27/11/2022

1901, Glasgow UK – International Exhibition

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1901 Glasgow

Name:International Exhibition
Dates:2 May – 9 Nov 1901
Days:165 days
Venue:Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery – 29.5 ha (73 acres)
Theme:50th anniversary celebration of the 1851 Great Exhibition
Exhibitors:16 nations and colonies
Awards:No data
Visitors:10,259,720, with staff 11,559, 649 – 1s for adults 6d for children
– 80,000 season tickets sold at 1 guinea
– admission of £404,100 and direct costs of £373,500
Legacy:Profit of £30,571

In part this show was a 50th anniversary celebration of the 1851 Great Exhibition. The city awarded itself the title of the ‘Second City of Empire’.

Queen Victoria had died on 22 Jan 1901, following her 62-year reign, Edward VII succeeded but was not crowned until 9 Aug 1902. Thus, the show had to ‘half-mourn’ he end of the Victorian era. It failed to match the success of the 1900 Paris exposition, but doubled the 1851 attendance, it made £30,571.

The event was opened by the Ducchess of Fife, as protocol meant the Princess & Princess of Wales could not open or visit the show. However the King of Siam did visit,

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery

The venue was built as a permanent building, the Kelvingrove Musuem and Art Gallery, using the profits made from 1888 Glasgow, though it ran over budget. The main entrance delivered visitors beneath a central dome decorated with bibilical quotations and the names of leading Scottish inventors. Bizarrely, the city was home to Charles Rennie Mackintish, a leading Art Nouveau proponent, did not accept his designs for the venue, and instead created a Spanish Renaissance/ Baroque venue.

01 General view

The Industrial Hall offered 18,581 sq m (200,000 sq ft) was something of a contrast to the main building, it too had a large dome and placed the Angel of Light atop it, holding an electrically-lit torch. Beneath it was a large statue of Edward VII. A Machinery Hall was inter-connected to the Industrial Hall.

Industrial Hall

There were eight classes of exhibit – lighting and heating, manufactures, machinery and power, marine engineering, music and sport, raw materials, science and transportation.

MacFarlane’s Saracen Fountain sat before the buildings, MacFarlane was a large local ironfounder. It was moved in 1814 to Alexandra Park., on the eastern side of Glasgow.

A Concert Hall was built for the opening ceremony and other events during the show, it could seat 3,000.

1901 Boating

Attractions were: an electrical tram system, boat rides on the Kelvin river, automobile trials; a switchback railway; a water chute; an Indian theatre; a Japanese garden; football matches; marzipan polar bears; …

There was a performance of Sousa’s ‘Imperial Edward’ specially writtent for the show; a range of eating places (Grand Avenue Buffet, the Grosvenor, Miss Cranston’s Tea Room; the Place restaurant/tea-room, Prince’s Restaurant, Royal Bungalow).

Promoting excursions from London

International exhibits were shown by Australia (Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia), Austria, British South Africa, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Persia, Rhodesia, Russia and the United States. Canada’s pavilion was used to attract immigration.

Russian pavilion

The Tsar invested heavily in the Russian pavilion, but much of its appeal was seeing the relatively archaic work approach of its group of labourers.

1901 Medal

Seaman brought outbreaks of the plague and of smallpox in 1900, but this was successfully controlled by a fever hospotal. As a result, the nurses of that hospital were awarded one of the pavilions after the show.

Forward to 1901-2 Charlestion US – South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition
Back to 1901, Buffalo US – Pan-American Exposition
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