have put in an appearance at all, and that in a most meagre and unsatisfactory manner. It should have been, I venture to conceive, the business of the Imperial Government to arrange a general representation, at least, of the resources and capabilities of all the more important colonies. The ignoring of these rising States, with the marvellous opportunities they present to the enterprising and industrious of every nation, is the one defect which mars the completeness of the Exhibition. France has taken good care not to hide under a bushel her colonial empire; her colonies and the countries under her "protection" are individually and admirably represented, and the representation forms one of the most interesting features of the Exhibition. If one did not know better, it might easily be imagined that the French Republic was the great colonising power of the world. It is an historical fact of no little interest, and one perhaps hardly generally known, that to France is due the credit of the origination of the industrial exhibition,'and that the first in Europe was held on this very same site, the Champ de Mars, in 1798, under the Directory. The example, ever since religiously followed, was set on this occasion, for it is recorded that the preparations were by no means complete on the day of opening. Itwas, however, on the whole, asapurely national affair, a great success, and would seem fairly to have fulfilled the anticipations of the Government in the promotion. Some lemarks of the Minister of the Interior at the formal opening strike me as being worthy of quotation, as giving the raison d'etre for such exhibitions as you are about contemplating, I believe, in New Zealand:—" The products of induatry distributed over the whole surface of the French territory do not admit of instituting those comparisons wbich are always in the arts a source of improvement; a central point is necessary to industrial emulation. It is in order to procure for artists the novel spectacle of all the industries united, to establish between them a happy emulation, to fulfil a most sacred duty in causing every citizen to realise that the national prosperity is inseparable from that of the arts and manufactures, that the Government has initiated this Exhibition." These were the words of the Minister in 1798. The present Exhibition, although based on the same lines, was a more extended and ambitious project. The decree promulgated in November, 1884, which nominated the first Commission, declared that it was to be universal and national, and the president of the Commission, at the first meeting, expressed himself to the effect Xhat ttie Exhibition o£ ISB9 -woviid ha\o
" the character of a centennial exhibition, summing up all that the liberty of labor inaugurated in 1798 has produced in the way of progress during the century juat closed. It is to this investigation of the universal economic situation that all the nations are convened." It is beyond question that this great object has been carried out to a point of success beyond what could reu:, MMhly hr.vc b<-o n refit's;-te.!. The e-.lXTlHtiir.. KlVtlivt:'.! :>aM Ivw, ; ~.y , :r ,v. b.tt, it hj ',.,:, t:o m.UA, ua\i htM'.n kept, well within tin- estimate of forty-time millioiis cf francs, and is not likely'on the whole to exceed this amount. It may he interesting briefly to note how the affair has been financed. Even the United States and the colonies, sharp as they are in such matters, may learn a wrinkle from Paris. The State in the first place agreed to an appropriation of seventeen millions, and the City of Paris appropriated eight millions, the balance of eighteen millions being covered by a guarantee association, to whom was to be made over the receipts from the entrance money up to the amount of their investment. Before, however, the Exhibition opeuod, the association was superseded by a society constituted on an entirely different basis. It, moreover, brought to the purposes of the Exhibition a supplementary credit of three millions and a-half, thus raising the total amount available to forty-six millions and a-half, of which not quite forty millions have been up to the present time expended. The society raise their capital by the issue of 1,200,000 bonds of 25fr each, each of which has attached to it twenty-five entrance tickets to the Exhibition. The bonds have a currency of seventy-five years, when they are to be paid in full, and each gives a chance of a prize in the drawing of eighty-one lotteries. In order to assure the reimbursement of all the bonds at the end of seventy-five years, it is calculated that it will be sufficient to reserve capital of about six millions. The operation, it will thus be seen, consists in the selling at the same time the tickets of admission and the lottery tickets, and it is estimated that of the whole thirty millions twenty-five millions will be available for the Exhibition, and, besides covering the guarantee and extra expenditure, enable the magnificent buildings constructed to remain on the ground instead of being pulled down and the materials sold, as originally contemplated, which would indeed be a veritable act of Vandalism. The bonds participate, as I have mentioned, in eighty-one drawings, of which six are during the Exhibition—at the end of each month. The first five, of which one was drawn on May 31, comprise one prize of 100,000fr, one of 10,000fr, ten of I.OOOfr, and 100 of lOOfr. The sixth drawing, on October 31, will be a very big thing indeed. The first prize is 500,000fr, two of 10,000fr, ten of I.OOOfr, and 200 of lOOfr. During the following seventy five years there is to be one drawing a year, so that a bond has almost interminable chances, and many prizes will undoubtedly lapse. Considering the French love for gambling in this form, it is not surprising that the subscription was covered seven times over ! One practical result of the issue right off of thirty millions of entrance tickets has been that they are easily obtainable at 50c each (od), although nominally in value a franc. The Exhibition therefore is not only the biggest the world has eyer seen, but decidedly the cheapest. Since the attendance averages 100,000 a day, and twice as many on Sundays and holidays, it is sufficiently clear that if the Exhibition closes, as intended, in October, there will be several million tickets unused. The general aspects of the Exhibition are, no doubt, familiar to you all in the colony through the medium of the illustrated papers. It is therefore unnecessary to attempt to give an idea by word painting of the iont ensemble, which, within reasonable limits, it would be difficult to describe. Although aKjuring as a rule statistics, knowing that they are very generally considered a bore, I give a few figures which should convey some notion of the scale on which the Exhij hition has been designed and carried out: I The Palace of Fine Arts, of the Liberal Arts, the Palace of Machines, which they flank, the vestibules Kapp and Desaix, with the building adjacent of various exhibitions, cover an area of 255,733 square yards. The total area placed at the disposal of the foreign sections is 102,666 square yards in the several palaces, but in order to satisfy demands for space the construction of several special buildingf along the Quai d'Orsay has been authorised. New Zealand, by the way, has part of a shed here. The Eiffel Tower I shall describe more particularly anon ; suffice it now to state that the height is exactly 9S4ft, the breadth at the base 328 ft on each side, and the space comprised within the four pillars one hectare, equivalent to two and a half acres, which will give some idea of the magnitude of the structure. The palace of machinery is about 1,380 ft long, 492 ft wide, and IGOffc high in the centre. The buildings and grounds are lighted by electricity. There are ordinarily 1,150 arc lamps and 10,000 incandescent; on the whole more than 10 000 burners. Among the most marvellous spectacles in the Exhibition are the illuminated fountains. Powerful electric lights, placed below the basins, illume interiorly the gUßhing spouts of water, and these, having reflected upon them by a skilful system of mirrors rays of light various in color, fall in cascades of gold, ruby, and emerald. The effect is magical; the manner in which it is brought sbout is somewhat complicated, and can hardly be popularly explained.
THE PARIS EXHIBITION., Issue 7988, 17 August 1889, Supplement
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