11/08/2022

1886, Edinburgh UK – International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art

Forward to 1886, Liverpool UK – International Exhibition of Navigation, Commerce and Industry
Back to 1886 Birmingham UK – Made in Birmingham: Exhibition of Local Manufactures and Natural History
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

1886 Edinburgh

Name:International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art
Dates:6 May – 30 Oct 1886
Days:177 days
Venue:The Meadows, city centre park – 25 acres
Theme:Showcasing Scottish art, manufactures and resources
Exhibitors:14 countries represented
Awards:
Visitors:2,769,632 – including 14,000 season tickets
Legacy:Said to have made a profit of £5,555 – and prompted the 1890 event
1886 Edinburgh Poster

This was the first international exhibition held in Scotland, held under the patronage of Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales (Edward VII). The Marquis of Lothian was the exhibition’s president and James Gowan, the Lord Dean of Guild was the chairman. It clashed with the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, and this did mean the Edinburgh attracted fewer international exhibitors and visitors.

The show was opened by Prince Albert Victor. Queen Victoria and the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the event during the summer.

1886 Edinburgh Great Hall

The seven-acre main building was constructed in steeel and glass with brick features at an estimated cost of £30,000. A large fountain sat before the main entrance, and on entering visitors passed through an art gallery to reach the exhibits and temporary buildings.

1886 Great Hall interior

At the time this became the largest user of electric lamps in Scotland. There were fourteen countries represented Austria,, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland. However, there were fewer foreign exhibits when compared to prior London fairs, 100 foreign exhibitors against 2,300.

Exhibits did include Czech violins, Turkish embroidery, and Scotch whisky (of course!).

Neilson and Company of Glasgow exhibited the Caledonian Railway Single steam locomotive. A free section for artisans was an unusual feature.

1886 Brassfounders column

A number of trades and guilds commissioned sculptures to highlight their trade. Above is the Brassfounders column, pictured in Nicolson Square after the exhibition.

Jawbone Arch – after the event

One archway was created from whale jawbones, the walkway that it led to became known as Jawbone Walk.

By June, London’s The Times was praising the event’s success, that it had exceeded expectations.

Aukd Reekie

A special feature was a reproduction of of a section of old Edinburgh at an estimated cost of c£3,500. It reproduced 14th-16th c buildings that had existed in the Royal Mile area, with exhibitors dressed in period costume as a ‘living history’ zone. However, an 1827 decree did not allow permanent constructions o The Meadows, so it had to be dismanted after the exhibition.

1886 Old Edinburgh feature

The city had become known as Auld Reekie, meaning Old Smokie in the Industrialisation eriod. The city’s Nor’Loch, today’s Princes Street Gardens, had become filled with the city’s waste, and reputedly for dead bodies. The stagnating ditch and the city’s pollution combined to be the source of the ‘Reek’,

Forward to 1886, Liverpool UK – International Exhibition of Navigation, Commerce and Industry
Back to 1886 Birmingham UK – Made in Birmingham: Exhibition of Local Manufactures and Natural History
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.