Exposition Universelle (1889)
Overview
 
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a World's Fair
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 held in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 from 6 May to 31 October 1889.

It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint...

, an event traditionally considered as the symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. The fair included a reconstruction of the Bastille and its surrounding neighborhood, but with the interior courtyard covered with a blue ceiling decorated with fleur-de-lys
Fleur-de-lis
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry...

 and used as a ball room and gathering place.

The 1889 Exposition covered a total area of 0.96 km², including the Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is a large public greenspace in Paris, France, located in the seventh arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after the Campus Martius in Rome, a tribute to the Roman god of war...

, the Trocadéro
Trocadéro
The Trocadéro, , site of the Palais de Chaillot, , is an area of Paris, France, in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The hill of the Trocadéro is the hill of Chaillot, a former village.- Origin of the name :...

, the quai d'Orsay
Quai d'Orsay
The Quai d'Orsay is a quai in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The Quai becomes the Quai Anatole France east of the Palais Bourbon, and the Quai de Branly west of the Pont de l'Alma.The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is...

, a part of the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 and the Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

 esplanade.
Encyclopedia
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a World's Fair
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 held in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 from 6 May to 31 October 1889.

It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint...

, an event traditionally considered as the symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. The fair included a reconstruction of the Bastille and its surrounding neighborhood, but with the interior courtyard covered with a blue ceiling decorated with fleur-de-lys
Fleur-de-lis
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry...

 and used as a ball room and gathering place.

The 1889 Exposition covered a total area of 0.96 km², including the Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is a large public greenspace in Paris, France, located in the seventh arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after the Campus Martius in Rome, a tribute to the Roman god of war...

, the Trocadéro
Trocadéro
The Trocadéro, , site of the Palais de Chaillot, , is an area of Paris, France, in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The hill of the Trocadéro is the hill of Chaillot, a former village.- Origin of the name :...

, the quai d'Orsay
Quai d'Orsay
The Quai d'Orsay is a quai in the VIIe arrondissement of Paris, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The Quai becomes the Quai Anatole France east of the Palais Bourbon, and the Quai de Branly west of the Pont de l'Alma.The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is...

, a part of the Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 and the Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

 esplanade. Transport around the Exposition was partly provided by a 3 kilometre (1.9 mi) 600 millimetre (2 ft 0 in) gauge railway by Decauville
Decauville
The Decauville manufacturing company was founded by Paul Decauville , a French pioneer in industrial railways. Decauville's major innovation was the use of ready-made sections of light, narrow gauge track fastened to steel sleepers; this track was portable and could be disassembled and transported...

. It was claimed that the railway carried 6,342,446 visitors in just six months of operation. Some of the locomotives used on this line later saw service on the Chemins de Fer du Calvados.

Structures

The main symbol of the Fair was the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

, which was completed in 1889, and served as the entrance arch to the Fair. The tower was constructed of puddled iron, a form of purified wrought iron and was designed by Gustave Eiffel
Gustave Eiffel
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French structural engineer from the École Centrale Paris, an architect, an entrepreneur and a specialist of metallic structures...

. The 1889 fair was built on the Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is a large public greenspace in Paris, France, located in the seventh arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after the Campus Martius in Rome, a tribute to the Roman god of war...

 in Paris, which had been the site of the earlier Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867
Exposition Universelle (1867)
The Exposition Universelle of 1867 was a World Exposition held in Paris, France, in 1867.-Conception:In 1864, Emperor Napoleon III decreed that an international exposition should be held in Paris in 1867. A commission was appointed with Prince Jerome Napoleon as president, under whose direction...

, and would be the site of the 1900 exposition as well.

The fair marked the first time that visitors were allowed to go onto the yet unfinished Eiffel Tower. Though not yet completed, exhibition attendees were allowed to walk up to the second floor platform. Workers had worked through the night the day before the exhibition opened to complete the necessary construction needed to safely allow patrons to set foot upon the structure. When speaking of the dedicated workers, M. Salles, the son-in-law of Mr. Eiffel made the statement that "no soldier on the battle field deserved better mention than these humble toilers, who, will never go down in history." No one other than construction personnel were allowed higher than the second floor platform.

An equally significant building constructed for the fair was the Galerie des machines, designed by architect Ferdinand Dutert and engineer Victor Contamin. It was reused at the exposition of 1900 and then destroyed in 1910. At 111 meters, the Galerie (or "Machinery Hall") spanned the longest interior space in the world at the time, using a system of hinged arches (like a series of bridge spans placed not end-to-end but parallel) made of steel or iron. The choice of construction material is controversial; the building was designed to be built with steel but was actually constructed in iron.

Volume 10 of Studies in the History of Civil Engineering: Structural Iron and Steel 1850-1900 (published by Ashgate Publishing Limited and edited by Robert Thorne in 2000), includes an article by John W. Stamper, The Galerie des Machines of the 1889 Paris world’s fair. In it, Stamper claims that

The principal material of the building’s structure was to have been steel, but the decision was made at the last minute to use iron instead. There is considerable confusion about this on the part of architectural historians, most of whom assume it was built of steel since that is what is mentioned by contemporary journalists before the opening of the fair. William Watson, an American engineer who wrote a thorough report on the fair after it closed states that the idea of using steel was abandoned “on the two-fold ground of expense and the necessity of hastening the execution of work. “ The price of iron was about two-thirds that of steel in 1889….

There is an extensive and elaborate description of the Exposition's two famous buildings in the British journal Engineering (3 May 1889 issue) with illustrations. A follow-up report appears in the 14 June issue of Engineering with this summation:

... the exhibition will be famous for four distinctive features. In the first place, for its buildings, especially the Eiffel tower and the Machinery Hall; in the second place, for its Colonial Exhibition, which for the first time brings vividly to the appreciation of the Frenchmen that they are masters of lands beyond the sea; thirdly, it will be remembered for its great collection of war material, the most absorbing subject now-a-days, unfortunately, to governments if not to individuals; and fourthly, it will be remembered, and with good cause by many, for the extraordinary manner in which South American countries are represented. (p. 677)

The 28 June issue of Engineering also mentions a remarkable "Great Model of the Earth" created by Theodore Villard and Charles Cotard. There were unseasonal thunderstorms in Paris during that summer of 1889, causing some distress to the canopies and decoration of the exposition, as reported by the Engineering issues at that time.

The Exhibition included a building by the Paris architect Pierre-Henri Picq. This was an elaborate iron and glass structure decorated with ceramic tiles in a Byzantine-Egyptian-Romanesque style. After the Exposition the building was shipped to Fort de France and reassembled there, the work being completed by 1893. Known as the Schoelcher Library, initially it contained the 10,000 books that Victor Schoelcher
Victor Schoelcher
Victor Schoelcher was a French abolitionist writer in the 19th century and the main spokesman for a group from Paris who worked for the abolition of slavery, and formed an abolition society in 1834...

 had donated to the island. Today it houses over 250,000 books and an ethnographic museum, and stands as a tribute to the man it is named after who led the movement to abolish slavery in Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

.

Attractions

A "Negro village
Human zoo
Human zoos were 19th- and 20th-century public exhibits of humans, usually in a so-called natural or primitive state. The displays often emphasized the cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilisation and non-European peoples...

" (village nègre) where 400 people were displayed constituted the major attraction.

Matching closely the opening day of the Exposition, the Opéra Comique
Opera Comique
The Opera Comique was a 19th-century theatre constructed in Westminster, London, between Wych Street and Holywell Street with entrances on the East Strand. It opened in 1870 and was demolished in 1902, to make way for the construction of the Aldwych and Kingsway...

 premiered on 14 May 1889 with a work specially composed for that event: Jules Massenet
Jules Massenet
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer best known for his operas. His compositions were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death, Massenet's style went out of fashion, and many of his operas...

's Esclarmonde
Esclarmonde
Esclarmonde is an opéra in four acts and eight tableaux, with prologue and epilogue, by Jules Massenet, to a French libretto by Alfred Blau and Louis Ferdinand de Gramont....

(debuting American soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

 Sybil Sanderson), attracting and entertaining crowds of visitors for the more than 50 evenings the Exposition lasted.

At the Exposition, the French composer Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy
Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions...

 first heard Javanese gamelan
Gamelan
A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. Vocalists may also be included....

 music, performed by an ensemble from Java. David Toop
David Toop
David Toop is an English musician and author, and as of 2001 was visiting Research Fellow in the Media School at London College of Communication. He was notably a member of The Flying Lizards. He was a prominent contributor to the British magazine The Face. He is a regular contributor to The Wire,...

, a modern musical critic, denotes Debussy's experience at the fair to mark the start of an ambient music
Ambient music
Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.- History :...

, one which has since grown through a tree of successive musical innovators, including Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama...

, John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

, and innumerable others. Toop expounds upon Debussy's importance in his 1995 exegesis on ambient sound, Ocean of Sound. William Stroudley
William Stroudley
William Stroudley was one of Britain's most famous steam locomotive engineers of the nineteenth century, working principally for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway...

, locomotive superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1922. Its territory formed a rough triangle, with London at its apex, practically the whole coastline of Sussex as its base, and a large part of Surrey...

 died whilst at the exhibition, where he was exhibiting one of his locomotives. Heineken
Heineken Pilsener
Heineken is a Dutch beer which has been brewed by Heineken International since 1873. It is available in a 4.6% alcohol variety in countries such as Ireland. It is the flagship product of the Heineken company and is made of purified water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. In 1886 H...

 received the Grand Prix (Grand Prize) at the exposition.

Buffalo Bill
Buffalo Bill
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was a United States soldier, bison hunter and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory , in LeClaire but lived several years in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory. Buffalo Bill received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for service to the US...

 recruited American sharpshooter Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley , born Phoebe Ann Mosey, was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar.Oakley's most famous trick is perhaps...

 to rejoin his "Wild West Show" which performed for packed audiences throughout the Exposition. Other prominent visitors included the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) and his wife, Princess Alexandra; artists James McNeill Whistler
James McNeill Whistler
James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger...

, Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :Edvard Munch...

, Rosa Bonheur
Rosa Bonheur
Rosa Bonheur, born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur, was a French animalière, realist artist, and sculptor. As a painter she became famous primarily for two chief works: Ploughing in the Nivernais , which was first exhibited at the Salon of 1848, and is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris depicts a team...

, Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

 and Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

; U.S. journalist and diplomat Whitelaw Reid
Whitelaw Reid
Whitelaw Reid was a U.S. politician and newspaper editor, as well as the author of a popular history of Ohio in the Civil War.-Early life:...

; author Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

; Filipino patriot Jose Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

; and inventor Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...



A central attraction in the French section was the Imperial Diamond, at the time the largest brilliant in the world.

Statistics

  • Expenses: 41,500,000 Franc
    Franc
    The franc is the name of several currency units, most notably the Swiss franc, still a major world currency today due to the prominence of Swiss financial institutions and the former currency of France, the French franc until the Euro was adopted in 1999...

    s
  • Receipts: 49,500,000 Francs
  • Visitors: 32,250,297
  • Exhibitors: over 61,722, of which 55% were French

See also

  • Exposition Universelle (1878)
    Exposition Universelle (1878)
    The third Paris World's Fair, called an Exposition Universelle in French, was held from 1 May through to 10 November 1878. It celebrated the recovery of France after the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.-Construction:...

  • Champ de Mars, Paris
  • Colonial Exhibition
    Colonial exhibition
    A colonial exhibition was a type of international exhibition intended to boost trade and bolster popular support for the various colonial empires during the New Imperialism period, which started in the 1880s with the scramble for Africa....

  • Human Zoo
    Human zoo
    Human zoos were 19th- and 20th-century public exhibits of humans, usually in a so-called natural or primitive state. The displays often emphasized the cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilisation and non-European peoples...


Resources

Eiffel's Tower by Jill Jonnes (Viking 2009)

Engineering [Journal] 3 May 1889 (vol XLVII), London: Office for Advertisements and Publication, 1866- (ISN 0013-7782)

Structural iron and steel, 1850-1900, edited by Robert Thorne; Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain; Burlington, Vt., USA: Ashgate/Variorum, c2000 (ISBN 0860787591)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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