The Book of the Fair,
Digital History Project

Chapter the Twelfth: Machinery
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[305] - South of the Administration building, fronting 350 feet on the main avenue, and with a depth of 500 feet, is the Palace of Mechanic Arts, or as it is more commonly termed Machinery Hall, covering, with its annex, more than seventeen acres. While less than one third the size of the Manufactures building, this edifice, apart from its annex, has more than double the dimensions of the national capitol, or of the parliament houses at Westminster. The three main interior divisions resemble somewhat as many railroad sheds placed side by side, each with a conical roof 100 feet in height, supported by arched trusses 50 feet apart. Around this triple hall is a gallery 50 feet wide, and through its centre runs a transept, 130 feet in width. The internal arrangement is admirably suited to the purpose, with a structural design so simple as in a measure to dispel the sense of perplexity caused by a vast display of machinery in motion.

For a building intended for such purposes the foundations must be especially solid. To support the machinery the heaviest and most massive substructures were laid at brief intervals, each of the iron trusses that support the roof resting on huge wooden blocks placed cross-wise, bolted, and supported by poles. The entire edifice rests on a foundation of planking and trestle work, its frame being mainly of wood, while the trusses are of such width that, after serving the purpose for which they were fashioned, they may be used in the construction of railroad sheds.

How to give to this prosaic structure an exterior design in keeping with the remainder of the group that surrounds the great quadrangle, to impart to an edifice devoted to the genius of materialism an air of beauty and harmony befitting its environment, was one of the many problems which confronted its architects - the Boston firm of Peabody and Stearns. First of all, the curtain-walls were encircled with two-storied porticos and with Corinthian colonnades, forming covered walks around the four sides. At the corners pavilions were formed, each 50 feet square, in the interior of which were placed large double stairways inclosed by columns supporting an interior dome. Above this is a large exterior dome, resting on a circular podium, and at its top a lantern. In the centre the main facades are broken by a plain wall surface, carried to a greater height, and finished with a level cornice. On either side of this surface are towers, also accessible by staircases, and above them turrets built in stories and of octagonal shape, each of the topmost stories being almost spiral in shape, and crowning a loftier monument than that on Bunker Hill. Between the towers are intermediate pavilions, the one facing the main court [307] containing a portico with semi-circular entrance way of the Corinthian order, crowned with a low half-dome, and with a statue over each of the columns.

Says one of the artificers of the Fair, in commenting on the design: "The long level sky-lines of these great facades, thus broadly accentuated at the corners by domes, and in the centre by the aspiring lines of twin towers nearly 200 feet high, were devised to form an engrossing foreground to the long higher roofs of the triple naves behind, broken by masses of decorative skylights and by the three low conical roofs of the main central transept. On the shorter front these naves present their glazed circular ends behind and above the facade in the manner used in the great Roman baths. In this way every principal feature of the main structure is made to play a noble and expressive part in the decorative scheme. The details of this design have been kept in rigid conformity with classical and scholarly traditions, relieved in parts by motives suggested by the highly ornate renaissance of Spain. Enriched profusely with sculpture and emblematic statues, and with effects of decorative color behind the open screen of the porticos, this composition, if it does not succeed in revealing the mysterious relationships between machinery and art, may at least stand as a beautiful model of highly organized academic design devoted to modern uses."

Over the eastern doorway Columbia sits enthroned, in her right hand a sword, and in her left the olive branch of peace. Near her stands Honor, holding a laurel wreath, and from the steps of the throne Wealth is scattering flowers and fruits from a horn of plenty. On either side inventors and mechanics are submitting their work to judges selected from many nations. At the corners of the main pediment are lions, typical of brute force, subdued by two young children, symbolic of human genius. Above them is a group representing Science and the Four elements, this being repeated over the northern entrance way, and beneath it, figures bearing escutcheons, on which are portraits of prominent inventors.

To the visitor whose tastes incline to mechanics the Machinery department is one of the most attractive features of the Exposition. That both as to size and quality the display is worthy of the occasion we have sufficient evidence in its many acres of exhibiting space, covered with specimens culled from old and new world centres of industry, the American manufacturer vying with the European, and each country striving to demonstrate that its artificers are among the foremost of their craft.

[308] - In 79 groups and nearly 200 classes of exhibits is here represented almost every mechanical device fashioned by the ingenuity of man. There is machinery for the transmission of power, whether by electric, steam, hydraulic, or pneumatic apparatus; there are machinery and appliances for the manufacture of textile fabrics, for the preparation of various articles of food; for type-setting, printing, binding, stamping, embossing, and other branches of book and newspaper work; there are machines, apparatus, and tools for lithography, color printing, photo-mechanical and other mechanical processes of illustrating; for working metals, minerals, and woods. Finally there is a collection of fire engines and fire extinguishing appliances, whether by water or chemical apparatus, with machines and implements for many miscellaneous purposes, from shaping the head of a pin or the eye of a needle to the construction of a watch.

In the sections occupied by the United States is a complete illustration of the inventive skill of her mechanics, who within the last half century have revolutionized many branches of industry, and created many new ones. In all these inventions the tendency has been to increase the quantity and improve the quality of products, while dispensing as far as possible with manual labor and rendering processes more and more automatic. Thus it is that the value of production per capita of the operatives employed has more than doubled within forty years, and even within the last decade shows a considerable addition. Thus has been accomplished not only without detriment, but with material benefit to the wage-worker, whose average earnings have increased more than forty percent since 1850, and with a three or four-fold gain in the number employed.

[309] - Of the twenty or more branches of manufacture whose output exceeds $10,000,000, by far the largest is that of iron and steel, the value of which, including the unwrought metal and the machinery and apparatus into which it is made or partly made, is probably not less than $1,200,000,000. Of this amount perhaps $400,000,000 represents the value of iron and steel, $500,000,000 of machinery and manufactures, and the remainder that of railroad tracks, rolling stock, and agricultural and other implements and appliances constructed partially of steel or iron. Under the stimulus imparted by improved machinery, whereby many articles are produced at little more than in former years would have been the cost of the raw material, the total value of all manufactures has increased more than seven-fold within two-score of years, affording employment or support to about one-fourth of the entire population of the United States. Such is the good work that machinery has wrought, since, in the later colonial period, it ceased to be regarded as a special invention of the devil, since the days for instance when Thomas Barnard preached before a Boston society for the encouragement of industry his "manufactory sermon," declaring that "an industrious prosecution of the arts of civil life was very friendly to virtue," and urging his people to make such progress in manufacturers as would enable them to produce at home what they imported from foreign lands.

Along the southern wall of Machinery Hall extend two corrugated iron structures, in which is generated most of the power whereby the buildings and grounds and the great fountain in the central court are supplied with electricity, the power that runs the Administration elevators, furnishes exhibitors with motive force, drives the sewage of the Fair toward the lake, and sets in motion some of the machinery in the hall itself. This primary power plant, known as the boiler-house, is adjacent to the main building, the smaller section, on the other side of the southern entrance way, being called the boiler-house extension. Adjoining these and contained within the main hall and its annex are the 70 engines and 130 dynamos which complete the plant, one fully in keeping with the colossal proportions of the Exposition, and aptly termed the heart of the Fair. Of the 26,000 horse-power developed by its 54 boilers, fully two-thirds is transmitted to the engines and dynamos which generate electricity.

Passing along the galleries of the boiler-houses, on a level with the floor of Machinery Hall and a few feet above the line of great furnaces, the visitor may notice that the stokers are attired in neat white uniforms, very unlike the begrimed and grease-stained garments characteristic of the craft. This is explained by the use of oil as fuel, conveyed in the Standard company�s pipes from Whiting, Indiana, some forty miles distant. [311] The oil is stored in iron tanks, enclosed in a massive brick vault in the south-eastern portion of the grounds, and with a total capacity of 112,000 gallons. This subterranean reservoir is in six compartments, each twice the size of the tanks, and thus is avoided or minimized the danger of explosion, should the grounds be swept by fire. Near by is the pumphouse, from which, at a distance of more than half a mile, the oil is delivered as needed at the stand-pipe near the boilerhouse. Each of the two pumps is furnished with a suction connection, by which, in case of accident at the boiler-house, the contents of the pipe may be returned to the storage tanks. The main lines of supply-pipes are enclosed in a heavy wooden box, covered by removable cast iron plates, with branches leading to the boilers which furnish power for the several groups of engines, presently to be described.

The boilers are all of the water tube type, which in brief consists of a bank of tubes a few inches in diameter, and a dozen feet long, inclined upward, and connected with a large steam drum or reservoir. The tubes are expanded at either end, and the entire apparatus is filled with water up to about the middle of the drum. As the steam is generated by the flames beneath, it passes from each pair or battery of boilers into one common pipe, which delivers it in turn to the headers, or reservoirs, located under the gallery floor. The water is then drained from the headers, and returned to the boilers for further use by a separate system of pipes. To boilers of this pattern it is claimed that even an explosion causes but little damage, since the enormous power which they generate is distributed between eleven or twelve thousand tubes.

Arranged with reference to the uses for which they are intended, the group of electrical engines is by far the most remarkable. The largest in this class is the quadruple expansion condensing engine, exhibited by Allis and company, of Milwaukee, and used in the operation of two dynamos with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 incandescent lights. With perhaps one exception, the entire mechanism constitutes the largest single electric-light plant in the world, and there is no stationary engine of greater size in existence. The engine itself is of 2,000 horsepower, and as to its dimensions, it may here be stated that the fly-wheel is 30 feet in diameter, length of shaft 17 feet, diameter of largest cylinder nearly 6 feet, and that it occupies some 3,000 square feet of floor space. Near the railing which encloses it are two faded yellow documents, framed and under cover. One of them is the original contract awarded in 1796 to the firm of Boulton and Watt for the [312] construction of a steam engine for the Birmingham Flour and Bread company, and attached to it is a schedule of some of the materials to be used.

The largest collection of engines in Machinery Hall, or elsewhere in the Exposition, is that of the Westinghouse company, of New York, which alone has thirteen specimens of its workmanship, with an aggregate of more than 7,400 horse-power. It is worthy of note that among all the engine builders of the New England states, only two Rhode Island firms are represented, the middle and western states furnishing the bulk of the display. Among the more attractive exhibits is a small nickel-plated engine of Iowa manufacture, of cunning workmanship and perfect finish.

Compared with the engines which furnish electric power, and which in turn derive their motive force from the boiler plant, those that supply steam power or compressed air are of minor importance, the latter being mainly used by the elevators and certain of the locomotives in the Transportation building. Few of the mechanisms in motion within the hall derive their power from the regular plant, the main use of which is, as I have said, the generation of electricity, conveyed by underground wires to every portion of the grounds. Some fifteen engines, scattered through the building and acting independently of the power plant proper, drive six lines of iron shafts, each extending for a distance of 1200 feet along the main structure and its annex. By these shafts, revolving eighteen feet above the floor, power is furnished to exhibitors by merely throwing a belt over the one nearest to their allotted space. Engines of British and German make drive the machinery in their sections, and for the same purpose the United States division has several of home manufacture.

By several manufacturing companies are special exhibits of their appliances for the transmission of power, one firm using manilla rope, another, cow-hide, and a third, a stout duck fabric, in place of leather belting. But on all sides is the regulation shafting and belting, a New Hampshire company producing what is claimed to be the largest belt in the world, [314] more than 200 feet long, by eight and a half in width. It is fashioned in three-ply, oak-tanned, weighs 5,176 pounds, and in its construction there were used 569 hides.

Hoisting engines of all descriptions are classed with motors and apparatus for the transmission of power. Perhaps the most remarkable of this group are the traveling cranes, operated by electricity, three of them in Machinery Hall, and one in the machine-shop south of the annex. The latter can haul a weight of from ten to fourteen tons, swing its load aloft, and raise or lower it, all without jar, and with scarcely a tremor. Its motions are readily guided by a single workman, or even by an intelligent boy. The other cranes are of mammoth proportions, as in truth they must be, for during the installation process they placed in position all the more massive machinery. Their present use is to carry passengers to and fro, for which purpose they are suitably equipped. Each of them has a span of 75 feet, the tracks being laid on plate girders, and supported by steel columns about twenty feet high. The supporting structures are designed for a load of more than forty tons for each end of the crane, which travels at the rate of some 300 feet a minute. At the western end of the annex is a balcony, reached by several elevators, the latter forming of themselves an exhibit by the Crane company.

In the line of hoisting machines the United States has the only display. Some of the engines are especially used in building, the cranks being so constructed that a heavy load can be raised or lowered with remarkable smoothness and rapidity. Others, designed for bridge construction, are so fashioned that all friction may be avoided. Quarrymen may also inspect the engines or models best adapted for their work, some of them having masts and booms by which a weight of ten or twelve tons may be readily lifted and moved in a straight or circular line. Many of them are worked by electricity, and are controlled at will by a single engineer, herein being a forcible illustration of progress in the invention of labor-saving machinery.

The exhibit of pumping engines, also included in this class, is grouped around a basin of cement filled with water, and placed at the junction of the main hall and its annex. There are about fifty exhibitors, by whom are shown all kinds of machines, single, duplex, horizontal, and vertical, iron and wooden pumps, hand pumps and those operated by compressed air and steam, pumps for the farm-yard and other adapted to artesian wells. To demonstrate their several qualities the exhibitors depend upon the central reservoir, from which are drawn and returned its contents according to the power with which the pumps are supplied. One powerful force pump discharges into a large wooden trough; others send columns or sprays of water into the tank, and a Cincinnati firm has erected a shapely fountain, around which its air compressors and steam pumps smoothly perform their offices. An Illinois company displays an aerating pump which forces air to the bottom of a cistern, thus [316] purifying the water; and a Pennsylvania establishment has on exhibition a steam-pump that will raise water from a depth of 500 feet, designed for the use of factories, mines, and irrigating systems. Of windmills there is only a single specimen; but there is a special outdoor exhibit of windmills in connection with the Agricultural department, and especially of such as are used for farming purposes.

Adjacent to this section are the soda-water apparatus, apparatus for drawing beer, and for bottling and corking. By one firm is displayed its methods of carbonizing soda and mineral waters, champagne and other wines, and by another a machine for washing and rinsing beer bottles in one operation. Among the miscellaneous articles included in this group are iron and other metallic pipes, tubes, and fittings, stop valves, cocks, and such accessories for transmitting power. Under the heading of hydraulic and pneumatic apparatus is diving and refrigerating machinery. In the United States section there is no general exhibit of diving apparatus; but in the Midway plaisance experiments are shown in deep sea diving, illustrating the used of modern appliances, including the workings of the submarine bell telephone. The largest exhibit of refrigerating apparatus and machines for making ice was installed outside the building, in the Cold Storage plant, elsewhere described in this chapter, together with its destruction by fire. In separate structures also are the exhibits of a Chicago firm in connection with the Waukesha Hygeia mineral springs company, and of a New Orleans factory; but within the hall is the 150 ton refrigerating machine of a New York firm, with double acting compressor.

In the annex, west of the engines which form a portion of the power plant, is a small collection of apparatus for extinguishing fires. The only display of large fire engines is by a company at Seneca Falls, New York; but several Chicago houses show the latest inventions in chemical apparatus, and hand grenades. The remainder of the group consists of hose, nozzles, couplings, water towers, and models of fire-escapes, among the last of which one of the most practicable contrivances is a cage moving on an inclined ladder, supported by an upright, the crank that propels the escape being wound by operators below. Most of the exhibiting firms in this department have installed their apparatus in the fire stations distributed throughout the grounds, and at the fire above referred to many of them were put to the test.

The largest of the miscellaneous exhibits is contained in the western portion of the annex, overflowing thence into the model machine-shop south of it. The latter was furnished entirely by a New York and Chicago company, for the purpose of displaying the specialties of manufacturers for whom they are agents. Here also the several firms with which the company has dealings exhibit specialties of their own, as forgings from iron, steel, copper, and bronze, lathes, vises, planers, drills, and punching and shearing devices. One of the exhibiting companies has a contract with the government for furnishing the army and navy departments with more than $1,000,000 worth of turning, boring, and rifling lathes.

Beyond the machine-shop, and in the body of the hall, is an extension of this exhibit, where not only machinists, but steam fitters, blacksmiths, and tinsmiths may examine the most improved appliances of their trades, and at times may see them handled by skillful craftsmen. Included in this collection are riveting machines, shears for cutting sheet metal, hydraulic forging presses, power hammers, milling machines, portable forges, drills, planers, pneumatic pressing machines, and special machinery for making car pins and wheels, and the various parts of locomotives, marine boilers, and metallic bridges. A Trenton factory has its own brand of anvils and vises, and claims to be the oldest establishment of the kind in the United States. From the mint at Philadelphia comes [318] the first steam coining-press used by the government, and among other interesting exhibits are machines which transform solid bars of steel into wire netting for gallery fences and for use as substitutes for lathing, with such as make hooks and eyes, chains, and steel fence posts.

Of machinery for the manufacture of textile fabrics and clothing, there are more than 70 exhibits in the north-western section of Machinery Hall. In the former class are included not only apparatus for the production of silks, cottons, linens, and woolens, for carpets, tapestries, laces, and embroideries, for ropes and twines, and other fibrous products, but such as is used for the making of paper, felt, and rubber gods, and for the preparation and working of leather. Here may be studied the various stages of textile manufacture in all its branches, and especially in the operation of the looms, not only by way of illustration, but in the production of goods to order, forming an attractive and realistic working display. Silks, for instance, of intricate figures, are fashioned before the eyes of the observer by processes in which are still retained, though with many improvements, the principles evolved by Joseph Marie Jacquard, whose invention brought him first the maledictions, and then the homage of Lyons silk-weavers.

Very noticeable are the improvements made in looms of the Jacquard pattern, even with the last decade. Among visitors to the Fair are those who still remember the first of these looms exhibited in Chicago, not many years ago, at a local exposition held on the lake front. Though a huge and cumbersome piece of mechanism, it performed many wonderful feats, or such they seemed to the throngs that gathered around it, producing, for instance, exposition badges and portraits of General Grant, all of them woven in silk. In contrast with it are those of modern make, as displayed in this department, with countless strings of perforated cards, set in motion at every throw of the shuttle, each perforation representing one or more threads in the woof. Such looms are used mainly for the intricate designs, and not alone for silk-weaving, but for the weaving of carpets, and other textile fabrics. By the largest among this group are woven bordered carpets twelve feet square, and at the smallest [320] of antique pattern, and fashioned entirely of wood, sits and aged man from a Philadelphia factory, moving the treadle by foot, and the shuttles by hand. With the exception of one for making Turkish towels, this is the only hand-loom in the collection. At the former a Turk, in orthodox native costume, bends over his task, and with true oriental deliberation swings forward his beam, and passes his shuttle through the warp. Next to him, by way of contrast, a modern Jacquard weaves a couple of towels at a time.

Of machinery for the production of silk goods there are several exhibits, some of them including looms for the manufacture of cotton, woolens, and mixed or miscellaneous textiles. Among the more interesting collections are those from Worcester, Massachusetts, one of its exhibiting firms stating that 10,000 of its looms are at work in foreign lands. A Philadelphia house has a large display of apparatus; Pittsburgh and Paterson are also represented, and there is a single machine from the quaint old Connecticut seaport of Stonington, founded on Long Island sound in 1649, and where still are traces of its bombardment by a British squadron during the war of 1812.

[321] - To describe all the workings of these looms is no part of my purpose, even were such description practicable; nor would days and weeks of close observation and study unfold to the visitor their manifold intricacies. Swiftly and smoothly they run, while producing the most elaborate as well as the most simple patterns, stopping when they should, and indicating by noisy demonstration when something is amiss, so that the operator would almost seem to be controlled by his loom, and not the loom by its operator. From the upper portion of the machine a mass of film-like threads passes downward in unbroken line, mingling with the warp in complicated and mysterious fashion, while darting alternately, from left to right and from right to left, the shuttles perform their noisy task. As an instance of their rapidity of movement, it may be stated that, in the manufacture of towels of the finer grades, the shuttles pass to and fro more than 100 times over every square inch of their surface, and yet of such towels several hundreds a day can be made by half a dozen looms, with the aid of a single operator. "My days are swifter than a weaver�s shuttle," exclaimed the afflicted patriarch; but Job had never seen in motion a modern Jacquard loom.

Silk ribbons are made at the rate of two dozen pieces at a time, and passing from the loom as finished fabrics are wound into rolls by apparatus placed beneath. These are of many patterns, colors, and qualities, the warp displaying all the hues of the rainbow as the threads pass swiftly across the frame. The silk machines are worked by women, all of whom appear to be expert operatives, passing rapidly to and fro, correcting faults and imperfections, stopping the loom when needed by simply moving a bar at its lower end, and setting again in motion its endless array of threads. In addition to dress silks and ribbons, some of the former in heavy brocades, and the latter with satin finish, souvenir badges, and figured and embroidered handkerchiefs are manufactured by the dozen, with other articles classed under the head of art-weaving.

By the three Worcester firms mentioned as among makers of silk machinery, cotton and woolen [322] looms are also largely produced. Of such as are used for fabrics made partially of cotton there are several collections; Pawtucket, Rhode Island, has a minor display, and the great manufacturing town of Lowell, the Manchester of America, with nearly 200 mills, with 25,000 looms at work, and more than 1,000,000 spindles, is represented at the great World�s Fair by a single cotton machine. Yet in the foundries and machine shops of Lowell are produced nearly all classes of apparatus such as is used in her factories. In a miniature cotton mill are demonstrated all the various processes of converting the raw material into finished goods. Cotton, fresh from the bale, is placed in the feeder, where it is freed from refuse, and then smoothed and carded into suitable lengths. Then, after other preliminary treatment, it is woven into fabrics, the spindles moving so rapidly that to the unpracticed eye they appear not to move at all.

Another interesting process is that of making threads, which can be seen to excellent advantage in the exhibit of a Connecticut factory, its location, together with the character of its exhibits displayed by a sign, with the word "Willimantic" fashioned in spools of black thread on a background of white. Several times a minute the lettering is changed, the inscription alternating with that of spool-cotton, through some ingenious manipulation too swift for the eye to detect. By one of the machines, named a spool-winder, eight spools are wound at a time, each with 200 yards of thread; the thread is cut and fastened into a notch on the edge of the spool; the spools are labelled, and others take their place, all by automatic methods and without a moment�s cessation. There are also ready wound bobbins for sewing and other machines, with balls of thread for various purposes; there are threads of all sizes and colors in the form of panels, and pillars, and on a revolving cylinder columns of spool cotton in every hue are being woven together, as by a braiding machine.

Of machines for knit underwear there are several in operation, producing yard after yard of fabric which, with but slight manipulation, is transformed into garments. In contrast with them are two hand machines, turned by cranks, and of primitive fashion. A Philadelphia firm has among its collection an apparatus for making underwear trimmings at the rate of fifty yards an hour. Another Philadelphia [323] company has hosiery and mitten machines of various sizes. A Chicago company shows some swift-running specimens; but in this department the entire display is far from complete, some of the best machinery and such as is widely used for knit goods being omitted altogether from the group. Other textiles are also in process of manufacture, from jeans and homespuns to the finest of laces and embroideries.

The exhibits of machinery for the production of clothing include such as is used for shoes and gloves; but no shoes are made in Machinery hall, the apparatus being adapted only to lining, cementing, heeling, and certain finishing processes, as the making of button-holes. Glove-making is shown in all the stages whereby a piece of tanned skin is converted into a pair of many buttoned kid, carefully stitched, perfumed, and packed, in readiness for use. There are also machines for belt-lacing, for working hides and leather, for harness, saddlery and whips, for rubber stamps, and felt goods. Of sewing machines for household and factory use, and for stitching leather and other heavy materials, there are several collections, but with little of special interest in this department.

Paper-making machinery is included, as I have said, among textile apparatus, and here may be observed the process whereby wood pulp is transformed into bulky rolls of paper ready for the printing-press. The pulp is made from spruce logs, but into suitable lengths, ground and mixed with sulphite, to soften the fibre and destroy all deleterious substances. When ready for the mill the material is placed in the beater, and thoroughly mixed with the sizing, coloring, and other matter which enters into the finished product. Then, in a semi-liquid condition, it is drawn off into a storage tank beneath, and presently submitted to a further mixing and grinding operation performed by a so-called perfecting machine. As yet, however, the paper is anything but finished, resembling somewhat curdled cream, but of whiter complexion, and only after much further manipulation, which need not here be described, is ready to receive on its surface the news of the world. In this machine, fashioned at the Beloit Iron works, with a capacity of ten tons of paper a day, and occupying more than 100 feet of longitudinal floor space, are contained nearly 200 tons of steel and iron.

Nowhere better than in Machinery hall, and especially in the textile group, can the visitor study the industrial phases of factory life. Here may be seen at work operatives of the better class in the leading branches of manufacture, men and women working side by side in producing the countless articles for use or ornament which grow into shape before the eyes of the observer. While attending to their several tasks they are always ready to answer questions or to offer brief explanations, the latter, however, too thickly interlarded with technical phrase to throw much light on the subject; [324] for what seems to them as simple as the alphabet is to the average spectator a labyrinth of mysteries. Nevertheless one may learn as much from these miniature mills and factories as by making a tour of the manufacturing centres of the United States.

Extending along the northern aisle and adjacent to the textile group is the Printing-press row of Machinery hall, where, covering more than 12,000 square feet of space, are presses, type-setting, type-casting, electro-typing, paper-cutting, book-binding, and other apparatus, the first including machines of various designs and dates, from such as did duty in the colonial era to those of modern make. Among the former, and included in the Hoe exhibit, is one of antique fashion, made by the same man, and of the same pattern as that which Benjamin Franklin used while working as a journeyman printer in London. In strange contrast with the swift-running presses of today, turning out their thirty-two page newspapers at the rate of 12,000 an hour, is this ungainly relic of a by-gone age, with its angular wooden frame, its rusty crank, and its long old-fashioned slide, the structure creaking and groaning under its tasks of printing on one side some 300 miniature sheets and hour, each twelve by sixteen inches. A still more ancient specimen is the original Bradford press, the first one used in New York, with a model of the pioneer printing-office established in that city by William Bradford, on the 15th of April, 1693. Here also is the first printing-press used in New Hampshire, made by one Thomas Draper of Boston in 1742, later used by the state printer, and after other changes of ownership passing into the hands of its exhibitor, the Campbell Printing Press Manufacturing company. Among other curiosities is an old Ramage press exhibited by a Chicago company, together with samples of its type-casting machines. Side by side with these primitive appliances are marvels of printing mechanism, into one side of which the paper passes fresh from the roll in long unbroken line, and from the other comes forth in the form of printed and folded journals, at the rate of many thousands an hour.

Of printing-presses there is at least a score of exhibitors, some of them including stereotyping, electrotyping, paper-cutting, and other apparatus. Included in this group are samples of all descriptions, from perfecting presses to such as are used for job work. First may be mentioned those of Richard Hoe and company, whose eight and ten-cylinder presses, throwing off 20,000 impressions an hour, and introduced about the middle of the century in New York, Philadelphia, and London, were supposed to represent the final limit of workmanship and speed. Soon, however, in the leading newspaper offices, where time is counted by [325] seconds, web perfecting presses were reeling off their eight-page journals at the rate of 700 or 800 a minute. One of the highest forms of development is found in the Hoe quadruple web-perfecting press, now largely used by popular newspapers with their mammoth Sunday editions. By this machine a four-page newspaper can be printed and folded at the rate of 90,000 an hour; one of six or eight pages at half that speed, one of from ten to sixteen pages at 24,000, and one of twenty-four to thirty-two pages at 12,000 an hour. Some of these processes may be seen in actual operation in Printing-press row, not only on Hoe machines but on those of the Goss, Potter, and Scott patterns, all of which are here on exposition.

To the majority of Exposition sight-seers it may not be known that the newspapers laid on their breakfast or dinner tables were printed in Machinery hall; but here we may observe the entire process whereby from these perfecting presses are issued, more swiftly than the eye can count them, the sheets of several Chicago journals. In a separate building, south of the western annex, was installed through lack of space, and as a precaution against fire, the electrotyping machinery, forming probably the largest collection ever contained within a single edifice, with compelte sets of the most recent and approved apparatus fashioned by leading manufactures. These are also in actual operation, and thus may be seen how a newspaper is born into the world, from the making of its stereotype plates from papier-mache matrices, until the finished and folded sheets are ready for the newsboy, all eager to disturb with reiterated cry the morning sleep of the Fair pilgrim.

Chicago is well represented in this department by five exhibiting firms, one of them the Goss Printing-press company, three of whose perfecting presses are here at work. The Miehle Printing Press and Manufacturing company has also a press in operation, of Chicago invention and make, on which is printed the page now before the reader, that is to say The Book of the Fair, the type for which came from Barnhart Brothers and Spindler, who are likewise among Chicago exhibitors. The remaining exhibits are from New York, New Jersey, New England and mid-continental states. Barnhard Brothers and Spindler and the American Type Founders� company illustrate the evolution of type-foundries. First is the primitive apparatus in the form of a hand-mold, made in 1793; then one with rotary motion, of the date of 1840; another worked by steam and fashioned in 1870, and finally the perfected mechanism of 1893. Of type-setting machines there are several exhibits, one firm displaying also a type-line casting machine, and of printers� materials and miscellaneous appliances there are one or two assortments.

Of paper-cutting and paper-folding apparatus there are many specimens, and among the former may be seen at work some of the largest machines of their kind, run by heavy leather belting, and requiring only a turn of the wrist to cut through a ream of the thickest [326] paper as though it were a roll of butter or a mass of lard. The latter are used both for book and periodical work, with hand or automatic feed, and with all the improvements devised since first the folding-machine was introduced in the United States, some forty years ago. By a firm whose headquarters are at Little Falls, New York are displayed its paper-working appliances, such as are attached to ruling and folding machines and printing-presses. Of book-binding and book-sewing machines there are several exhibits, the latter both for thread and wire stitching, and there are a few embossing and inking machines, some of them performing all grades of work with equal facility.

Few in number, but of excellent quality, are the exhibits illustrating the various methods of lithography, color-printing, and other processes, partly chemical, and partly mechanical, which have been devised as substitutes for the productions of the brush, the pen, the pencil, or crayon. By a New York firm are displayed its lithographic distribution presses, and by Chicago exhibitors a multi-color process, and a duplex color ink-plate for printing-presses.

In the group of machinery for working in wood, separated from the textile section by the main longitudinal nave, is sufficient evidence of the rapid progress which recent years have witnessed in this department. But the limit has not yet been reached or even approached, and in few branches of mechanical invention are there greater possibilities. The turning-lathe, for instance, which a few years ago could only be used for shaping wood into rounded forms, will now give to it many varieties of outline, from square to spiral, and from oval to polygonal. So also with machines used for carving, stamping, molding, tonguing, and mortising lumber, and for all the various operations in which machinery does the work that was formerly done by hand. Yet in each of these processes there is still much room for improvement.

Among the more remarkable exhibits is one by a Pennsylvania manufacture, in the form of a so-called geometrical machine. While not altogether new, there are few of this pattern in use in the United States; for here is a mechanism that can only be handled by the most skillful of mechanics, one producing perfect specimens of workmanship, and in all such figures in solid geometry, as avail for practical use. A New York firm has special machines for the manufacture of the woodwork used in pianos and organs. Dubuque sends a swift-moving chain mortiser, in which chisels are entirely dispensed with, the chain revolving on pulleys of graduated sizes according to the width of the mortise. Among other mortisers of special pattern is one used by a Chicago firm whose specialty is in the line of car-building machinery. By its carriage attachment of iron, moving on rails, and by the iron rollers on the upper part of the machine is greatly facilitated the handling of heavy lumber. The same firm shows a double mortiser, mainly for door-work, an almost perfect specimen of labor-saving machinery.

A Cincinnati manufacturer displays a matcher of improved design, with stationary bed, and of which the [327] heads and rollers can be raised or lowered, and the pressure increased at will by an automatic process. From a Boston firm comes a matcher and molder of similar pattern, but with improvements permitting greater facility in working. Buffalo shows a planer which will work on the four sides of a piece of timber. Somewhat of a novelty is an ingraining machine from Hutton, Pennsylvania, whereby white-faced woods, as pine, spruce, maple, birch, and poplar are transformed into perfect imitations of quartered oak or other high-priced articles, and thus almost doubled in value. The designs are painted on a drum with thirty-inch face, revolving three times a minute, and capable of treating 6,000 feet of lumber an hour, to which it gives an additional value of about $20 a thousand, thus earning $1,200 for each working day. Saws and sawing-machines, files and filing machines are liberally represented, a Fitchburg, Massachusetts company, established in 1832, claiming to be the largest manufacturers of saws and machine-knives in the United States, and that its goods are made by distinct and patented processes. In a separate building is a model saw-mill, mentioned under the heading of Miscellany. Of wood-working machinery there are many samples, and among wood-carving appliances are some whose motions resemble those of the human arm. There are also wood-embossing, shingling, barrel-making, box-nailing, pattern-making, and other special apparatus, while a Cincinnati firm has specimens of machinery used in the navy yards of the United States. Although classified together, the machines for working stone, clay, glass, and other materials, and for making spike and nails are grouped in widely separated portions of the hall. Several firms display their processes of grinding and finishing lenses, and here may be observed the method of manufacturing wire nails. Another miscellaneous class is grouped near the water tank, in the western section of the annex. It includes all kinds of dynamometers for testing the strength of materials; the machinery used by jewelers, and opticians, and the laundry and dish washing apparatus. The laundry machines are of ingenious mechanism, and the more simple automatic dish-washers may be seen at work in the annex, and in several of the Exposition restaurants. Several eastern manufactures have a large collection of watchmakers� tools; in one of these booths are made souvenir thimbles of gold and silver, and [328] in the main hall a Chicago company displays its method of manufacturing pens. To the miscellaneous classes also belong the exhibit of road-making and street-cleaning machines, placed outside the building.

In the northwest corner of the annex is a collection of apparatus for the preparation of various articles of food. In one large pavilion a Milwaukee manufacturer has an extensive display of flour-mill machinery and by an eastern firm are exhibited portable flour-mills. Then there are chocolate and sugar mills, meat-choppers and dough-mixers, and mills of all kinds for the preparation of cereals, coffee, and spices, together with bone crushers and models which show how the oil is extracted from cotton seed. Among the most ingenious mechanisms is one for pouring the beans into bags, arranged on a movable plate, and remaining just long enough to receive one pound of coffee, after which they are sealed, labeled, and passed forward for inspection, by means of a traveling belt.

Except for a few specimens contained in Machinery Hall, the exhibits of refrigerating apparatus and of ice-making machines were installed, as I have said, in the Cold Storage building, in the south-western portion of the grounds. Here were displayed the various methods of artificial freezing, and the several processes for the preservation of such perishable articles as fruit, meat, eggs, and butter. In the manufacture of ice, filtered water, and condensed and purified steam were the principal materials used. Of this building, and its destruction by fire a description is given at the close of this chapter under the heading of World�s Fair Miscellany.

Turning to the foreign sections in Machinery hall we find that, as in other departments, the German groups have been selected and arranged with special care, furnishing sufficient proof, if proof were needed, that the empire is holding its own in the markets of the world. For general purposes this branch of industry, as represented in the Fatherland, may be classed in three divisions; first, the casting of iron; second, the construction of machinery; and third, the conversion of manufactured iron into structural forms. Year by year these industries are assuming larger proportions, and while gaining in volume are gaining far more in quality. Of castings alone there were produced in 1890 more than 1,000,000 tons, keeping busy 1,150 establishments, and affording employment to 64,000 operatives. In the production of machines and apparatus of all descriptions at least 200,000 persons were employed, with exports for that year exceeding 80,000 tons, and valued at nearly $20,000,000.

Passing through the northern portal of the hall the visitor enters at once the German section, occupying [329] 50,000 square feet of space, and flanked by the British division. But here are contained only portions of the German exhibits, agricultural implements, mining apparatus, locomotives, dynamos, and other machinery being housed in the various departments to which they belong. At the intersection of the main aisles is a triple expansion engine, connected with a dynamo, for illumination purposes, and for the transmission of electric power. This engine, built by an Elbing manufacturer in western Prussia, is of 1,000 horse-power, its frame entirely of wrought iron, its stroke of 28 inches, and its revolutions at the rate of 100 to the minute. At its side, is a smaller engine, forming its counterpart in miniature, and used for driving a portion of the shafting in Machinery hall. Adjacent to this group are the gas and petroleum engines, the largest not exceeding thirty-five, and the smallest of three horse-power. As in England, these machines are rapidly gaining in favor, and of especial excellence are those of German make. By one of the exhibiting firms, employing 1,000 workmen, and with a branch factory in Philadelphia, have been produced some 40,000 engines, since their works were opened in 1864, as the pioneer enterprise in this department, now protected by patents in many countries.

East of these exhibits is that of a Leipsic firm, whose speciality is the manufacture of sawing-machines and machines for working in wood, of which their 600 workmen have already produced some 24,000 specimens. Here is reproduced what is claimed to be the largest saw-mill in existence, but one that appears somewhat crude as compared with American models, and with few of the time and labor-saving devices contained in the latter. In charge of expert workmen is a large collection of apparatus in actual operation. Still further east a Dusseldorf factory, with a branch establishment at Pittsburgh, has a display of machine-tools and saws of all sizes and patterns, form hand, jug, and circular saws, to such as will cut the thickest armor plate. One fashioned for the latter purpose is more than four feet in diameter, with teeth half an inch thick, and of the hardest steel. In the north-east corner of this section another Dusseldorf firm shows its machines for making armor and hand-chains, with wire-nail, riveting, and other presses. At the western extremity a Nuremberg manufacture exhibits fine wires of brass, steel, and German silver, some of them in skeins as delicate as silk, with wire brushes for household and other purposes.

As displayed at the Fair the German machines for working in wood and metals are strongly and carefully fashioned, and well provided with safeguards; but somewhat cumbersome, lacking in finish, and in other respects inferior to those of American make. Nevertheless there are among these group appliances well worthy of [330] consideration. Such, for instance, is the one used for planning and molding, in which the lumber, after being placed in the machine, is stripped of its outside covering by knives with a rotary motion, and the finish imparted by stationary knives over which the lumber passes. It is then carried by rollers to other apparatus by which it is planed to the required thickness, and tongued and grooved for flooring, ceiling, wainscoting, and various uses. Another machine of similar pattern can produce 50,000 feet of flooring a day, and a third, in the form of a had-feed planer and jointner, is one that might be used to advantage by our own mechanics.

A minor but interesting exhibit, adjoining that of the Dusseldorf firm, is a match factory, where may be observed the process of making matches, together with the boxes that contain them. A single machine, and that one worked by a single operative, can cut 12,000,000 matches a day from blocks of wood prepared for the purpose. By an ingenious contrivance more than 2,000 matches at a time can be dipped in the igniting substance, a counterfeit being used for the purpose of illustration, as inflammable materials are forbidden by the authorities. For preparing the boxes, there are two machines, one shaving the wood into very thin sheets, and another cutting, folding, and labeling at the rate of 30,000 or 40,000 a day.

German foundries and machine-shops are fairly represented in this section by exhibiting firms and companies in addition to those already mentioned; but here it may be stated that the term machine-shop or machine-builder is not used in Germany in the American sense of the phrase, some of these establishments producing a large variety of articles. From a Magdeburg firm are specimens of its portable steam-engines, with extension tubular boilers, of which about 750 were manufactured in 1890-1, with a total of 15,500 horse-power. A Remscheid factory in Rhenish Prussia has samples of its seamless steel tubes, fashioned by a patented process in all descriptions of steel, with a large collection of miscellaneous articles, from boiler tubes to telegraph poles. A Gotha [331] foundry displays its turbines, with a capacity of 50 horse-power, and a velocity of 170 revolutions to the minute. Another Magdeburg company has a collection of crushing and grinding machinery, with models of gas engines, and the products of chilled and malleable iron. By a Hamburg firm are shown its smoke-consuming furnaces, of which several were ordered for the new Reichstag buildings in Berlin, another exhibitor making a specialty of water-tube boilers and apparatus for superheating steam.

Of power-transmitting appliances there are several exhibits, a Hamburg manufacturer supplying the belting which runs the machines of a dozen or more exhibitors. By another firm is shown the Rouleaux method of endless driving ropes for the simultaneous transmission of power in several directions. Of fire-extinguishing apparatus there is but a single illustration, furnished by the oldest of German factories in this department. In the line of textile and other fabrics, including knit goods and embroidery, there are many samples of machinery and work. A Dusseldorf firm has a collection of apparatus for decorative purposes, and a Berlin house, cutting machines for the materials used in making garments of all descriptions. An exhibitor from the little Saxony town of Aue shows how he makes 6,000,000 sheet-metal bobbins a year, such as are serviceable in many branches of textile industries. From the same town comes a large assortment of carding, napping, pressing, and other apparatus, with spinning machines for woof and web. Knitting machines are well represented, and though working less swiftly than those of American make, produce more durable goods. In this connection may also be mentioned the display of an asbestos factory at Frankfort-on-the-Main, by which are worked up more than 1,000 tons of raw material, largely procured from its mines at Black lake, in the province of Quebec.

Of paper-making, paper-ruling, and book-binding machinery there are a few exhibits, and these for the most of old-fashioned apparatus, of which, however, many are furnished with modern improvements. In the entire hall there are but two paper-ruling machines of recent pattern, one a German, and the other an American invention, both using brass disks, fitted with metal rods, whereby the lines can be spaced to the thirtieth part of an inch. For the German machine, which is a model of simplicity and neatness, it is claimed that 4,000 sheets an hour can be ruled on both sides under the direction of a single operative. With a display of book-binding machinery a Dresden firm combines riveting and edging apparatus, and such as is used for the making of pasteboard boxes. By an Augsburg exhibitor is displayed a rotating machine for printing illustrations, and by a Heidelberg establishment a so-called lightning press, with automatic lifter and envelope feeder, by which can be printed 40,000 envelopes a day.

[332] - For the production of staple and other articles of food there is a large collection of apparatus from a firm with branches in several European capitals. A Dresden exhibitor has a somewhat heterogeneous assortment of machines for chocolate and candy factories, for white lead, and paint factories, and for ink, soap, and perfumery factories. A Brunswick house an equally varied exhibit, with models, originals, or illustrations of turbines and roll-tables, hydraulic machines, grain, oil, and other mills, and appliances for husking grain, and for giving color to rice. Still another Dresden establishment has samples of the 2,000 machines produced each year for automatic milling plants the flour-mills and warehouses. From Berlin works come specimens of their porcelains and earthenware, their gas-retorts, their gas and steam-boiler furnaces, and their insulating materials for various purposes. A Hanover firm displays a number of patented pulley-blocks, and a Berlin house, with a branch in New York, its so-called smoke-hoods, used in the German and English navies, and its protective apparatus for firemen and others exposed to smoke and noxious vapors. Finally, there is a large collection of miscellaneous exhibits, including machinery and apparatus for cord and rope factories, for distilleries, for making shoes, for crushing rocks, for washing ores, for the manufacture of cement, and so forth till we come to meat and sausage machines, all forms of mechanism known to the Fatherland being here on exposition.

Great Britain is represented by a small but choice collection in the space assigned to her in the north-east corner of Machinery hall. Of late the tendency among British manufactures has been [333] toward the construction of machines for particular lines of work such as perform that work to the best advantage, and with the greatest economy of fuel and power. Steam engines, for instance, of all descriptions are not only modelled and proportioned for special uses, but are supplied with apparatus for super-heating the steam before it enters the cylinders, and also for its thorough condensation, the same steam often being used in several cylinders. So with gas engines, which in some departments are rapidly superseding steam-engines. In the production of war material this specialization is about the only improvement made within recent years, machines being so constructed as to perform only a single operation, but to perform it to perfection. Such also is and long has been the drift in other branches of mechanism, and thus alone can England continue to compete with the United States, where within a year or two the production of a given article is often doubled or trebled by new labor-saving appliances.[1]

[1] As an instance of the decadence of British manufactures, due largely to American competition, it may be stated that the production of raw and manufactured iron has diminished considerably within recent years, while that of Bessemer steel has barely held its own. Of iron ores the imports fell from more than 4,000,000 tons in 1889 to less than 3,200,000 tons in 1891. Of blast furnaces there were on an average 445 in operation during the former year, against 373 in the latter, and from 4,651 puddling furnaces in 1883, the number decreased to 3,015 in 1890. The entire exports of British merchandise shows a small loss for the ten years ending with 1892, and a more serious loss since 1890. In the export of textile fabrics, however, there was a decided gain, textile manufactures affording employment or support to no less than 5,000,000 people, and with an invested capital of $100,000,000.

[334] - First and largest among the eleven groups contained in this section is that which includes motors, and apparatus for the generation and transmission of power. Here is a horizontal compound engine of Manchester make, by which is driven one of the three lines of shafting in the British section. With 70 revolutions to the minute, a boiler pressure of 100 pounds indicates 350 horse-power. Its high-pressure cylinder being placed above it, and with the axis of the former radial to the shaft centre. The governor is in the shape of a parabola, with cylindrical fly-balls, and is connected with, and controls, the rod of the expansion valve, thus admitting steam as required. The workmanship is of thorough English type, solid, substantial, and with the parts so perfectly balanced that the engine runs smoothly and quickly, is readily controlled, and with remarkable steadiness of turning.

The other lines of shafting are driven by two single-acting central-valve engines, running smoothly and silently, but with remarkable speed, the normal rate [335] exceeding 350 revolutions to the minute. A feature in both is their small consumption of steam, which falls as low as 13 pounds an hour for each horse-power. In connection with this exhibit is a two-pole dynamo generating electricity through power supplied by the engine to which it is attached, at the rate of about 85 percent of the indicated horse-power, the remainder being lost by friction. Here is a fair specimen of an English central station plant, ten of these sets forming the plant now in use at one of the largest London stations. By a Grantham firm is displayed a safety oil engine, in which the usual apparatus for firing the charge is dispensed with, the oil being converted into gas in a red-hot vaporizer. From Dumbarton works are models of quadruple expansion marine engines, now largely used by ocean and channel steamers. Among the exhibits in this group is a dual screw steam engine for propelling vessels, with concentric shafts, and without gear or belting. Worthy of note also is a large collection of beltings, including such as are made of slotted steel, leather, rubber, gutta percha, and textile fabrics, with other articles for railroad, military, and mechanical purposes.

Of apparatus for extinguishing fires there is a slender display, as also of machines for working in metal and wood, for lithographing and color printing, and for photo-mechanical and other mechanical processes of illustration, the last contained in the hall of Manufactures and Liberal Arts. Machinery for the fabrication of textiles is better represented, one firm sending a complete set of cotton cleaning, combing, and carding apparatus, and others spinning frames, and looms for cotton, wool, and silk, among the latter several of the Jacquard pattern. Of printing machines [337] there is one which, in addition to its primary use, serves also for cutting, collecting, pasting, foldings, and counting, and a London firm displays type distributing, composing, and justifying machines, with racks so arranged as to show the use of apparatus for distributing all the founts of ordinary type, from pico to pearl. A Leeds manufacturer has a machine by which bricks are made at a single operation, and a London establishment shows models of its kilns and ovens for burning bricks, tiles, pottery, and terra cotta ware, with samples of articles so burned. Of machinery for the preparation of food there are several exhibitors, one having a plant complete for bread and biscuit-making, for pastry, cakes, and confectionery. Finally there is in another group a so-called automatic refreshment stall, such as is used in factories and public streets for distributing light refreshments and temperance beverages.

As with most of the foreign participants, France has no very imposing display in Machinery hall, her exhibits consisting mainly of apparatus for the cutting of glass-ware, the manufacture of confectionery, soap, and candles, the grinding and polishing of lenses, and the making of delicate embroideries. In this section there is no massive machinery, the nearest approach to it being the display of mill-stones by a French quarryman, and a collection of castings and other articles from a firm of engineers and foundrymen. There are also exhibited by the Paris firm of A. Piat and company oscillating portable furnaces, and crucible cupolas, used among other purposes for gun-metal castings, statuary, and machinery bronze work, and ordinary brass castings.

Adjoining the French section, Mexico and Russia occupy small areas, the latter covering about 3,000 square feet. The Mexican exhibit is mainly one of high-speed engines, of no great size, but powerful, and well constructed. Russia has models of her enginery of war, with a collection of petroleum grates and furnaces, charts and drawings from the [338] government institute of technology, and illustrations of the course of instruction pursued in the school for sub-marine divers, at Cronstadt. Methods of lighting by electric lamps, and of regulating the breathing of the divers are shown by photographs, and on a table near by is a huge diver�s suit of orthodox pattern.

Austria occupies more than 8,000 square feet between the French and Belgian sections. In one of the booths is delicate glassware, much of it adorned with outlines of the Exposition buildings; in another, handkerchiefs, embroideries, and various fabrics. Among machines and appliances are those for making bons-bons, for lithographic work, and protective purposes, and for operating circular saws, while a Pilsen factory displays some specimens of ordnance, a large screw for a steamer, and photographs of armor which has been penetrated by missiles manufactured at its work.

The Brazilian booth, adjacent to the Austrian section, contains an exhibit of coffee cleaning apparatus, contributed by several San Paulo and Campia firms. One machine separates the coffee from the stones with which it may be mixed, the ventilator clearing away the leaves, earth, and other refuse; another hulls the coffee without breaking the kernels or allowing any to escape, reducing the shell almost to powder, which is removed by a connecting ventilator; a third segregates all the black and inferior grains, and allows the coffee to fall into a series of sieves, thus separating it into its several commercial grades.

A considerable area in the eastern portion of the main hall, between the power plant and the British section, is covered by the exhibits from Belgium. The most extensive display is from the works of a large iron and steel company, and consists of specimens of merchantable iron, with plates and curved sheets, and sections of girders, sleepers, and columns. Elsewhere is machinery for making worsted goods and embroideries, ice cream and confectionery. Compared with modern American appliances, the apparatus for extinguishing fires is of somewhat primitive fashion, the fire engines of Liege reminding one of the American hand machines of fifty years ago.

Near the eastern portico of the main hall is the Canadian section, the exhibits including a collection of small single-valve automatic engines. Here, also, is one of the very few boilers which are not in active use, a straw burning boiler, specially designed for the agriculturists of the sparsely timbered northwest territories. Wood and iron working machinery is well represented in this section, As are also such domestic appliances as washing machines, patent clothes lines, and meat choppers. There are several brick-making machines on exhibition, and the fire engine displayed by the Ontario works will bear comparison with those in the American department.

Southwest of the German section are the small exhibits of New South Wales and Sweden, the chief interest in the former centring in a case of electrotypes presented by the government printing office as samples of its work. A Swedish doctor of philosophy from Stockhom contributes a few dynamos, and an inventor of the same city shows a machine whereby can be made nearly 200 barrels an hour. Adjoining the Swedish section are a few small Spanish machines, including those for raising water, and for [339] planing. In this vicinity also Switzerland and Italy have minor exhibits, the chief feature in that of the former being a practical illustration of processes of electro-plating with gold and silver. Lenses, embroidery machines, and oil manufactures are displayed in the Italian group.

World�s Fair Miscellany - Almost while in the act of penning my description of the cold Storage building and its contents, came their destruction by fire on the evening of the 10th of July, 1893. This edifice was erected by the Hercules Iron company of Aurora, Illinois, and the exhibits, together with the systems which they illustrated, were those of the West Side Artificial Ice company, of Chicago. From the centre of the structure rose to a height of 220 feet a wooden tower, covered with staff, and surmounted by a dome. Here it was, near the base of the dome, that the fire was first discovered. The engines were quickly on hand, and from a narrow ledge, a few feet below, the men stood, hose in hand, prepared for action. But at this juncture tongues of fire shot forth near the base of the tower, and a moment later the flames broke out with a smothered roar from every portion of the tower, cutting off the retreat of the firemen. Then followed a scene of horror such as few have ever witnessed. Around this narrow ledge the firemen ran, vainly seeking an avenue of escape. One slid downward on a rope; another on a line of hose; but hose and rope snapped, and the men disappeared in flame and smoke. Some fell, and some threw themselves headlong on the roof, more than eighty feet below; and as the tower parted in the middle, and fell crashing into the burning gulf, the one human being who remained on the ledge was seen to leap into air, and then fall prone into the devouring sea.

During the investigation of the coroner�s jury it was shown that the steel smoke-stack enclosed within the tower was fourteen inches shorter than the structure itself. In the plans, as prepared by the architect, this space was to be occupied by a thimble for the protection of the exposed wood-work; but in the construction of the building this safeguard was omitted, and hence the disaster, with its attendant holocaust, in which seventeen lives were lost. Of the gate receipts of the following Sunday $25,000 was set apart by the management as the nucleus of a relief fund, and this was swelled by further contributions to nearly $100,000.

To the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing company was awarded the contract for providing the plant by which the buildings and grounds of the Exposition are supplied with incandescent lights, and for this purpose it placed in Machinery hall fourteen machines, with an aggregate capacity of 158,000 sixteen-candle power lamps. In the construction of its system were used some forty-five miles of wire, while the Exposition authorities ordered 250 miles of wire, covered with rubber, or lead, for the completion of the arc circuits. There are also about forty miles of conductors.

Covering a large area directly south of Machinery hall are exhibits connected with the oil industries of the country. Great derricks, drilling machines, and tanks are as profusely displayed as in the oil regions of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The centre of these exhibits is a stone building, erected by the Oil Well Supply company, of Pittsburgh, outside of which are all the apparatus required for boring and drilling. Within the building, which is decorated with the flags of all nations, are models of machines showing the development of various processes of obtaining oil, with a large collection of pumps in operation, and of fittings and tools used in boring for petroleum and gas. Portable drills for surface wells, and the large machines designed for boring to a depth of about 3,000 feet are shown both as models and originals. In the centre of the building are photographic and other illustrations contrasting the present apparatus of the company with such as was used by its founder thirty years ago.

About 100 feet south-east of the main hall, and a short distance from Michigan�s logging camp, is a model saw-mill erected for the purpose of exhibiting, in operation, the most improved machines for transforming lumber into its manufactures, and for keeping machinery in repair. The north-west supplies white pine, the south yellow pine, the west cedar and cottonwood, and other sections many varieties of hard-wood, all of which are made into such articles as shingles, barrels, and boards. About a dozen companies by which are made the larger machines for working wood, place specimens of their work in the model mill. There are portable saw-mills, jig, and circular saws, log rollers, and all kinds of machines for sharpening and setting saws, with a collection of filing machinery.

As previously noted, the exhibit of road-making machines although included in this department was considerably scattered, some of the rollers being placed in the Transportation building, and others in the Mining and Agricultural buildings, and the model saw-mill. At times a collective exhibit of these machines in actual operation may be seen near the shore of the south pound, and the Intramural railroad.

The largest boiler in the plant is in the boiler-house extension, and is named the Morrin�s Climax. It generates steam equal to 1,500 [340] horse-power, and has a heating surface of 10,000 square feet. The boilers are connected with the oil storage tanks by steam coils, in which the oil may be heated in cold weather. Exhibitors may select for themselves the burner to be used for their apparatus. In some cases the burners and connections are kept behind fire-proof doors, the supply of air passing from the rear to the front of the furnace, where it comes in contact with a spray of oil, and is heated to a high temperature before combustion takes place.

By the Allis engine in Machinery hall was virtually put in motion the entire mechanism of the Exposition. When President Cleveland pressed the electric button, and closed the circuit, and electric valve attached to a four-inch pipe was opened, steam being thus admitted to the engine which, in turn, brought its two great dynamos into play. Near this engine is one of 1,000 horse-power, and with a fly-wheel 28 feet in diameter, belted to a dynamo. All exhibitors furnished with power to operate engines or machinery from the regular plant, paid the department at the rate of $60 per horse-power for the season, if their machines were run continuously. The amount of power furnished gratuitously was only sufficient to keep a machine long enough in motion to show its workings.

Except by specialists, it is not generally known that wood, granite, cast-iron, and cpper, were formerly used in the construction of boilers, the last as recently as thirty years ago. When inventors were called upon to meet the demand of manufacturers for something that would withstand a higher pressure, they were obliged to substitute plate iron and steel, and as we have seen in speaking of the boiler plant of Machinery hall, to distribute the aggregate power generated among numerous tubes, or miniature boilers.

While no great progress has been made within recent years toward increasing the efficiency of steam boilers, there has been a large reduction in the quantity of steam consumed by engines in proportion to their horse-power, amounting probably to 30 percent within the last score of years. This has been mainly caused by the more general introduction of the compound system, one by no means new, but which, for whatever reason, engineers were slow to adopt. It is to be regretted that no provision has been made in Machinery hall for a comparative test of boilers and engines, for which an excellent opportunity is here afforded.

In the eastern gallery is a black walnut case from which protrude ten levers, and from these pulleys connect with the bells in the tower above, whence their chimes are heard at intervals afar in the grounds. The bells are fastened to a massive oak frame, the heaviest weighing 3,000 pounds, and the lightest, 300. It is stated that the same company which manufactured the first large chime of bells in the United States, more than fifty years ago, furnished the one in Machinery hall.

Among the miscellaneous exhibits is that of the so-called Working-Men�s Insurance in the form of a series of tables, or charts. This is from the Imperial Insurance department of the German empire, and intended to bring to the attention of Americans its system of compulsory insurance. Its three funds, providing against accident, sickness, and old age, are contributed from state employers and employees, the payments of each being determined by the aggregate of wages disbursed, and of individual wages received.

Another minor exhibit in the German section is a cigar-rolling machine that makes cigars of every shape, and of which there are many thousands in use. Still another consists of dough-making machines, of a pattern for which it is claimed that more than thirty exposition medals have been received. A special class includes a large assortment of miscellaneous machinery and processes, including such as are used for the reproduction of oil paintings, for polishing plate-glass, for shelling grain, and for making syrup out of potatoes. The only mural painting in the German pavilion is on the northern wall above the portal, and represents a longitudinal section of an armored turret for coast defense, constructed by Friedrich Krupp.

Saturday, the 26th of August, was known as Machinery hall day, when was given the first of a series of entertainments in connection with the main departments of the Fair. At nine o�clock, when the great chime of bells rang forth from the tower, the building was already filled, and soon afterward was densely crowded, thousands passing in and out in one unbroken stream. At noon were songs by jubilee singers, and an hour later, diving exhibitions in the lagoon which flanks the Machinery building. First was illustrated the system of telephoning under water, as adopted by the Russian naval school at Cronstadt, the diver, one Assenig Korotaeffsky, encasing himself in a diving suit, weighted with lead, and, as he sank and emerged from the water, suggesting that a new species of sea-serpent had been added to the World�s Fair exhibits. Then came a pitched battle between crews selected from the boiler and engine-rooms, attired in bathing suits, and placed on board scows forty feet apart. Both were supplied with hoses to which a pressure of eighty pounds was furnished by Worthington pumps, and at a given signal the fight began, victory declaring for the crew that should knock its opponents overboard into the lagoon. The captain of one of the boats weighed about 300 pounds, and as he stood grasping his hose, arrayed in a close-fitting suit with alternate stripes of black and red, his appearance was greeted with roars of merriment. After a brief but spirited contest, his men were worsted, and their scow began to sink, the fat man betaking himself and his 300 pounds to shore as best he could. This was followed by an aquatic contest between two companies of so-called royal horse marines, with brooms as weapons, and steeds in the shape of barrels, sufficiently weighted, and with imitation heads and tails. After this was a greased pole performance, several competitors for the prizes which hung at its end, suspended over the pond, receiving instead a fresh water bath, among them the fat man, who after a futile attempt plunged like a porpoise into the lagoon. Other diversions followed, accompanied with music, and special exhibits of machinery in motion.

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