13/08/2022

1888, Glasgow UK – International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art

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1888 Glasgow

Name:International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art
Dates:8 May – 10 Nov 1888
Days:
Venue:Kelvingrove Park 24.3 ha (60 acres)
– with buildings providing space of 4.7 ha (11.5 acres) of exhibition space
Theme:To demonstrate Glasgow as the second-city of the British Empire, and
to draw international attention to the city’s achievements in science, industry and the arts
Exhibitors:
Awards:
Visitors:5,748,379
Legacy:over £41,000 profit
1888 Kelvingrove with International Exhibition plan

Kelvingrove Park was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, designer of the Crystal Palace, in 1853, it comprised 24.3 ha (60 acres).

1888 Glasgow general view

A competition led to local architect John Sellars being awarded the design work, he opted for an oriental style fabricated in wood, The main building constructed for the show was deliberately designed to offer more space than the 1887 Manchester event, at 44,082 sq m (474,500 sq ft). It consisted of a main nave and a transverse avenue, with a central dome 51.8m (170 ft) high. Four octagonal supporting towers around the Dome were made of brick, with minarets on top. There was an annex building for machinery, the two combined provided a space that had not been equalled in Great Britain since London 1862. These occupied an area of Kelvingrove Park between the River Kelvin and Sandyford Street which is now on the route of today’s Sauchiehall Street.

3d Exhibition Guide

Exhibitors were defined within twenty-one classes, with two-thirds representing Scottish organisations and businesses. Making up the other third, the most significant was London, then Lancashire and Yorkshire organisations. Non-British exhibits were most significantly from India and Canada. Seventy came from outside the British Empire, primarily from France, Germany, Italy and the USA.

The show was opened by the Prince of Wales.

Doulton fountain – in its subsequent/current location
Detail of the Doulton fountain

Features and attractions included:

  • a large Doulton fountain subsequently donated to the city, the terracotta construction was 14m (46 ft) high, with its outer basin measuring 21.3m (70 ft) in diameter, it remains the biggest fountain of its kind in the world.
  • the ‘Bishop’s Castle’ a reproduction of the Episcopal Palace consisting of a wooden frame and canvas and used to exhibit Scottish antiquities
  • musical performances
  • an Indian jungle
  • a switchback railway
  • a working dairy
  • a captive air balloon
  • a shooting gallery
  • a curling rink
  • sporting events
  • gondolas and boating events on the river Kelvin, which had been deepened and cleaned for the show.
1888 Glasgow switchback railway

There were a number of tearooms, the Glasgow School of Cookery’s profits from their tearoom covered the school’s costs for several years.

Exhibition Season Ticket

Special rail and steamship services with show excursion rates helped to attract over 5.7m visitors, the largest attendance outside London.

John Lavery, painting of Queen Victoria’s visit to the Glasgow Exhibition

Queen Victoris visited in August to further boost its appeal. Sir John Lavery’s painting of the occasion is on display at Glasgow Museum and Art Galleries.

The profit was used to part-fund the building of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This opened in time for the 1901 Glasgow Exhibition and functioned as the Palace of Fine Arts for this show.

Forward to 1888, Lisbon PL – Exposição Industrial Portugueza
Back to 1888, Copenhagen DK – Scandinavian Art, Industrial, and Agricultural Exhibition
Back to Getting Noticed – Back to VOLUME II Index – Back to bobdenton.com home

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