« ElőzőTovább »
of home will cheer the heart of every traveller as he views the building erected by his own country, the contrast in the varied forms of architecture lends to the entire series an air of attractiveness and originality calculated to arouse universal interest and admiration. The United States will have a National Pavilion, along with the other great nations of the world, on the banks of the Seine. The American citizen may come to Paris and view with legitimate pride the graceful structure rising with dome-like effect almost two hundred feet above the river.
He will be there in his own home, for the French authorities have turned over to the United States, as a conquest of peaceful times, to be held throughout the duration of the Exposition, the very land on which the United States National Building will be erected. Since the day on which we were given possession, the site has been marked by four banners with the Stars and Stripes floating to the wind. The work upon this building has proceeded 80 far that within a few weeks the national eagle, with outstretched wings, will crown the topmost part of the structure. Indoors, the American will be at home with his friends, his newspapers, his guides, his facilities for stenography and typewriting, his post office and his telegraph station, his money exchange, his bureau of public comfort and even his ice-water. He may consult his "ticker," where from four to six each afternoon he can receive direct from the New York and Chicago Stock Markets the latest quotations of the busy forenoon hours at home. And he will also find there the headquarters to be established by the American Chamber of Commerce for the intelligent dissemination of trustworthy and impartial commercial information.
We pass now rapidly by the Press Pavilion, the Palace for the Army and Navy exhibit, and the Palace of Merchant Marine. While on the subject of this building, it may be mentioned that a prize of 100,000 francs has been instituted on the private initiative of the heirs of Mr. Anthony Pollok, who went down with the illfated "Bourgogne." This prize is to be awarded under the auspices of the United States Commission to the best device for live-saving at sea. The idea has the sanction of the Exposition authorities. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Marine have given it their moral support, and therefore the United States Secretary of State has properly invited all maritime nations to this humane competition on French soil. The
great nations of the earth have decided to take part, and France, Russia and Germany have relinquished generously their respective allotments in the main long gallery of the Merchant Marine Annex Building, bordering the Seine, in order that the entire space may be devoted to an international display of devices and inventions which may be productive of the highest and truest results for the welfare and protection of mankind.
Plentiful means of transportation about the grounds have been devised-chiefly between the Esplanade des Invalides and the Champ de Mars, where, on a stretch of a couple of miles, a circular double elevated structure has been provided, accommodating an electric railroad and a double moving sidewalk, one-half of which travels about twice as fast as the other.
The Champ de Mars will, doubtless, be the great gathering point for the large mass of visitors to the Exposition. The inventive genius of man holds here full sway and reigns supreme; its products are such as to fascinate the onlooker and rivet his attention. The Eiffel Tower stands out prominently as of yore; it does not lose its prestige; its power of attraction remains undiminished.
An ingenious piece of American machinery is presented now to the public for the first time, in one of the sections of the United States exhibit at the Champ de Mars. It is in every sense of the word a moving stairway, where you select your step and ascend with it. If in a hurry you can run upstairs; if you wish to come down your speed in descent must exceed that of the stairway's ascending motion. This contrivance bids fair to be one of the great attractions of the Exposition.
The general style of the buildings on the Champ de Mars is more sober and severe than on the Esplanade des Invalides. Their whole effect is more pleasing and, inasmuch as a larger space is allowed between them for the circulation of the public, they do not convey at any time a cramped idea. We pass
in review the Palace of Education and Liberal Arts, the Palace of Civil Engineering and Transportation, the Palace of Chemical Industries, the Palace of Textiles, and the Palace of Mining and Metallurgy. It is well worth while to single out for inspection the exquisite piece of work on the frieze of the Palace of Civil Engineering and Transportation. It represents in basrelief the entire history of the development of the means of trans
portation, beginning with the earliest days and proceeding through the ages down to the present time, from the ungainly team contrivance, past the stage-coach and the palanquin, to the safety bicycle and the automobile.
A brilliant display is expected in the new Palace of Machinery and Electricity. No pains, are spared to take advantage of all electric means and devices to enhance its beauty and attractiveness. Outside, an electric fountain is rapidly assuming majestic proportions. Huge sheets of water will flow over multi-colored electric lights, creating, especially at night, a vision of fairy splendor. This Palace of Machinery and Electricity spreads over the Champ de Mars from side to side, directly in front of the old Machinery Hall, which is now converted to the use of the exhibit in Agriculture and Food Products. In the centre of this old hall a building within a building is being erected to serve for festive purposes and gatherings. It has a seating capacity of four thousand, and work is being pushed onward continuously night and day to complete it for the opening date.
To provide in sufficient measure for an adequate display of the agricultural resources of our country, it was found necessary to go outside of the main Agricultural Building, and claim space upon which to erect an Annex Pavilion of our own. A site was granted outside the main building, adjoining, on the upper floor, an allotment already made to the United States. A covered bridge was accordingly thrown over from the main structure to the Annex, thereby uniting the two spaces practically into one without apparent transition, and increasing our exhibit area by 15,000
Similar conditions as to lack of space arose in other quarters as well, and each time additional grants of land were obtained from the French authorities on the Champ de Mars near the river, upon which to erect Annex Buildings in the group of Forestry, on the one hand, and in Merchant Marine on the other.
Leaving the Champ de Mars we cross the Pont de Jéna, which has been built out to a considerable width, and we enter the grounds of the Trocadéro, devoted largely to Colonial Exhibits. The buildings are mostly odd, fanciful in appearance, exotic in character; a Moorish style predominates, but never to the exclusion of fantastic taste and absolute architectural freedom. As a matter of fact, attractiveness of construction is the pass-word
of the builders and the key-note to the impression gathered. Nevertheless, important displays will be made by France along the lines of the classification of the colonial group. Russia has erected here a national structure and other buildings. England and South Africa present their colonial resources side by side.
As a special favor to the United States, the rules of the French classification were broken down, in order to let us devote our allotted space at the Trocadéro to a joint exhibit of the products and resources of Cuba and Hawaii under the American flag.
Despite the fact that the exhibit area within the city limits in 1900 is considerably in excess over that of 1889, it has not proved adequate to meet the requirements of the occasion. Accordingly, it was found necessary to provide for an Annex to the Exposition, and this has been done in the Park of Vincennes, outside Paris. There, for instance, is relegated the entire, cumbersome exhibit of railroad rolling stock, as well of France as of foreign nations. The bicycle industries will have a home of their own. The automobiles will be housed in comfortable quarters in close proximity to a track where they may be tested and speeded. The United States will display here a wonderful exhibit of tool machinery—in fact, will have a vast workshop in operation, where engineers and contractors can become personally acquainted with this important branch of our modern industry. A second Annex Building in Forestry is also planned by us for Vincennes, which will cover 15,000 square feet of space and serve to illustrate in þetter measure our country's resources in this direction.
There will be no want of side shows at the Exposition; sixty are already accepted and approved, and represent an invested capital of over twelve million dollars. Of scientific interest is the Optical Palace. A lens of wonderful dimensions is inserted in a huge, horizontal, stationary tube, and a brightly polished circular looking-glass moves in all directions in front of the same. The idea is to reflect the skies through the mirror into the telescope, and project the picture at the other end upon a screen, where a couple of thousand people may at one time scan the heavens as though they were but sixty-odd miles distant.
Other concessions include a large celestial globe, a Swiss village, moving dioramas, a trip around the world, a Maréorama, Andalusia in Moorish days, the Subterranean Mining Exhibit, a Street of Old Paris in the fourteenth century, etc.
This coming Exposition will be the sixteenth held on French soil. The first dates back to 1798, with 110 exhibitors, and it lasted for three days on the Champ de Mars. The last was in 1889, with 61,722 exhibitors, and an attendance of 32,650,000. The conservative forecast for 1900 is said to double these last named figures.
The greater the Exposition the more potent its influence upon the future. World's Fairs are indeed peaceful competitions. As such, the results of the Paris Exposition of 1900 are awaited with interest and impatience. But, on the other hand, peace permeates the entire fabric of an Exposition, and throughout its formative period we acknowledge with the utmost satisfaction that the Paris Exposition, with millions of dollars staked upon its success, has appeared constantly amid dark and troubled scenes as a blessed peace factor in the recent history of France.
B. D. WOODWARD.