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a precedent in the annals of literature, it follows that its preparation and publication have been attended with peculiar, because unforeseen, difficulties. All those obstacles in the way of its completion which would necessarily develop themselves from the remarkable manner in which its contents have been created, and from the want of a guiding experience in the publication of works of this nature, have been contended with in its progress to a perfect state. The following may be considered as an outline of the manner in which the materials for the construction of this volume were collected, and of the system adopted to reduce them to a definite form, and as far as possible to a certain degree of consistency of expression and of harmony of proportion.

It is not the least remarkable fact in connection with the Great Exhibition, that the Catalogue may be really regarded as the production of many thousands of authors,—represented by exhibitors themselves. By a decision of the Executive Committee, every exhibitor was required, prior to the reception of his articles at the Building, to have filled up a certain printed form, containing a description of his productions in the English language, accompanied with such general observations as might be suggested by the peculiar character of the things described and intended for exhibition. These forms, which were to be to the Catalogue what the MS. of an author is to his proposed work, were framed with care, and were accompanied with instructions for filling them up, which suggested those points on which interesting or important information might be supplied, together with the descriptive account. There were four varieties, each appropriated to one of the four great sections of Raw Materials, Machinery, Manufactures, and Fine Arts. The essential characters of these forms were similar in each section, but the instructions for filling them up differed necessarily with the peculiar differences suggested by each section. The subjoined form represents that used in sending in descriptions of machinery, and is a type of those used in the other sections: —

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In order to facilitate their classification on being returned by exhibitors, the ci«Minc»rion of forms in the four different sections were printed in black, blue, red, and yellow, the latter applying to sculpture and fine art, the former to raw materials, and the intermediate ones respectively to machinery and manufactures. Every exhibitor was required to send in one of these forms, accompanied with a duplicate in every respect similar to it, and in so doing was supplied with a "receipt for catalogue forms," which was a guarantee for the reception of his goods into the Building. A very large number of these forms were printed and supplied to Local Committees, and to all exhibitors who applied for them. The instructions for filling them up were as follows:—

Rules For Compiling The Catalogue.

The Executive Committee are desirous of impressing upon Exhibitors that the formation of the Catalogue which, however great may be its bulk, must necessarily be compiled and printed in a very short time, will be much facilitated, if Exhibitors will have the kindness to follow the rules hereinafter prescribed when they furnish the descriptions of the Articles as they wish them to appear in the Catalogue.

1. Every Exhibitor should write the description of every Article or series of Articles he Rules for cornexhibits, on paper of the same size as the present page (namely, about 13 inches by 8 inches). Pilin« r"rm"for The paper must be written on one side only. There should be a margin of one inch at the left c"t"lo,<1"?''' side of the page.

2. Should the description extend beyond a single page, each separate page must be marked with the Exhibitor's name, and numbered consecutively, both at the head and foot.

3. To prevent errors in compilation and misprinting, it is desirable the handwriting should be very clear, especial care being taken with all names and technical terms.

4. It is indispensable that each Exhibitor should furnish the following particulars, and in the exact order prescribed:—

I Exhibitor's surname .... Christian name.

II Country Address, stating the nearest Post Town.

III Capacity in which the Exhibitor appears, whether as Producer, Importer,

Manufacturer, Designer, Inventor, or Proprietor. IV. The name and description of every Article of importance or class of Articles exhibited; each Article or Class beginning a separate paragraph, e. g.a Specimens of dyed Cottons, &c. b Specimens of dyed Silks, &c.

5. It is necessary that the descriptions of the Articles should set forth, as far as may be practicable, the following particulars :—

As respects Articles to be exhibited

In Section 1. Raw Materials and ProCesses, the descriptions should specify—

a The commercial name in English, French, and German.

b The scientific name.

c The place where obtained ; the name of the mines and period they have been worked, should be given with minerals.

d The place where exported.

e The uses.

/ The consumption.

g The superior excellence of the particular Specimens.

A In the case of processes, such as dyes, or prepared materials, such as mixed metals; it should be stated whether the Article is patented or not. The novelty and importance of the prepared product, and the superior skill and ingenuity manifested in the process of preparation should also be very briefly pointed out.

i Where price is an element for consideration, the price at which the importer or producer can sell the Article.

j Any particular features which the Exhibitor desires to be noticed by the Jury.

In Section 2. Machinery, the descriptions Raw Materials

should specify and Machinery.

a The uses.

b The novelty, if any, in the invention.

c Superiority of execution.

d Increased efficiency or economy.

e The importance of the Article in a social
or other point of view.

f The place where produced.

g Whether the Article is patented or not.

A Where price is an element for considera-
tion, the price at which the producer
can sell the Article.
i Any particular features which the Exhi-
bitor desires to be noticed by the Jury.

In Section 3. Manufactures,thedescriptionB M«nuf»ciure».
should specify—
a The uses.
b The novelty,
c Superiority of execution.
d Improved forms or arrangements.
e Increased efficiency or economy.
/ New use of known Materials.
g Use of new Materials.
h New combinations of Materials.
i Importance of the Article in the social or
other point of view.

j Tho place or places where manufactured.

k Whether the Manufacture is patented;
whether the design is registered.

I Where price is an element for considera-
tion, the price at which the importer
or manufacturer can sell the Article.

m Any particular features which the Exhi-
bitor desires to be noticed by the Jury.


TURE, and Plastic Art, the descriptions
should specify—
a The name of the Artist or Designer, if
the same should not be the Exhibitor.

b The uses.

c The novelty in design or treatment.

d Superiority of execution.

e New use of known Materials.

f Use of new materials.

g New combination of Materials.

A Improvements in processes of production.

i The place where the Article was made.

j If the Article is repeated in quantities for trade, the price at which it is sold by tho Producer should be stated.

/; Any particular features which the Exhibitor desires should be noticed by the Jury.

6. Exhibitors are required to make their descriptions brief, and to confine them as much as possible to facts.

7. Two Copies, in the English Language, of the Exhibitor's descriptions, both being precisely alike, must be furnished before the Articles can be permitted to enter the Building. If an Exhibitor's Articles are sent in several packages, the list should indicate the contents of each separate package.

8. Her Majesty's Commissioners have consented to allow Illustrations of Articles exhibited to be inserted in the large Catalogue, after approval by the Executive Committee. Exhibitors desirous to avail themselves of this privilege must communicate their intention of providing

illustrations. the Illustrations, and state their character, whether Engraving on Wood, on Steel, or Lithography. Communications are to be addressed to the Executive Committee, at the Building for the Exhibition, Hyde Park, London, marked on the outside, " Catalogue."

9. Exhibitors who may desire that their names and the descriptions of their productions should appear in any French and German Editions of the Catalogue which may be authorized, are requested to furnish at the same time with the two English Copies, a French and German translation of the descriptions, made out in all respects as before prescribed.

That a careful attention to these instructions would have developed a vast amount of most valuable and interesting knowledge, can scarcely be questioned; and that in a considerable proportion of cases such has been the result, will appear

Attention paid to on examination of the contents of this volume. That such a degree of attention was not universal is only what was to have been expected, both in consequence of the pressure of time under which many exhibitors laboured, and also from the fact that a large proportion, occupied in exclusively industrial pursuits, were unused to literary composition. The forms, with their duplicates, on being filled up, were transmitted to the Executive Committee; the duplicate being retained by the Executive, the other copy was placed in the compilers' hands.

The first step in preparing these forms for the press was their arrangement into classes corresponding to the thirty divisions decided upon by the Executive. The number and variety of objects embraced by the returned forms rendered this

First Stage of a tedious and difficult task. On its being effected, the forms remained to be

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printing. examined, and put into such a state as to satisfy the requirements of the printer.

They were consequently read, and as far as possible thrown into that state of connection of parts, and removal of superfluous material, which might enable them to be set up in a convenient form in type.

Although much had been by these means effected in the preparation of the material of the catalogues, the most important part of the labour involved, prior to its assuming its present form, remained to be accomplished. The scientific and

swntiiir revision technical inaccuracies of a large proportion of the returned forms, together with

and correction. ..,. • i -i • i «

their literary reconstruction rendered in a large proportion of cases absolutely necessary, demanded attentive revision and correction. Several considerations rendered this extremely difficult. Among these were the shortness of the period absolutely allotted for the completion of the work, the impossibility of verifying the descriptions given with the objects of which they treated, and the immense variety of subjects comprehended by the Exhibition itself, and necessarily described in these forms in a manner in many instances more or less imperfect. The occasion called for a large amount of peculiar knowledge—of knowledge not to be gained by study, but taught by industrial experience, in addition to that higher knowledge, the teaching of natural and experimental philosophy. To meet these requirements the following plans were devised, and carried into operation. A Plan, adopted. number of scientific gentlemen gave their consent to undertake the revision and correction of proofs of the returned forms in their peculiar departments, with a view to remove from them those errors which might present themselves, and to supply what might appear requisite to give prominence to their really important features. In addition to this it appeared advisable, as critical observations were necessarily inadmissible, to relieve the tedium of mere description, and to assist in pointing out the leading features of interest in the objects described, or in direct relation with them, by appending, as the subjects of the proofs suggested, such brief annotations as might appear best calculated to effect these objects.

As a certain degree of harmony of procedure was considered absolutely neces- suggeition..■>« to

_. ., . .,. principles of

sary, in order to give a consistent character to such corrections and annotations, corrections and supplied as they would be from a variety of sources, a few suggestions of certain general principles were adopted, and as far as possible acted upon. It is not necessary to reproduce the whole of these suggestions in their original form; but since it is important that exhibitors should be informed of the principles which, to a great extent, guided and determined the corrections and annotations which are found in this work, they are here subjoined. Attention is particularly directed to suggestion 5, under the head annotations, by which it will be perceived that the character of critical notices has been strictly excluded from the annotations appended to the descriptions in this work.

1. Corrections. These will be chiefly of the following kind :— Correctiom.

1. To correct in a general way any obvious typographical inaccuracies.

2. To correct with care all technical and scientific errors in names, places, and things.

3. Occasionally, if time permit, to recast badly composed sentences or expressions.

4. To delete redundancies and self-laudatory terms, or expressions that could in any

way be so construed, or critical and extraneous statements.

2. Annotations. Many of the proofs will undoubtedly suggest interesting elucidatory notes. Annotations. As it is desirable that the same notes should not be repeated, the information which, under other circumstances, or in a volume of a different kind, it would be well to present in a mass, may be conveniently subdivided, and a portion appended to the most appropriate proofs on the subject

to which it refers. Thus, for a vegetable or animal product, a line or two as to its history might be attached to one proof, a note upon the natural order or tribe yielding it to another, the uses to a third, the commercial importance, &c, to a fourth, &c. In the selection of proofs for annotation, those of course will be preferred which are in themselves the most interesting and suggestive. It is considered desirable that these notes should as far as possible partake of the following characters:—

1. To be as short, clear, and definite as possible. character or.

2. To have reference, as far as may be, if the article cannot be seen—

a. To the article as described by the Exhibitor.

b. To its uses, history, consumption, production, &c. (See Memorandum for

the instruction of Exhibitors in preparing the descriptions contained in forms
for the Catalogue.)

3. To be of the following average length—
Articles of primary importance, as,

engine," and such like, eight or ten lines.
b. Articles of secondary importance, four and three lines.

4. The same annotations not to be repeated or appended to more than one proof.

5. Observations Of A Critical Character, In Either Sense Of That Term, Are


So soon as the work actually commenced, a mechanical difficulty of no common pimraitiei »««>proportions presented itself. On the distribution of proofs for the purpose of and return or annotation and correction, they were necessarily cut up into separate portions,

which had destinations as far distant as Germany and remote parts of the United Kingdom, whither they were despatched for the purpose of ensuring their scientific and technical accuracy. Many thousand proofs were thus scattered in various directions, yet all were required to be gathered together again, and arranged precisely in the same form and order as that assumed prior to their dispersion. Some of these proofs were not more than three inches long, and not broader than a narrow ribbon, containing only two or three lines; the difficulty of determining and immediately affixing the proper place of such a minute strip in a work of such magnitude as the present, seemed to be great. A simple method of ascertaining not merely the place in the catalogue, but its entire history, its destination, annotator, and return was, however, contrived, and the

Record of history history of every proof has thus been accurately recorded. The information thus obtained, was so accurate and precise, that on the temporary delay of very small proofs, their original destination was instantly discovered, together with the date of transmission, and the name of the annotator to whom they had been sent. Much punctuality characterized the return of the dismembered portions of this large volume. Had not such been the case, the original plan of scientific and technical revision could not have been persisted in. As a general rule, it was considered advisable to limit annotations to an average of eight or ten lines in length; but in certain instances, where peculiar technical, local, or scientific information has been available, this rule has been to a very considerable extent departed from.

Twhnoiogici The language of the arts among various nations has always been regarded as of extreme difficulty in translation. A considerable portion of this work is necessarily written in this language, and it is therefore to.be expected that, notwithstanding the precautions employed, errors of description may occur in those parts of it which describe the productions of foreign exhibitors. It is requested that these may be pointed out. In a number of instances technical terms have been explained by notes. As far as it was possible foreign weights and measures have been converted into English.

Mottoes selected The mottoes on the title-pages of this work were selected and placed by His

by Prince Albert. T,tti->«

Royal Highness Prince Albert.

There is a peculiar feature in this Catalogue to which attention requires to be directed. This is the fact, that it embodies to a large extent the science of commerce. An attempt has been made here to convert the changing and inaccurate conventional terms of trade into the precise and enduring expressions of science. In classes 1 to 4 of the Exhibition, are contained specimens of a vast proportion of the raw materials upon which human industry daily operates throughout the world. In the majority of the descriptions of the articles exhibited in these four classes, will be found the commercial names of the materials, together with their cuiogne vain- scientific equivalents. As an instance, may be mentioned the woods employed

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live of the sci- for furniture, which are enumerated, with their commercial names, their Latin names, their native habitats, and the uses to which they are applicable. In the present edition of this work, prepared as it has necessarily been under highly unfavourable circumstances as to accuracy and correction, this attempt may not he as successful as in future editions; but such arrangements are made in order to obtain this important and valuable result, as will render future editions of this Catalogue permanently valuable in this respect, not only to the naturalist, but also to commercial men. That this feature of the Catalogue will not be without

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