20/11/2022

1839 Paris FR – Exposition Universelle (9th)

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1839, Paris

Name:Exposition Universelle (9th)
Dates:1 May – 30 Jun 1839
Days:Sixty days
Venue:Grand Carré des Fêtes ou des Jeux, on the Champs Elysées, 16,500 sqm (177,605 sq ft)
Theme:For national prestige
Exhibitors:3,381 exhibits
Awards:2,305
Visitors:No data
Legacy:

The ninth Paris event had the benefit of a five year period of peace and planning. King Louis Philippe took his family to fait un tour of every exhibition hall on the eve of the show opening. He delivered the inaugural address and, over the succeeding weeks, returned to inspect every one of the exhibits on display. His popular visits were accompanied by a throng of exhibitors.

Given the previous Exposition’s confusion, a new set of eight categories were announced as agricultural implements, ceramics, chemicals, fabrics, fine arts, metals and minerals, precision and musical instruments and miscellaneous. Each category had its own commission to recommend awards to the central jury. The jury held thirty-one meetings of four-to-six hours duration to reach their conclusions.

A Pleyel piano at the 1839 Exposition

The Grand Carré des Fêtes ou des Jeux was a 200m (656 ft) x 100m (328 ft) building with a central courtyard set aside for steam engines. So many products were submitted but there was only 16,500 sq m (177,605 sq ft). The 1834 exposition had shown the products of 2,447 exhibitors in a total area of 14,288 sq m. The 1839 exposition was trying to cram in over 3,000 exhibitors into 16,500 sq m. The crowding was so bad that, at the last moment, a new exhibit hall had to be hastily constructed to house the overflow.

For their deliberations, the awards’ jury met no less than thirty-one times, each meeting lasting from four to six hours, eventually present 2,315 prizes.

Georges-Alphonse Jacob Desmalter
bookstand at 1839 event

On show there were new materials like waterproof fabrics, and rubber was creating new opportunities like
dummy humans for anatomical study. Manufacturing equipment continued to innovate with a new Jacquard weaving machine and Grimpé’s wood-turning machine.

Giroux’s daguerreotype camera

Daguerre’s brother-in-law, Alphonse Giroux, exhibited the world’s first commercially produced Daguerreotype camera,probably the most innovative product on show. However, in 1839, Daguerrotype-mania had not yet developed momentum, and the exposition judges gave Giroux a silver medal for his jewellery box and nothing for his camera.

Ten post-show catalogues were produced, six in Paris, two in Austria (though in French), one in Sweden
and one in Germany – it is said that this latter catalogue prompted the 1844 Berlin event.

Forward to 1839, St Petersburg RU – Industrial Exhibition
Forward to next Paris entry – 1844
Back to 1839, Boston US – Exhibition of the Massachussetts Charitable Mechanical Assoc’n
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