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Title: The Crystal Palace - Its Architectural History and Constructive Marvels
Author: Fowler, Charles H., Berlyn, Peter
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Crystal Palace - Its Architectural History and Constructive Marvels" ***

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Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Transverse Section of the Building, showing the Interior


Crystal Palace:


Architectural History


Constructive Marvels.


Peter Berlyn, and Charles Fowler, Junr.


James Gilbert, Paternoster Row.






The Curiosities and Wonders

contained within

The Crystal Palace.



Illustrated by Several Hundred Engravings.




The Following Pages,












                    THE PUBLISHER.



  INTRODUCTORY REMARKS                                                    1
  LABOURS OF THE BUILDING COMMITTEE                                       3
  THE COMPETITION DESIGNS                                                 6
      ENGLAND                                                            15
  OPPOSITION TO THIS DESIGN                                              24
  THE TENDERS                                                            24
  HISTORY OF MR. PAXTON'S DESIGN                                         27
  GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING                                    33
  THE PAXTON'S GUTTERS                                                   40
  THE SASH-BARS                                                          44
  THE RIDGES                                                             46
  THE GLASS                                                              46
  THE BOX GUTTERS                                                        47
  THE ROOF GIRDERS                                                       47
  THE IRON DRILLING MACHINE                                              49
  THE PUNCHING MACHINE                                                   50
  THE ADZING AND PLANING MACHINE                                         51
  THE COLUMNS AND CONNECTING-PIECES                                      52
  THE BASE-PIECES                                                        53
  THE CAST-IRON GIRDERS                                                  54
  THE GALLERIES                                                          55
  TESTING THE CAST-IRON GIRDERS                                          55
  ROOF OF TRANSEPT                                                       58
  THE FACEWORK                                                           59
  THE DIAGONAL BRACING                                                   60
  THE STAIRCASES                                                         60
  THE FLOOR AND FOUNDATIONS                                              62
  FIRST OPERATIONS ON THE GROUND                                         63
  SETTING-OUT THE GROUND                                                 64
  FIXING THE BASE-PLATES                                                 65
  HENDERSON'S DERRICK CRANE                                              67
  RAISING AND FIXING THE COLUMNS AND GIRDERS                             68
  HOISTING THE ROOF TRUSSES                                              69
  PROVISION FOR EXPANSION OF GIRDERS                                     70
  GLAZING THE ROOF                                                       71
  STAGE FOR REPAIRING THE GLASS, ETC.                                    73
  HOISTING THE RIBS FOR TRANSEPT ROOF                                    73
  GLAZING THE TRANSEPT ROOF                                              76
  THE PAINTING                                                           76
  THE HAND-RAIL MACHINE                                                  78
  GENERAL VIEW OF THE WORKS                                              79
  PAYING THE WORKMEN                                                     80
  GENERAL STATISTICS                                                     82
  THE PARTI-COLOURED PAINTING                                            83
  THE WATER SUPPLY                                                       87
  THE STABILITY OF THE BUILDING                                          87
  TESTING THE GALLERIES                                                  88
  GENERAL ADVANTAGES OF THE BUILDING                                     89
  CONCLUSION                                                             89

  LIST OF COMPETITORS FOR THE BUILDING                                    i
      DISTINCTION                                                      viii
      COMMITTEE                                                          ix
  MEMORANDUM ON THE SITE                                                 xi
      OPENING OF THE BUILDING                                          xvii

List of Illustrations.

      INTERIOR COMPLETED--                                  _frontispiece_.
  VIEW OF THE PRINCIPAL ENTRANCE OF THE SAME                             17
  INTERIOR VIEW OF THE "PALACE"                                          18
  INTERIOR VIEW OF THE CATTLE-SHED                                       19
  VIEW OF KROLL'S WINTERGARTEN AT BERLIN                        _facing_ 19
  PLAN OF KROLL'S WINTERGARTEN                                           20
  VIEW OF THE BIRMINGHAM EXPOSITION BUILDING                             20
  EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE SAME                                     _facing_ 24
  COMMON MODE OF GLAZING ROOFS                                           28
  METHOD BY RIDGE AND FURROW                                             29
  CUTTERS OF MR. PAXTON'S SASH-BAR MACHINE                               30
  THE VICTORIA REGIA HOUSE, CHATSWORTH                                   32
  INTERIOR OF THE SAME                                                   33
  VIEW OF THE INTERIOR OF THE TRANSEPT                          _facing_ 38
  VIEW OF GLASS ROOF FROM THE LEAD FLAT                         _facing_ 39
  THE EXTERNAL RAILING                                                   40
  THE CIRCULAR PLANING MACHINE                                           41
  PORTION OF THE SAME SHOWING DETAIL                                     41
      MACHINE                                                            42
  THE GUTTER-CUTTING MACHINE                                             42
  MACHINE FOR CUTTING OUT SASH-BARS                                      44
  THE SASH-BAR DRILLING MACHINE                                          45
  PORTION OF THE SAME, ENLARGED                                          46
  SECTION OF THE RIDGES, ETC                                             46
  DIAGRAM OF 48-FEET GIRDER                                              48
  DIAGRAM OF 72-FEET GIRDER                                              48
  THE IRON DRILLING MACHINE                                              50
  THE PUNCHING MACHINE AND SHEARS                                        50
  THE ADZING-CUTTERS                                                     51
  THE ADZING AND PLANING MACHINE                                         52
  SECTION OF A COLUMN                                                    52
  A BASE-PIECE                                                           54
  LOUVRE FRAME                                                           60
  VIEW OF STAIRCASE                                                      61
  FIXING CAST-IRON DRAIN-PIPE                                            62
  VIEW OF CRANE AND PROVING-PRESS                                        66
  HENDERSON'S DERRICK CRANE                                              67
  PORTIONS OF THE SAME                                                   67
  FIXING THE GIRDERS                                                     68
  GENERAL VIEW OF THE WORKS IN PROGRESS                         _facing_ 69
  HOISTING THE 72-FEET TRUSSES                                           70
  GLAZING-WAGGON FOR FLAT ROOF                                           72
  A PAIR OF RIBS PREPARED FOR RAISING                                    74
  HOISTING THE RIBS FOR THE TRANSEPT ROOF                       _facing_ 75
  STAGE FOR GLAZING TRANSEPT ROOF                                        76
  THE SASH-BAR PAINTING MACHINE                                          77
  PORTION OF THE SAME IN DETAIL                                          77
  THE HAND-RAIL CUTTING MACHINE                                          78
  PORTION OF THE SAME                                                    78
  THE BRASS TICKETS FOR WORKMEN                                          80
  THE INTERIOR OF THE PAY-OFFICE                                         81
  THE MEN TAKING THEIR WAGES                                             81
  THE WORKMEN WAITING TO BE PAID                                         82
  VIEW OF THE BOILER-HOUSE, ETC.                                _facing_ 88
  VIEW OF SOUTH FRONT OF THE BUILDING                                    92

  INTERIOR OF THE SAME                                          _facing_ ix
      FOR THE BUILDING                                          _facing_  x


So much has already been said and written, both wisely and well, upon the
marvellous edifice which has just been reared with such magical rapidity to
enshrine the results of the skill and industry of all nations, that it
would appear an almost hopeless task to present the subject in any new
point of view to the reader.

If, therefore, the authors cannot lay claim to novelty or originality in
the execution of the pleasurable work which they have undertaken, they are
not without hopes that, from their having been connected with this gigantic
undertaking during the greater part of its progress, they will be enabled
to trace in a more detailed and consecutive manner than has yet been
attempted the history of the design and execution of the building up to the
period of its completion.

A great deal has been lately said upon the want of distinctive character in
almost all the buildings of the present day; and it is certainly a striking
fact that in scarcely any of our important modern structures does the
exterior appearance in any way lead the spectator to form an idea of the
purposes or arrangement of the interior, the former being apparently
governed by fancy, or the fashion for some particular style, while the
latter only, is accommodated to the peculiar requirements of the case. Thus
we have porticos which do not shelter from the weather, or in which no one
is allowed to walk; Venetian palaces appear piled upon a substructure of
plate-glass; baronial castles prove to be model prisons; and
richly-decorated mansions, from the time of "Good Queen Bess," or fanciful
Italian villas, are made to serve for the accommodation of paupers.

The ancients appear to have been more careful in this respect, so that the
form and external arrangement afforded in most cases a ready key to the
purposes of their structures. Their temples, their fora, theatres and
amphitheatres, baths, and other public edifices, seem each to have been
stamped with their own characteristic features, at the same time without in
any way producing a monotonous uniformity among the different examples of
the same class of building.

Now, if this criterion of excellence be applied to the remarkable building
recently erected in Hyde Park, it will be found that the constructive
arrangement of the interior is plainly expressed without, and it must be
conceded that it possesses at least those elements of beauty arising from
consistency and simplicity which, in combination with its vast size, give
it also that of grandeur. That it is faultless it would be needless to
assert, or to imagine that, from its example, a new style of architecture
will originate; but that it is admirably suited to its purpose, that it is
a remarkable specimen of the constructive skill of this country, and that
it will certainly form one of the most interesting objects of the Great
Exhibition by which it has been called into being, if not the most
interesting of all, must, we think, be admitted by all candid observers.

Although the building in its present form was designed, as well as carried
out, in a singularly short space of time, this could not have been
accomplished but for the great amount of thought and labour which had been
previously bestowed upon the subject. In order, therefore, to trace the
whole of the progress of the design, it will be necessary briefly to advert
to the early labours bestowed upon the project.

On the 5th of January, 1850, the Royal Commission for carrying out this
great scheme was gazetted; its first and second meetings, which were
respectively held on the 11th and 18th of the same month, were entirely
devoted to preliminary arrangements, and determining the mode of conducting
its proceedings.

Among the most urgent matters calling for the attention of the
Commissioners, the subject of the building early presented itself, as it
was of the utmost importance that the longest possible time should be
allowed for its erection; and, accordingly, at the third meeting, held on
the 24th of January, the following noblemen and gentlemen were appointed to
act as a

Committee for all Matters relating to the Building.

  His Grace the Duke of BUCCLEUCH, K.G., F.R.S.
  The Right Hon. the Earl of ELLESMERE, F.S.A.
  WILLIAM CUBITT, Esq., F.R.S., Pr. of J.C.E.
  C. R. COCKERELL, Esq., R.A.
  I. K. BRUNEL, Esq., F.R.S.

From which list it will be seen that some of the very highest professional
talent in the country was enlisted on behalf of the undertaking.

Labours of the Building Committee.

The first point to be ascertained by this Committee was where to find an
eligible site; for although they were not able at that early stage of their
labours to determine the exact amount of space that would be required, they
appear to have been of opinion that, from the general data before them,
about sixteen acres would be necessary--an amount which has been
subsequently considerably exceeded, but which was already an enormous area
to be covered by one building; and in dealing with it the Committee must
have felt that a very heavy amount of responsibility rested upon them, as
appears, indeed, from their recommendation to the Royal Commission given

After about a month of attentive deliberation, the Committee made a report
upon this part of their labours.

With regard to the site, it had appeared to the Committee that--firstly,
the north-eastern portion of Hyde Park; secondly, the long space between
her Majesty's private road and the Kensington road, in the southern part of
Hyde Park; and thirdly, the north-western portion of Regent's Park, were
the only available spaces about the metropolis which would afford the
necessary accommodation; and it was believed that the order in which they
were named represented also their relative eligibility. As regarded the
first, the Committee had been informed by the Chief Commissioner of her
Majesty's Woods and Forests that considerable objections would arise to its
occupation for such a purpose, and that no such objections would be raised
to the use of the second; and the Committee, therefore, recommended the
adoption of this site, which, amongst other advantages, is remarkable for
the facility of access afforded by the existing roads.

As regarded the extent of the building, the Committee were not yet in
possession of sufficient data to enable them to determine this accurately,
but, from such information as they had before them, they thought that it
might be assumed, for the present, that about sixteen acres of covered
space would be required.

And finally, as regarded the mode of proceeding to determine the general
interior arrangements or ground-plan of the building, a subject to which
they had given much consideration, they resolved, "That, in their opinion,
it was desirable to seek, by public competition, for suggestions as to the
general arrangements of the ground-plan of the building."

It was deemed by the Committee that the peculiar object for which the
building was required, namely, the encouragement of the widest and most
liberal competition in all the branches of arts and manufactures--the
circumstance of the cost of the erection being defrayed by the public--the
peculiar character of the building, for the designing of which were
especially required judgment and contrivance in the detail of arrangement,
and experience in the management of large crowds, and for the construction
of which the mechanical skill and knowledge of the application and of the
economical use of materials now so generally possessed by builders and
practical men were necessary--all seemed, in the opinion of the Committee,
to be reasons for recommending that the designs for the general
arrangements should, as far as practicable, be the result of public
competition, and that the actual construction should be so to the fullest
extent. The Committee were, moreover, of opinion that the general design or
arrangement of such a building was one of those subjects, perhaps few in
number, on which many good ideas may be elicited by a general contribution
of plans; and that a mode might be adopted of obtaining such plans, and
collecting useful suggestions from them, which should not eventually lead
to any loss of time, or be attended with those delays which too frequently
render ordinary competition inconvenient.

Great objections were made in some quarters to the proposed site in Hyde
Park; but as they were not raised on really public grounds, they were
gradually overcome by the interest which the public at large manifested in
the success of the undertaking.

In consequence of the latter recommendation in the Report which was adopted
by the Royal Commissioners, the following document was published by them on
March 13th, 1850, copies of which appear to have found their way into
almost every corner of Europe:--

"The Committee appointed by the Royal Commission to advise on 'all matters
relating to the building,' having received the sanction of the Commission,
are desirous of obtaining from all parties who are disposed to assist them
suggestions for the general arrangement of the buildings and premises
required for this Exhibition. Upon the general form of the building in
plan, the distribution of its parts, the mode of access, and the internal
arrangements and contrivances, will depend the convenience and general
fitness of such a building; and it is upon these points that the Committee
seek information and suggestions, and wish to encourage the most extended
competition in the preparation of plans. The Committee do not propose to
offer any pecuniary reward for such plans--they rely upon the desire which
men of all countries will feel to forward the objects of the proposed
Exhibition. The Committee think it probable that, when the plans are
received, they may not be limited to the selection of any one plan, but may
derive useful ideas from many; and that the best plan may be determined
upon by the help of this general assistance. As the credit of any such plan
will be due solely to the contributors, the Committee propose to make a
report, in which they will acknowledge by name those whose plans had been
wholly or partially adopted, or who had afforded the most useful
suggestions; and the Committee hope to be able to offer such other honorary
distinction to the successful contributors as the circumstances may appear
to warrant. In order to guide the contributors in the preparation of such
plans and designs, and to facilitate the examination and the comparison of
them when received, the Committee have enumerated concisely the principal
'desiderata' for such a building, and have laid down certain rules and
conditions to which they earnestly request the contributors to conform, as
the Committee will be under the necessity of abiding strictly by the
regulation of not acknowledging any plans which may be sent in a form
inconsistent with these rules. Copies of the engraved plan of the ground
referred to may be had on application to the secretaries of the Commission,
at the New Palace at Westminster."

An engraved plan of the site which had been fixed upon, together with the
subjoined regulations, which all competitors would be expected to observe,
were subsequently issued to all applicants:--

"1. The communications from contributors must consist of a single sheet of
paper, not larger than the accompanying engraving, with a simple
ground-plan upon a scale of 1·1000 of the full size, with such elevations
and sections only of the building, and on the same sheet, as may be
necessary to elucidate the system proposed--such elevations and sections
not being intended to convey more than a general idea of the building, and
not entering into details of construction or of architectural
decoration--to be accompanied by a short, clear-written explanation of the
system recommended, on a separate sheet. Any contributor wishing to send
two designs must send separate and distinct communications, each conforming
to the above conditions. No communications made inconsistent with these
conditions, or any plan prepared upon a different scale from that
prescribed, can be received. The plans, &c., must be sent on or before the
8th of April next, addressed to the Secretaries of the Exhibition, New
Palace at Westminster, London. It is suggested that the most convenient
mode of preparing the plan, elevation, and section, would be to draw them
upon one of the engraved copies of the plan of the ground which accompany
these instructions.--2. The building is to be erected on the space marked A
B C D, and must not extend beyond the boundaries of the shaded portion. The
groups of trees shown on the plan must be preserved. The principal public
approaches are by the roads E F and G H. The road K L will be available
only for foot-passengers. There will be no objection to the formation of
cross-roads between the two last, G H and K L, if the design of the
building requires it.--3. The roofed portion of the building is to cover a
space of 700,000 square feet, or about 65,000 square metres; and the whole
building must not occupy, including open spaces, an area of more than
900,000 square feet, or about 84,000 square metres. The building generally
will be of one storey only.--4. No space will be required for cattle, or
for shrubs or flowers.--5. It may be assumed, so far as it affects the
ground-plan, that the light will be obtained entirely from the roof, and
the building will be constructed of fire-proof materials.

"The general requirements are--simplicity of arrangement; economy of space;
capability of extending or curtailing the building without destroying its
symmetry as a whole, or interfering with the general arrangement, it being
impossible to determine the exact extent of roof required until a late
period of construction. Adaptation for the erection of separate portions of
the building at different periods. Conveniences of ingress and egress, with
facilities of access to all parts of the Exhibition, either from the
exterior or interior. Means of classification of the various objects of
different departments. Wall-space for the display of articles requiring it.
Means of affording private access and accommodation for exhibitors, with
counting-houses, if required. Committee-rooms, council-rooms, public
refreshment-rooms, and all other public and private accommodation. (This
portion of the building may be in two or more storeys if required.)
Internal arrangements, by which, under proper regulations, large crowds of
visitors may circulate freely, and have convenient access to all parts of
the Exhibition, and uninterrupted means of examining the various objects

The Competition Designs.

Though the time allowed for the preparation of drawings was but short,
being only about one month, no less than 233 designs were sent in, many of
them of an elaborate architectural character. Of these, thirty-eight, or
one-sixth of the whole, were received from the different foreign countries
of Europe (France, twenty-seven; Belgium, two; Holland, three; Hanover,
one; Naples, one; Switzerland, two; Rhine Prussia, one; Hamburgh, one);
138, or more than half the entire number, from London and its vicinity,
where the interest excited was naturally more immediate; fifty-one from the
provincial towns of England; six from Scotland, and three from Ireland.
Seven were sent anonymously. The small number contributed by the sister
kingdoms seems rather remarkable.

The greater part of these designs were, of course, contributed by members
of the architectural and engineering professions, but some were the
productions of amateurs, and one among them purported to be the suggestion
of a lady. Here, then, was matter enough not only to assist, but even, from
its great variety, to perplex the Committee, since at once every possible
variety of style in decoration, material in construction, and system in
arrangement, were strenuously recommended by the authors of the respective
designs as the great ultimatum sought for.

To Mr. Digby Wyatt, whose services were to a great extent withdrawn from
the Executive Committee, in order that his professional knowledge of the
subject might be placed at the disposal of the Building Committee, was
intrusted the arduous task of examining and classifying these incongruous
materials, and of eliminating from them such general principles of
arrangement as seemed most worthy of the attentive consideration of the
Committee. The result of this gentleman's minute examination was embodied
in a Report, upon the basis of the recommendations contained in which the
subsequent utilitarian portions of the design of the Building Committee
would appear to have been founded.

After holding about fifteen protracted sittings, the Committee presented
the following Report to the Royal Commission on the 9th of May:--

"May it please your Royal Highness,

"_My Lords and Gentlemen_,

"We have the honour to report that we have examined the numerous plans so
liberally contributed by native and foreign architects in accordance with
the public invitation.

"Exhausting in their numerous projects and suggestions almost every
conceivable variety of building, the authors of those designs have
materially assisted us in arriving at the conclusions which we have now the
honour to report.

"We have been aided in our analysis of this subject by a great amount of
thought and elaboration thus brought to bear upon it from various points of

"We have, however, arrived at the unanimous conclusion, that able and
admirable as many of these designs appeared to be, there was yet no single
one so accordant with the peculiar objects in view, either in the principle
or detail of its arrangements, as to warrant us in recommending it for

"In some of the least successful of the designs submitted, we find
indicated errors and difficulties to be avoided, whilst in the abler and
more practicable of them, there are valuable conceptions and suggestions
which have greatly assisted us in framing the plan we have now the honour
to lay before you. In preparing this design we have been governed mainly by
three considerations:--

"1. The provisional nature of the building.

"2. The advisability of constructing it as far as possible in such a form
as to be available, with the least sacrifice of labour and material, for
other purposes, as soon as its original one shall have been fulfilled, thus
insuring a minimum ultimate cost.

"3. Extreme simplicity, demanded by the short time in which the work must
be completed.

"For the arrangements of the plan we rely for effect on honesty of
construction, vastness of dimension, and fitness of each part to its end.

"The principal points of excellence we have endeavoured to attain are--

"1. Economy of construction.

"2. Facilities for the reception, classification, and display of goods.

"3. Facilities for the circulation of visitors.

"4. Arrangement for grand points of view.

"5. Centralisation of supervision.

"6. Some striking feature to exemplify the present state of the science of
construction in this country.

"The first of these, ECONOMY, is attained by doing away with any internal
walls (all divisions being made by the necessary stalls), by reducing the
whole construction, with the exception of the dome, to cast iron columns,
supporting the lightest form of iron roof in long unbroken lines, and by
the whole of the work being done in the simplest manner, and adapted in all
respects to serve hereafter for other purposes.

"The second, facilities for the RECEPTION, CLASSIFICATION, and DISPLAY of
goods. The main central entrance for the reception of objects for
exhibition will probably be that most approachable from the public road.
All cases accompanying goods will be examined, registered, catalogued, &c.,
in the offices of the Executive; the packing-cases will then be put upon a
truck running on a line of rails laid down temporarily, and conveyed to the
centre turn-table, from which they may be carried by a line of rails at
right angles to the first, to the end of the transverse gallery, in which
they may be destined to be placed.

"The most important condition to insure successful _classification_ is,
that those to whom the duty of arrangement may be confided should be
hampered by no fixed limits of space, such as would have been the case had
the building been divided into a number of halls, sections, or chambers.
The plan submitted fulfils this condition perfectly; as objects can be
arranged just as they are received, and moved, if necessary, from gallery
to gallery with great facility.

"The successful display of the goods would be best insured by leaving,
under certain general restrictions, the fitting up of each stall to the
Exhibitor or his Agent, floor-space only being allotted to each; and
stands, frames, brackets, shelves, &c., being put up by a contractor's
carpenter, at a fixed tariff.

"The best light is provided, and the most economical wall-space is proposed
to be furnished by connecting pillar to pillar transversely, on the extreme
north and south sides of the building, by rods, from which draperies, &c.,
can be suspended.

The visitor, on arrival at the central hall, proceeds at choice to any one
of the four sections. He will, most probably, desire either to follow the
whole course of the section selected, or will wish to go at once to some
particular class or object. He will be enabled to do either the one or the
other, without interfering with the general current, by means of gates or
other arrangements, which shall insure the current of visitors passing in
one direction. If he desire to proceed rapidly from one end of the building
to the other, and finds the great central gangway at all blocked up, he
will, no doubt, be able to get on by either the north or south corridors,
fifteen feet wide. Numerous doors of egress in these latter afford ready
means of exit for a large number of persons. Seats are provided in the
middle of the great central gangway for those who may desire to rest.

"The fourth, ARRANGEMENT FOR GRAND POINTS OF VIEW. The view from or to the
centre of the building will, from its extent, be necessarily imposing. The
seats and main avenues are arranged so that, on the occasion of the
distribution of the prizes, an immense number of persons may be
accommodated. Most interesting views might be obtained from galleries
constructed at either end of the building and around the dome, for the
admission of the public to which some small charge might be made.

"The fifth, CENTRALISATION OF SUPERVISION. All the business of the
Exhibition will be carried on in one spot, and be readily under control.
The Royal Commission, the principal Committees, Clerks, Accountants,
Police, &c., would be together, and in so large an establishment it would
be absolutely necessary, or much time would be wasted in walking from one
point to another. Passages running behind the money-takers' boxes, with
glazed doors into them, would enable each accountant to detect anything
improper that might be going on, and to exchange and balance checks, money,
&c., at any moment. Telegraphic communication with each of the four
pay-places will permit orders to be given, cash accounts, &c., to be issued
and returned, from and to the head-accountant's office, as often as may be

"Four Committee-rooms, one for a Jury in each section, have been provided
at the extreme east and west ends. The duties of such Committees being
deliberative, and not executive, it is not necessary that they should be
accommodated in the Central Establishment, where they would be more liable
to be disturbed than at the extremity of the building.

"A policeman stationed in each gallery would, from his elevated position,
be enabled to observe much which might escape detection if he mingled only
with the crowd.

SCIENCE OF CONSTRUCTION IN THIS COUNTRY. In order that the building, in
which England invites the whole world to display their richest productions,
may afford, at least in one point, a grandeur not incommensurate with the
occasion, we propose, by a dome of light sheet iron 200 feet in diameter,
to produce an effect at once striking and admirable. From calculations
which have been made of the cost of so grand a Hall, we have reason to
expect that it may be executed for a sum not greatly exceeding the cost of
the simplest form of roof likely to be adopted to cover the same area.

"It is to be borne in mind that a considerable amount of any such
difference may be recovered, should this portion of the building be
converted hereafter to other purposes, which is more than probable. This
vast dome it is proposed to light mainly from one circle of light in its
centre, and thus the sculpture will be pleasingly and suitably lit.

"Six out of the eight openings in the cylinder of the dome would be well
adapted for the exhibition of stained glass windows of great extent, while
the two remaining arches will open to the main central gallery. The lower
part of some of the voids will admit the eye to turf and shrubs, and
produce a great freshness of effect.

"The immense continuity of the Central Avenue will be broken and relieved
by a variation in the roof opposite the openings to the second and third
sets of refreshment-rooms, and windows for the reception of Stained Glass
may be placed at the ends of each transverse gallery, thus terminating the
vista for each.

"It now only remains to explain the course of action we would recommend for
adoption as soon as the principles of the plan, &c., shall be positively

"We consider this to be an occasion upon which the greatest amount of
intellectual and commercial ingenuity and ability should be called out; and
that a generous rivalry among those best fitted to execute the principal
portions of this vast structure may lead to results which no amount of
detailed study that we could possibly give to this matter would supply.

"We would therefore recommend that every advantage should be taken of the
accumulated and experimental knowledge and resources of intelligent and
enterprising contractors, and that every opportunity should be afforded to
them of DISTINGUISHING THEMSELVES. We would therefore recommend as the best
means of enlisting their services the following course of action:

"Adopting the approved design as a basis, we would proceed immediately to
prepare such working-drawings and specifications as may be necessary, and
to issue invitations for tenders to execute Works in accordance with them,
requesting from competitors, in addition, such suggestions and
modifications, accompanied with estimates of cost, as might possibly become
the means of effecting a considerable reduction upon the general expense.

The following Report of the Committee on the competition plans submitted,
and which was so unfavourably received by the public, and more particularly
by the profession, was presented to the Royal Commission on the 16th of

"May it please your Royal Highness,

"_My Lords and Gentlemen_,

"Your Committee beg leave to report, that the invitation issued by the
Commissioners, requesting information and suggestions for the general
arrangement of the Building and premises required for the Exhibition of
1851, has been responded to in the most ample and satisfactory manner, both
as respects the variety of useful ideas presented to their consideration,
and the liberality with which many experienced and skilful men of foreign
countries, no less than of our own, have contributed their valuable time to
this great undertaking, thereby evincing their entire sympathy both with
the great cause of Arts and Industry in which her Majesty's Commissioners
have embarked, and with the arduous labours of the Directors of the

"The Designs and Specifications transmitted to the Committee amount to the
surprising number of 233, offering an aggregate of professional sacrifice
of very considerable importance; for, not confining themselves to
suggestions only, which were invited by the Programme, a large proportion
of them are remarkable for elaboration of thought and elegance of

"Penetrated with admiration and respect for these gratuitous and valuable
contributions, unexampled, they believe, in the history of competition,
your Committee have devoted the most careful attention to the collection of
these projects, and hasten to offer those acknowledgments which are due to
their merits, and to the generous motives which have led to their
execution; and they trust that the public may shortly be witnesses of the
effect of this very noble emulation of the skill of all countries, by the
public exhibition of these designs, offering the opportunity, in the true
spirit of the whole undertaking, of mutual improvement, respect, and
friendship amongst the cultivators of the liberal arts in the several
countries of Europe.

"It is remarkable that, while many of these contributions may be attributed
to the laudable motive of professional reputation and advancement on the
part of practitioners not yet sufficiently known to the public, a great
number are from Gentlemen whose position in the confidence of their
respective Governments or in the Republic of Arts and Letters is of the
highest eminence, and who can have been actuated by no such personal
motives. Already entitled to respect and admiration, they could have little
to gain, while they have something to lose, in the competition for glory.
The kind and frank communication, therefore, of their thoughts and
experience towards this great work is to be the more highly commended.
Every possible mode of accomplishing the object in view has been displayed
by the respective contributors as regards economy of structure and
distribution, and these qualities are united with various degrees of
architectural symmetry and features in many designs. Our illustrious
continental neighbours have especially distinguished themselves by
compositions of the utmost taste and learning, worthy of enduring
execution--examples of what might be done in the architectural illustration
of the subject, when viewed in its highest aspect, and, at all events,
exhibiting features of grandeur, arrangement, and grace which your
Committee have not failed to appreciate.

"Amongst these several classes of design, the practical character of our
own countrymen, as might have been expected, has been remarkably
illustrated in some very striking and simple methods suited to the
temporary purposes of the Building, due attention having been paid to the
pecuniary means allotted to this part of the undertaking. The principle of
suspension has been applied in a single tent of iron sheeting, covering an
area averaging 2,200 feet by 400 feet by a lengthened ridge, or in separate
tents on isolated supports. Others display the solution of this problem by
the chapter-house principle, and a few by the umbrella or circular
locomotive-engine-house system of railway-stations, either with a central
column or groups of columns sustaining domes or roofs to the extent of four
hundred feet diameter.

"Grandeur and simplicity of distribution are carried out with great
architectural effect in other compositions, and the general arrangement by
columnar supports has been also variously and elegantly developed. The
system of iron roofing, with all the architectural powers of which that
material is susceptible, has been adopted by some with signal enterprise,
ingenuity, and power.

"In another class of design the authors have viewed with enthusiasm the
great occasion and object of the proposed Exhibition, and have waived all
considerations of expense. They have indulged their imaginations, and
employed the resources of their genius and learning, in the composition of
arrangements which present the utmost grandeur and beauty of architecture,
suited to a permanent Palace of Science and Art. These, as addressed to the
architectural Student, are of the highest value, reminding him of all the
conditions of his art--the Egyptian hypostyle, the Roman thermæ, or of the
Arabian or Saracenic inventions. And though their expense has placed them
beyond reach, they cannot fail to inspire and elevate the treatment of the
reality. They at all events confer great obligations on the lovers of the
Fine Arts, for the authors have evidently felt that, if one of the results
to be expected from the proposed Exhibition may be to prove that the
simplest object of ingenuity and skill should not be devoid of some of the
attractions of taste, the Building itself ought to be an illustration of
that important principle.

"The Committee, however, have been unable to select any one design as
combining all the requisites which various considerations render essential.
But the judgment and taste evinced by a large number of the contributors
have enabled the Committee to arrive more promptly at their conclusions,
and they have freely availed themselves of most valuable suggestions in
directing the preparation of a fresh design for the proposed building.

"They have consequently been most earnest in the desire to fulfil the just
expectations of the various competitors, and feel assured that your Royal
Highness and the Commission will be of opinion that the most unreserved and
handsome acknowledgments are due to those able men of science and art who
have in so disinterested a manner submitted such admirable projects for the
consideration and assistance of the Committee. They beg, therefore, to
submit, as their opinion, that the following gentlemen are entitled to
honourable and favourable mention, on account of architectural merit,
ingenious construction or disposition, or for graceful arrangement of plan.

"And they cannot conclude without calling attention to the designs,
accompanied by models, of M. Hector Horeau, Architect of Paris, and of
Messrs. Turner, of Dublin, as evincing most daring and ingenious
disposition and construction.[1]

Some of the strongest objections to this Report are very fairly urged in a
letter which appeared in the _Builder_ of the 15th of June, a part of which
is subjoined:--

"Part II. of the Report contains what I suppose is to be taken as the best
exposition of the merits of contributors that the Committee can give, which
commences by stating, in a tone of commendation, that, 'not confining
themselves to SUGGESTIONS ONLY, which were invited by the PROGRAMME, a
large proportion of them are remarkable for elaboration of thought and
elegance of execution.' This, I would contend, is clearly a breach of the
specified conditions, viz., that SUGGESTIONS ONLY were to be given--that
the plan or drawing sent in was to be A MERE OUTLINE SKETCH, upon a SINGLE
SHEET; and the Committee even recommended that it would be most convenient
merely to trace it upon the common paper on which the 'plan of site' was
supplied to the public, a space being left upon the sheet for SKETCHING any
sections or elevations that might be necessary to illustrate the design;
and that a written description, limited also to 'a single sheet,' was all
the exposition of their ideas that authors would be allowed to give. The
Report goes on to state, that 'our illustrious continental neighbours have
especially distinguished themselves [in designing a temporary building for
an exhibition] by compositions of the utmost taste and learning, worthy of
enduring execution--examples of what might be done in the ARCHITECTURAL
illustration of the subject [the conditions strictly enjoined contributors
not to enter into architectural detail] when viewed in its highest aspect,
and, at all events, exhibiting features of grandeur, arrangement, and grace
which your Committee have not failed to appreciate.' It then places in
contradistinction to these no doubt admirable but out-of-place productions
of architectural genius, the 'practical character of the designs of our own
countrymen,' which it states, 'as might have been expected, has been
remarkably illustrated in some very striking and simple methods, suited to
the temporary purposes of the building, due attention having been paid by
them to the pecuniary means allotted to this part of the undertaking.' Yet,
notwithstanding this comparison, clearly and indisputably in favour of our
own countrymen, as regards the object sought and the conditions stipulated
by the Committee, we find by the selected list of those authors who are to
receive 'the highest honorary distinction' the Commissioners can award,
that the Committee can only discover, out of 195 English and 38 foreign
contributors, THREE Englishmen entitled to reward, the remaining FIFTEEN
out of the eighteen selected being foreigners; or, as regards the whole
numbers, in proportion of 1 to 65 of 'our own countrymen,' the authors of
the 'striking and simple,' so admirably 'suited to the temporary purpose of
the building,' and 1 to about 2½ of foreigners, who, in designing for a
temporary building, to be simple, cheap, and readily constructed, have so
overshot the mark as to produce 'compositions' commendable only for the
'utmost taste and learning, and worthy of enduring execution.' Surely
something must be wrong here, either the Report or the selected
list--possibly both.

"In conclusion, I cannot help avowing the opinion that a wrong, though I
believe unintentionally, has been done to many of the 233 who so readily
and 'generously' responded to the call for their ideas; more particularly
as I know, from personal inspection, that at least ONE of the plans
altogether omitted from the Report contains FIVE of the leading features of
the approved design."

But to judge of this matter fairly, it must be mentioned that, although the
number of foreign competitors was small, the majority of them were men
already well known for their talents and professional skill; in all cases
their designs evinced considerable study of the subject (both
architecturally and in a practical point of view), and manifested a desire
to exhibit to English professional men the proficiency of their continental
brethren. On the other hand, many of the designs from the competitors at
home were much slighter suggestions presented in a less elaborate form.
Under these circumstances, it is not to be wondered at that those eminent
men of the technical professions who, on this occasion, came forward with
practical suggestions for the assistance of the Committee, and designs
calculated rather to assist with thoughts than to charm by the graces of
elegant drawing or symmetrical disposition, should seem to have been found
wanting in this first trial with all the world. It should further be borne
in mind, that the nature of competitions is not so well understood in some
foreign countries, where they are of less frequent occurrence, than with
us. It must at the same time be admitted that the practice of disregarding
and exceeding the instructions in competitions is too much a matter of
general complaint in England to be brought forward as a new grievance
against our continental brethren.

After the publication of the above Report, the competition designs were all
exhibited in the rooms of the Institution of Civil Engineers, in Great
George-street, which were liberally placed at the disposal of the Committee
for this purpose; and of those who visited this interesting exhibition,
many, no doubt, must have sympathised with those feelings which dictated
the decision of the Committee. From an attentive examination of these
designs, presenting the subject in such exceedingly varied forms, one of
the peculiar difficulties of the case becomes apparent, namely, the total
absence of any precedent to guide or afford suggestions to the designer;
for the small number of buildings erected or adapted for a similar purpose
have been on so limited a scale that their example could not afford much
assistance in designing a structure to meet all the requirements of the
present case. This building differed from all previous ones in being
intended to accommodate the products of all nations, instead of being
confined to those of one only; in which case the arrangement would have
been more certain and more readily provided for.

Buildings used for previous Exhibitions.

As a comparison of some of these earlier buildings with the first erected
in London for a similar purpose cannot fail to be interesting, a short
notice of them may not be deemed out of place. The most important amongst
them are those temporary structures which have been erected in Paris for
the periodical Industrial Expositions, with reference to the last of which
we cannot do better than quote, from Mr. Digby Wyatt's instructive and
masterly Report, that part where the building is treated of:--

"The vast edifice which has been erected to contain the specimens of
manufacture selected for exhibition in the year 1849 is situated on the
same site as that occupied by a similar building in the year 1844. The
Carré de Marigny, on which it has been placed, is a large oblong piece of
ground, abutting on the main avenue of the Champs Elysées, and as a site
offers every possible advantage, being of a gravelly soil, already
efficiently drained, and standing on the line of a continually moving
series of public conveyances. The Champs Elysées, though at some
considerable distance from the great centre of Parisian population, are
still so universal a place of resort, that they may be fairly assumed to be
"in the way" of even the poorest classes of the community. The elevation
may be admirably seen from all the approaches to the building, and it has
the advantage of being in immediate proximity to the residence of the
President of the Republic.



  1. Cattle-shed.
  2. Machinery.
  3. Chemical Products.
  4. Metal Works.
  5. Productions of Parisian Industry.
  6. Horticulture.
  7. Woven Goods.
  8. Principal Entrance.
  9. Guard-house.
  10. Fountain.
  11. Reservoir of Rain Water.


"The whole plot of the present building (exclusive of the agricultural
department) covers a vast parallelogram of 206 metres by 100 (about 675 by
328 feet English), round the outline of which runs a gallery about 90 feet
wide, divided into two avenues by a double range of pilasters. In the
centre of each avenue is a set of stalls, placed back to back, for the
exhibition of merchandise; and both between the central pilasters, and
round, and upon the walls, other objects are placed, so that on traversing
either of the four gangways (each about ten feet wide) the public have upon
their right and left hands objects for inspection. In the part of the
building appropriated to large machinery, of course this system cannot be
carried out with the same regularity. The vast parallelogram, inclosed by a
somewhat similar gallery in the year 1844, was left as one magnificent
hall, within which were placed the most important objects; in the present
building we find it divided by two transverse galleries, similarly arranged
to those we have described, forming three court-yards; the central one
being about 140 feet square, and the two lateral ones 80 feet by 140. The
central court-yard is open to the sky; in the middle rises an elegant
fountain placed on a platform of turf, and around are disposed sheds for
the exhibition of flowers and horticultural ornaments and implements. One
of the lateral courts (inclosed) receives a large collection of objects in
metal-work, cast-iron, &c., and the other contains an immense reservoir, in
which all the drainage from the roofs is collected, so as to form a supply
of water immediately serviceable in case of fire. In addition to this great
building, which corresponds with that previously erected, there is this
year constructed a vast shed for the exhibition of agricultural produce and
stock. It extends to a length rather greater than the width of the great
parallelogram, and is about 100 feet (English) wide. Its construction is
ruder than that of the 'Palace,' but it is not on that account less
effective. It appears to have been originally contemplated to fill the
whole of this gigantic hall with cattle, &c., and to place the agricultural
implements in a long narrow gallery intervening between it and the main
building; but as the stock of animals forwarded for exhibition has not
proved so large as was anticipated, it has been half-filled with
semi-agricultural machines, and the whole of the long narrow gallery
alluded to crammed with stoves, and miscellaneous domestic mechanism.

"The whole of the building is constructed of wood, the roofs being covered
with zinc: of the latter material 400,000 kilogrammes, equal to nearly
4,000 tons, are stated to have been used; and of the former, nearly 45,000
pieces of timber.

"It is hoped that the accompanying plan and views will convey a tolerably
good idea both of the exterior and interior arrangements of the Exhibition.
They will serve to show, at least, that a somewhat unnecessary expenditure
has been gone into, and to manifest the possibility of constructing a much
more simple building, possessing all the advantages of this one, at a far
less cost.

"Both externally and internally there is a good deal of tasteless and
unprofitable ornament; all the pilasters are papered and painted in a
species of graining to imitate light oak, and even the ceiling is covered
over with the same work. Large 'carton pierre' trusses apparently support
the timbers, and a painted bronze bas-relief fills the tympanum of the
pediment, at the principal entrance. The architecture of the whole is
'mesquin,' although the gigantic scale of the building necessarily elevates
the general effect into something of impressiveness; not, however, to
nearly the extent which the same outlay might have produced."



Mr. Wyatt further states that the total cost of this building was about
450,000  francs, or about 18,000_l._, which, however, he considers was an
unnecessarily large outlay. He mentions, also, that the building erected on
the previous occasion, in 1844, was in some respects more suitable for the
purpose, especially from its greater simplicity of arrangement, a remark it
will be well to bear in mind in considering the various designs for the
building in Hyde Park. The accompanying plates will enable the reader
readily to follow all the details of the description.

The permanent building erected by the King of Bavaria at Munich, likewise
for periodical Exhibitions, is on a much smaller scale than those in Paris,
and must be regarded rather as having afforded an opportunity for that
manifestation of architectural display in public buildings for which its
Royal projector was so well known, than as being peculiarly fitted for its
purpose. It is divided internally into various halls for the different
classes of objects; but as the proportion of these must necessarily vary at
every Exhibition, such an arrangement cannot be deemed the most suitable
for the purpose.

At Berlin, where several Industrial Exhibitions have taken place, no
distinct building has been provided, but some already existing one has been
temporarily adapted and fitted up for the purpose; thus, on the last
occasion, Kroll's WINTERGARTEN, a large establishment for public amusement,
which has been recently destroyed by fire, was made use of. The large
central saloon, with the smaller ones flanking it, forming, in fact, one
space 310 feet long, and 82 feet broad at the widest point, afforded a very
good opportunity for the arrangement of the objects to be exhibited, some
of which were placed in the gallery of the large saloon.

[Illustration: View of Kroll's Wintergarten at Berlin.]



   1. Electric Telegraph.
   2. Chemical Products.
   3. Porcelain and Bronzes.
   4. Machinery.
   5. Hardware.
   6. Zinc Works.
   7· Plate and Jewellery.
   8. Lithography.
   9. Watches, &c.
  10. Cutlery.
  11. Scientific Instruments.
  12. Bookbinding.
  13. Embroidery.
  14. Ornamental Blinds.
  15. Silks and Velvets.
  16. Furs.
  17. Pianofortes.
  18. Carriages.
  19. Furniture.
  20. Lamps, &c.
  21. Turned Articles.
  22. Woollen Fabrics.
  23. Leather Articles.
  24. Hats & Felt Articles.
  25. Machinery.
  26. Carriages.

On a previous occasion a part of the Royal Arsenal building was
appropriated, and the Exhibition embraced two storeys.

In our own country, exhibitions of manufactures have taken place in several
of the most important towns, generally in spaces only temporarily adapted;
but in 1849 the first building in this country intended solely for the
purpose of an exhibition of manufactures was erected at Birmingham, on the
occasion of the meeting of the British Association in that town.


The building alluded to included a space extending to 10,000 square feet,
and a corridor, giving additional accommodation of 800 square feet,
connected the temporary exhibition-room with Bingley-house, within the
grounds of which the building was erected; and including the rooms of the
old mansion, the total area covered by the Exhibition was equal to 12,800
feet, or only about one-seventeenth of the area covered by the last
building erected in the Champs Elysées. The cost of this building was about
1,300_l._ It was opened to the public on the 3rd of September, 1849.

In most of the buildings alluded to above, the principal defect seemed to
be that a definite and fixed subdivision of space was made for a
classification of objects which was necessarily uncertain. This appears to
have determined the Committee in the arrangement of the plan which they
presented in a general form to the Royal Commission at the same time with
the Report already quoted; and although the design was slightly modified
during the progress of the working-drawings subsequently made, this is,
perhaps, the best place for introducing a description of it.

It has been already mentioned that at the time the Committee received the
competition designs, they obtained the assistance of Mr. Digby Wyatt, the
secretary to the Executive Committee, to aid them in the preparation of
drawings, although Mr. Scott Russell officially filled the post of
secretary to the Building Committee. At a somewhat later stage of the
Committee's proceedings, when the general design for the proposed building
had been approved by the Royal Commission, and it became necessary to
prepare working drawings for the same with extraordinary despatch, Mr.
Charles Heard Wild, as engineer, and Mr. Owen Jones, as architect, were
appointed to co-operate with Mr. Wyatt in carrying out this object.

Description of the Building Committee's Design.

The site to have been occupied by the building designed by the Committee
was the same as that on which the building has been actually erected,
namely between Rotten-row and the drive in Hyde Park, but the area proposed
to be covered was somewhat larger, the length of the building being about
2,200 feet, and the greatest width nearly 450 feet. The central space was
occupied by an immense rotunda 200 feet in diameter, the cupola rising to a
height of more than 160 feet, and exceeding the span of that of St. Peter's
at Rome by 61 feet, and of St. Paul's in London by 88 feet. The dome for
covering this rotunda consisted of wrought-iron ribs, supporting a covering
of corrugated iron, the whole resting on a wall or drum of brickwork, about
60 feet high; a large opening in the centre was to be glazed for the
admission of light.

This large open area was intended for the exhibition of groups of
sculpture, fountains, and other objects requiring great space in order to
be seen to advantage; at the same time the cupola would have presented a
striking instance of the constructive skill of this country.

The remaining area of the building was divided into avenues 48 feet wide,
by iron columns 24 feet apart, this dimension having been determined on as
that most likely to work in well for the division of the counters and
passages. One of the 48-feet avenues on the main axis of the building was
spanned by semicircular ribs of wrought iron supporting the roof, which
rose here to a greater height than the rest of the building; the other
avenues were covered with roofing very similar to that commonly seen in
railway-sheds, the whole being rendered as light as possible, and
constructed in iron covered with slating; the light being in all cases
admitted by a range of sky-lights at the apex of the roof, which was also
adapted for ventilation. The height of the main avenue was 52 feet, and of
the others 36 feet, from the floor throughout. A corridor of communication
15 feet wide was carried round the whole of the building, interrupted only
by the open courts; this, with the main avenue, afforded the visitor to the
Exhibition the means of reaching any particular point without threading a
maze of small passages. The inclosing walls were to be of brick, relieved
externally by panels in two colours; but there were to be no internal
division walls except those necessary to surround the various courts which
were left on account of the trees.

The executive offices were grouped on either side of the principal
entrance, which was placed immediately opposite Prince's Gate; and at this,
as well as at the entrances at either end and on the north front, large
arched recesses were introduced which served as vestibules, and formed at
the same time prominent and striking features to relieve the necessarily
monotonous aspect of the building. Along the whole of the principal front
and at the ends of the building a pent or overhanging roof projected about
15 feet, to enable visitors in bad weather to be set down under cover, and
the exit-doors, of which there were altogether 24, were further protected
by porches.

The water was to be conveyed from the roof through the columns which
supported it, and which were for this purpose connected with the necessary
drain-pipes, &c.

Very ample accommodation was provided for refreshments in the open courts
which were necessarily left for the preservation of the trees, particularly
in that at the western end of the building, where there was proposed to be
placed a large establishment, comprising two storeys, with somewhat the
arrangement of the French cafés, including a fine saloon on the first
floor, upwards of thirty feet wide and nearly one hundred feet long;
separate spaces were also provided for the accommodation of exhibitors.
This was the only part of the building, with the exception of the executive
offices, which was to have an upper storey.



   1. Machinery in Motion.
   2. Other Machinery.
   3. Seats for Visitors.
   4. Refreshment Courts.
   5. Raw Materials.
   6. Manufactures.
   7. Sculpture and the Plastic Arts.
   8. Small Court.
   9. The Rotunda.
  10. Principal Entrance and Executive Offices.
  11. The Other Entrances.
  12. The Drive in the Park.
  13. The Kensington Road.
  14. The Queen's Private Road.

An objection might, perhaps, be raised to this part of the building, that
it was too commodious, and that there might be some danger of its being
converted into a lounge, while it was occupying too much of the space
intended for the Exhibition, for a secondary, though certainly necessary
purpose; it was, however, considered by the Committee, that of the vast
number of visitors that might be expected to be in the building at one
time, so many would avail themselves of the accommodation provided as to
render a less amount undesirable. The principal courts were surrounded by a
covered way, where refreshments were also to be served at long counters, in
the manner of the railway-stations.

All these arrangements will readily be understood by a reference to the
plan of the design we have been describing, which plan, together with a
view taken from the south-east angle of the building, will place before the
reader the result of the labours of the Committee. The materials proposed
for the construction of this building were fire-proof throughout, with the
exception of the floor and its supporting timbers.

The above design, at least in all its leading features, for some of the
details were subsequently added, was laid before the Royal Commission, at
the same time with the Report already quoted, and was by them approved, and
the Committee proceeded to prepare the necessary working-drawings and
specifications for the execution of the work. These proceedings of the
Committee occupied until the 24th of June, when large lithographed copies
of the most important of the drawings, together with printed copies of the
specifications and other details, were issued from the offices of the
Executive, contractors having been some time previously invited by public
advertisement to send in tenders for the execution of either a part or the
whole of the work. The tenders were to be on two systems, one on the
supposition that the Royal Commission were to become the _bona fide_
purchasers of the building; the other, that the contractors were to erect
and maintain the building during the time of the Exhibition, after which
they were to remove it and take back the materials at their own risk,
receiving a proportionably diminished sum.

It has been considered necessary to describe thus minutely the labours of
the Committee and the design in which they resulted, in order to show how
far it paved the way for that which was subsequently adopted, and to give
them that credit which they undoubtedly deserve for devoting so much of
their valuable time for the furtherance of a great public undertaking.

Opposition to this Design.

The design of the Building Committee, when published to the world, met with
anything but public approbation; some of the objectors called in question
the practicability of the execution of the enormous dome, at least within
the time assigned; others complained that the outlay would be unnecessarily
large for a purpose avowedly temporary, and expressed their fears that so
costly a structure once erected, there would be the less probability of its
subsequent removal; but the objection which appeared to have most weight
with the public at large was, the great amount of solid brick construction
in the walls, &c., which, it was urged, would require a longer time than
could be allowed for their erection, and that the carting of the materials
would cause serious injury in the Park and the surrounding neighbourhood.
This strong current of objection seemed to bid fair to overwhelm the
much-abused design. To increase the difficulties which seemed to gather
round the progress of this noble undertaking, an exceedingly vexatious and
factious agitation was got up in opposition to the proposed site in Hyde
Park, and petitions and counter-petitions were presented to both Houses of
Parliament, and much of the time of the Legislature was wasted in fruitless
discussion on the subject. The Building Committee thought it desirable,
under these circumstances, to lay before the public their reasons for
recommending the site in the Park, and therefore issued a memorandum of the
grounds on which it had been selected.[2] The result was, that the
opposition was defeated in the Legislature, and finally crushed by the
force of public opinion.

The Tenders.

In the mean time the competing contractors had been obliged to strain every
nerve to get their tenders ready by the 10th of July, when, altogether,
nineteen were sent in, but eight only were for undertaking the whole of the
work; the amounts of these are stated to have ranged between 150,000_l._
and 120,000_l._, and this for the use only of the materials for the
building. But, at the same time, in accordance with the recommendation and
invitation contained in the last part of the Report already quoted, Messrs.
Fox, Henderson and Co. presented a tender upon a design entirely different
in construction and appearance, though resembling that of the Committee in
the general arrangement of the plan.

[Illustration: Exterior View of the Building Committee's Design]

This design was by Mr. Joseph Paxton, and resembled in its general form the
building as it is now executed, with the exception of the transept and
semicircular roof, which were subsequently added, and were suggested by Mr.

The result of the tenders appears to have been unfavourable to the
Committee's design; and in their Report to the Royal Commission on the
subject, made a few days afterwards, they proposed to omit the great dome
and some portions of the design which were not essential, by which they
considered that the cost of its execution might be reduced below
100,000_l._; at the same time, they made special mention of Mr. Paxton's
design, which, however, they considered would prove more expensive.

Mr. Paxton's design had been brought before the public before this period;
for, considering that his best road to success would be to get a favourable
verdict from that many-headed jury, he published a view and description of
it in the _Illustrated News_, and, through the influence of Mr. Stephenson,
he got his plans laid before the Royal Commission, in consequence of which
he obtained an interview with his Royal Highness the President. The
encouragement given him by the attention bestowed upon his design by the
Royal Commission, and the favourable opinion of the public, had determined
him to procure a tender for the execution of the work, to be sent in with
those upon the Committee's design. This he was enabled to do by the great
energy and promptitude of the contractors, Messrs. Fox and Henderson, to
whom he applied at the eleventh hour. The difficulties that had to be
overcome, owing to the shortness of the time remaining for the estimates to
be made up, can scarcely be better laid before the reader than they have
been by an able writer in "Household Words:"--

"It was now Saturday, and only a few days more were allowed for receiving
tenders. Yet before an approximate estimate of expense could be formed, the
great glass-manufacturers and iron-masters of the north had to be
consulted. This happened to be _dies mirabilis_ the third; for it was the
identical Saturday on which the Sunday postal question had reached its
crisis, and there was to be no delivery the next day! But in a country of
electric telegraphs, and of indomitable energy, time and difficulties are
annihilated; and it is not the least of the marvels wrought in connexion
with the great edifice that, by aid of railway-parcels and the electric
telegraph, not only did all the gentlemen summoned out of Warwickshire and
Staffordshire appear on Monday morning at Messrs. Fox and Henderson's
office, in Spring Gardens, London, to contribute their several estimates to
the tender for the whole, but within a week the contractors had prepared
every detailed working-drawing, and had calculated the cost of every pound
of iron, of every inch of wood, and of every pane of glass.

"There is no one circumstance in the history of the manufacturing
enterprise of the English nation which places in so strong a light as this
its boundless resources in materials, to say nothing of the arithmetical
skill in computing at what cost and in how short a time those materials
could be converted to a special purpose. What was done in those few days?
Two parties in London, relying on the accuracy and good faith of certain
iron-masters, glass-workers in the provinces, and of one master-carpenter
in London, bound themselves for a certain sum of money, and in the course
of some four months, to cover eighteen acres of ground with a building
upwards of a third of a mile long, and some four hundred and fifty feet
broad. In order to do this, the glass-maker promised to supply, in the
required time, nine hundred thousand square feet of glass (weighing more
than four hundred tons), in separate panes, and these the largest that ever
were made of sheet glass; each being forty-nine inches long. The
iron-master passed his word in like manner to cast in due time three
thousand three hundred iron columns, varying from fourteen feet and a half
to twenty feet in length: thirty-four miles of guttering-tube, to join
every individual column together under the ground; two thousand two hundred
and twenty-four girders (but some of these are of wrought iron); besides
eleven hundred and twenty-eight bearers for supporting galleries. The
carpenter undertook to get ready within the specified period two hundred
and five MILES of sash-bar, flooring for an area of thirty-three millions
of cubic feet, besides enormous quantities of wooden walling, louvre-work,
and partition.[3]

"It is not till we reflect on the vast sums of money involved in
transactions of this magnitude that we can form even a slight notion of the
great, almost ruinous loss, a trifling arithmetical error would have
occasioned, and of the boundless confidence the parties must have had in
their resources and in the correctness of their computations. Nevertheless,
it was one great merit in Mr. Paxton's original details of measurement that
they were contrived to facilitate calculation.

"There was little time for consideration, or for setting right a single
mistake, were it ever so disastrous. On the prescribed day the tender was
presented, with whatever imperfections it might have had, duly and
irredeemably sealed. But after-checkings have divulged no material error."

The Royal Commission appear from the first to have been favourably
impressed with Mr. Paxton's design, partly, no doubt, because its adoption
would at once silence the great bricks-and-mortar objection to the
occupation of the site in Hyde Park; and the result was that, on the 16th
of July, Messrs. Fox and Henderson's tender of 79,800_l._ for Mr. Paxton's
design was verbally accepted, and, as soon as the necessary arrangements
could be made, the contract was formally concluded.

History of Mr. Paxton's Design.

As Mr. Paxton himself has stated, the design for a building of such
magnitude could not have been produced in so short a space of time without
the aid of the experience he had gained in constructing other great
buildings of a somewhat similar character; the progress of this experience
Mr. Paxton has described in the lecture he delivered to the Society of Arts
on the 13th of November, 1850, from which we have made the following
extracts; and we hope to be excused by the reader for their copiousness, on
the ground that no man can so well relate his own doings as the actor

"The Great Industrial Building now in the course of erection, and which
forms the subject of the present paper, was not the production of a
momentary consideration of the subject. Its peculiar construction, in
cast-iron and glass, together with the manner of forming the vast roof, is
the result of much experience in the erection of buildings of a similar
kind, although on a smaller scale, which has gradually developed itself
through a series of years. It may not, therefore, be uninteresting to give
a brief account of the reasons which led me to investigate the subject of
glass roofs and glass structures generally, and which have resulted in the
Exhibition Building.

"In 1828, when I first turned my attention to the building and improvement
of glass structures, the various forcing-houses at Chatsworth, as at other
places, were formed of coarse thick glass and heavy woodwork, which
rendered the roofs dark and gloomy, and, on this account, very ill suited
for the purposes they were intended to answer. My first object was to
remove this evil, and, in order to accomplish it, I lightened the rafters
and sash-bars, by bevelling off their sides; and some houses which were
afterwards built in this manner proved very satisfactory. I also at this
time contrived a light sash-bar, having a groove for the reception of the
glass; this groove completely obviated a disadvantage connected with the
old mode of glazing, namely, the putty becoming continually displaced by
sun, frost, and rain, after the sashes had been made for a short time, and
the wet by this means finding its way betwixt the glass and the wood, and
producing a continual drip in rainy weather.

"About this period the desire for metallic roofs began to extend in every
direction; and as such structures had a light and graceful appearance, it
became a question of importance as to the propriety of using metal sashes
and rafters, instead of wooden ones, for horticultural purposes. After
carefully observing the effects of those built by various persons, it
became apparent to me that the expansion and contraction of metal would
always militate against its general adoption, as at no season of the year
could the sashes and rafters be made to fit.

"The extra expense, also, of erecting metallic-roofed houses was a
consideration. In 1833 I contemplated building a new range of hot-houses;
and being desirous of knowing how much they would cost, if erected of
metal, a plan of the range was prepared and sent to Birmingham, and another
to Sheffield, with a desire to be furnished with estimates for that
purpose. The estimate from Birmingham was 1,800_l._; and the other, from
Sheffield, was 1,850_l._ These appeared to me such enormous sums, that I at
once set about calculating how much the range would cost if built of wood
under my own inspection; and the result was, that I was able to complete
the whole range, including masonry (which was omitted in the metal
estimates), for less than 500_l._

"Besides the extra cost of metallic roofs, we must add the extreme heat of
such houses in hot weather, and their coldness in times of frost; the
liability to breakage of glass from expansion and contraction of the metal;
the very limited duration of the smaller portions, as sash-bars, from
corrosion, by exposure to the alternations of heat, cold, and moisture,
inseparable from gardening operations, and which could only be prevented by
making use of the expensive material, COPPER; and the difficulty, when
compared with wood, of repairing any damages, as a wooden roof could at any
time be set to rights by a common carpenter. These different items formed
in my mind so many objections to its use, and the same disadvantages soon
became generally apparent.

"It was now thought advisable by some parties that, in order to obviate the
many disadvantages in the use of metal, the rafters and frame-work of the
sashes ought to be made of wood, and the sash-bars of metal. This plan
certainly presented more advantages than the other, yet it was quite
obvious that materials so incongruous could never give satisfaction; and
accordingly, in a few years, as I had anticipated, the rage for these
structures gradually subsided, and the use of wood again became resorted to
by most persons, as the best material for horticultural purposes.


"In the construction of glass-houses requiring much light, there always
appeared to me one important objection, which no person seemed to have
taken up or obviated; it was this. In plain lean-to or shed roofs, the
morning and evening sun, which is on many accounts of the greatest
importance in forcing fruits, presented its direct rays at a low angle,
and, consequently, very obliquely to the glass. At those periods most of
the rays of light and heat were obstructed by the position of the glass and
heavy rafters, so that a considerable portion of time was lost both morning
and evening; it consequently became evident that a system by which the
glass would be more at right angles to the morning and evening rays of the
sun would obviate the difficulty, and remove the obstruction to rays of
light entering the house at an early and late hour of the day.


"This led me to the adoption of the ridge-and-furrow principle for glass
roofs, which places the glass in such a position that the rays of light in
the mornings and evenings enter the house without obstruction, and present
themselves more perpendicularly to the glass at those times when they are
the least powerful; whereas at mid-day, when they are most powerful, they
present themselves more obliquely to the glass. Having had this principle
fixed in my mind, and being convinced of its importance, I constructed a
pine-house in 1833 as an experiment, which still exists unimpaired, and has
been found fully to answer the purpose.

"In 1834 I resolved to try a further experiment on a larger scale, on the
ridge-and-furrow principle, in the construction of a green-house of
considerable dimensions, which also remains and answers admirably. For this
building I made a still lighter sash-bar than any I had previously used; on
which account the house, when completed (although possessing all the
advantages of wood), was as light as if constructed of metal. The whole
length of this structure is 97½ feet, and its breadth 26 feet; the height
at the back is 16 feet 9 inches, and in the front 12 feet 3 inches. A span
so large as 26 feet could not be safely covered with a roof constructed in
the ordinary way, unless the sash-bars were stronger, and the assistance of
heavy rafters and numerous supports was afforded. The house presents a neat
and light appearance, and consists of 15 bays, and pediments in front,
supported by 16 slender reeded cast-iron columns. Whilst it makes an
admirable green-house, it is also an economical building; for, at the
period of its construction, notwithstanding the heavy tax on glass (since
removed), it only cost at the rate of twopence and a fraction per cubic
foot. At the present time, considering the change in the price of material,
and the removal of the glass-tax, it could be constructed at a considerably
smaller amount.

"Having in contemplation the erection of the Great Conservatory in its
present form, it was determined, in 1836, to erect a new curvilinear
hot-house 60 feet in length and 26 feet in width, with the elliptical roof
on the ridge-and-furrow principle, to be constructed entirely of wood, for
the purpose of exhibiting how roofs of this kind could be supported. The
plan adopted was this: the curved rafters were composed of several boards
securely nailed together on templets of wood cut to the exact curve; by
this means a strength and firmness were obtained sufficient to support an
enormous weight.

"In 1837 the foundations of the Great Conservatory were commenced; and in
constructing so great a building it was found desirable to contrive some
means for abridging the great amount of manual labour that would be
required in making the immense number of sash-bars requisite for the
purpose. Accordingly, I visited all the great workshops in London,
Manchester, and Birmingham, to see if anything had been invented that would
afford the facilities I required. The only apparatus met with was a
grooving-machine, which I had at once connected with a steam-engine at
Chatsworth, and which was subsequently so improved as to make the sash-bar


"For this apparatus the Society of Arts, in April, 1841, awarded me a
medal; and this machine is the type from which all the sash-bar machines
found in use throughout the country at the present time are taken. As the
Conservatory was erected under my own immediate superintendence, I am able
to speak accurately as to the advantages of the machine: it has, in regard
to that building alone, saved in expenses 1,400_l._ The length of each of
the bars of the Conservatory is 48 inches; only one inch shorter than those
of the Exhibition Building. The machine was first used in its present form
in August, 1838; and its original cost, including table, wheels, and
everything complete, was 20_l._ The motive power is from a steam-engine
employed on the premises for other purposes; and any well-seasoned timber
may be used. The attendants required are only a man and a boy, and the
expense of the power required for it when in use is comparatively trifling.
The sash-bars may be made of any form, by changing the character of the

"There is one particular feature in working the machine, namely, the bar is
presented to the saws below the centre of motion, instead of above it (as
is usual); and to the sides of the saw which are ascending from the table,
instead of those which are descending. These arrangements were necessary to
suit the direction of the teeth to the grain of the wood; for when the bars
were presented to the saws in the usual way, the wood was crushed instead
of being cut and cleaned. It is essential that the machine should revolve
1,200 times in a minute to finish the work in a proper manner.

"The glass and glazing of the Chatsworth Conservatory caused me
considerable thought and anxiety, as I was very desirous to do away
altogether with the numerous overlaps connected with the old system of
glazing with short lengths. This old method, even under the best of
management, is certain, in the course of a few years, to render unsightly
any structure, however well built.

"In the course of my inquiries, I heard that Messrs. Chance and Co., of
Birmingham, had just introduced from the Continent the manufacture of sheet
glass. Accordingly, I went to see them make this new article, and found
they were able to manufacture it three feet in length. I was advised to use
this glass in two lengths, with one overlap; but to this I could not
assent, as I observed, that since they had so far advanced as to be able to
produce sheets three feet in length, I saw no reason why they could not
accomplish another foot; and, if this could not be done, I would decline
giving the order, as, at that time, sheet glass was altogether an
experiment for horticultural purposes. These gentlemen, however, shortly
afterwards informed me that they had one person who could make it the
desired length, and, if I would give the order, they would furnish me with
all I required.

"It may just be remarked here that the glass for the Exhibition Building is
forty-nine inches long--a size which no country except England is able to
furnish in any large quantity, even at the present day.

"In 1840 the Chatsworth Conservatory was completed and planted. The whole
length of this building is 277 feet; its breadth, 123 feet over the walls;
and the height, from the floor to the highest part, 67 feet.

"Notwithstanding the success which attended the erection of these
buildings, it became to me a question of importance how far an extensive
structure might be covered in with _flat_ ridge-and-furrow roofs; that is,
the ridge-and-valley rafters placed on a level, instead of at an
inclination, as in the green-house, or curvilinear, as in the Great
Conservatory. I therefore prepared some plans for an erection of the kind
for the Earl of Burlington, somewhere about ten years ago; but, on account
of the lamented death of the Countess, the design of erection was
abandoned. However, from that time I felt assured, not only that it could
be done satisfactorily, but that the most appropriate manner to form and
support level glass roofs, to a great extent, was that adopted this year
for the New Victoria House at Chatsworth, which may be considered a
miniature type of the Great Industrial Building.

"Before describing this house, however, it may be well to notice two
instances in which the flat roofs had been previously tried, and in both
cases with the most perfect success.

"The first of these was a conservatory attached to a villa in Darley Dale,
only a short distance from Chatsworth. This building is divided into five
bays, with a glass door in the centre, and glass pilasters separating the
bays; the ridge-and-furrow roof covers an opening of seventeen feet in the
clear. The ventilation is simultaneously effected by a lever connected with
a rod, which is attached to all the ventilators....


"The second instance is this. In the spring of 1848, plans were prepared
for the erection of an ornamental glass structure, to cover the
conservatory wall at Chatsworth. This wall was previously a plain flued
structure, devoted to the growth of rare and choice plants. The new
erection is 331 feet in length, and 7 feet in width. It is divided into ten
bays, with an ornamental centre projecting beyond the general line of the
building. Each bay is subdivided by smaller bays, which are separated by
glass pilasters; the glass sashes are so arranged that they can be removed
in summer, and the whole thrown open to the gardens, whilst in winter the
building affords an extensive promenade under cover. The ground on which
this structure is built has a fall of 25 feet 6 inches in its whole length;
consequently, there is a proportionate fall at each bay, which gives great
variety, and obviates the monotony that would be exhibited in a building of
such length and dimensions placed on a uniform level. The lower side of
each bay is finished by a glass pilaster, three feet in width, and
surmounted by a vase on the wall behind. The roof is on the
ridge-and-furrow principle, with the rafters on a very slight inclination;
and the ventilation is effected in a similar but more perfect manner than
that already described as in use at the conservatory at Darley Dale.

"The new Victoria Regia House, which presents a light and novel appearance,
is 60 feet 6 inches in length, and 46 feet 9 inches in breadth. Although,
when compared with the Great Industrial Building, the Victoria House is a
very diminutive structure, yet the principles on which it is constructed
are the same, and may be carried out to an almost unlimited extent. The
form of the roof, the general elevation, the supports, and the mode of
construction, are all quite simple, and yet fully answer the purposes for
which they were intended.


"The Victoria House, however, was so built as to retain as much moisture
and heat as possible, and yet to afford a strong and bright light at all
seasons; whilst, on the contrary, the Industrial Building, being intended
to accommodate a daily assemblage of many thousands of individuals, and a
vast number of natural and mechanical productions, many of which would be
destroyed by moisture and heat, is constructed so as fully to answer that

This, then, was the experience which enabled Mr. Paxton to conceive his
design for the "Crystal Palace," a description of which as it has
subsequently been carried out we must now proceed with.

General Description of the Building.

The plan forms a parallelogram, 1,848 feet long and 408 feet wide, besides
a projection on the north side, 48 feet wide and 936 feet long. A main
avenue, 72 feet wide and 66 feet high, occupies the centre through the
whole length of the building. Flanking this on either side are smaller
avenues alternately 24 feet and 48 feet wide; the two first on either side
of the centre are 43 feet, and the remainder 23 feet high. About the centre
of the entire length, at a point determined by the position of a row of
large trees, which it was resolved to inclose, these avenues are crossed by
a transept of the same width as the main avenue, or 72 feet, and 108 feet
high; two other groups of trees on the ground give occasion for open
courts, which are inclosed within the building. The area thus inclosed and
roofed over amounts to no less than 772,784 square feet, or about 19
acres;[4] the building is, therefore, about four times the size of St.
Peter's at Rome, and more than six times that of St. Paul's, London. Three
entrances lead to this vast interior, one in the centre of the principal or
south front, and one at either end of the building. The number of these is
necessarily small, in order to facilitate the arrangements for the
money-taking, and to avoid having too large a staff of officers; on the
other hand, it was equally desirable to afford the most ample opportunities
of egress for visitors, and accordingly fifteen exit doors are placed at
frequent intervals.



  A.  Principal Entrance.
  B.  West Entrance.
  C.  East Entrance.
  D.  Refreshment Courts.
  E.  Entrance.
  F.  Gentlemens' Ante-rooms.
  G.  Ladies' Ante-rooms.
  H.  Pay Place.
  I.  Accountant.
  K.  Exits.
  L.  Ante-rooms.
  M.  Committee Waiting-room.
  N.  Royal Commission.
  O.  Clerks.
  P.  Stairs.
  Q.  Engine House.

It will be well to mention here that the horizontal measure of 24 feet,
which we have seen as the unit in the plan of the Building Committee, is
also preserved in the present plan; every horizontal dimension of which is
either a certain number of times or divisions of twenty-four feet.

The avenues into which the plan is divided are formed by hollow cast-iron
columns twenty-four feet apart, which rise in one, two, and three storeys
respectively, to support the roof at the different heights given above; in
the lower storey these columns are nineteen feet high, and in the two upper
ones seventeen feet. Between the different lengths of the columns short
pieces are introduced, called "connecting-pieces," from the office they
perform; these are three feet long, and are so contrived that they serve to
support girders in horizontal tiers, dividing the greatest height into
three storeys as already mentioned. The girders, of which some are of cast
and some of wrought iron, are all of the same depth, namely, three feet,
with the exception of four, to be specially named hereafter, and by this
arrangement the same horizontal lines are preserved throughout the whole of
the building. They are also all similar in appearance, forming a kind of
lattice-work, by which construction they do not look too heavy for the
slight supports; and large solid masses are avoided, practically showing
how great strength may be combined with elegance and lightness. The first
or lower tier of these girders, in parts of the building more than one
storey in height, forms the support for the floor of the galleries, which
are twenty-four feet wide, and extend the whole length of the building in
four parallel lines, intercepted only by the transept, round the ends of
which they are continued. Numerous cross galleries connect each pair of
longitudinal lines on either side of the centre avenue, which remains
uninterrupted from end to end, and can only be crossed on the gallery-floor
at the extremities.

These galleries are reached by eight double staircases, of easy ascent and
ample width, which are placed between the lines of gallery so as to
communicate equally readily with either, and are so distributed as to give
two to each quarter of the building; in the eastern or foreign half two
supplementary staircases of smaller dimensions have been added.

In those parts of the building more than two storeys in height, the second
horizontal tier of girders does not support a gallery, but serves only to
give stiffness to the columns. The upper tier of girders, in all cases,
supports the roof, which is one of the most peculiar features in the
structure. In its general form the roof is flat; but it is made up of a
series of ridges and furrows, the rise and fall of which is but small, and
is thus arranged: the roof-girders or trusses being twenty-four feet apart,
and lying in the transverse direction of the building, the space between
them is spanned by light beams or rafters, which are cambered or bent
upwards, and are hollowed out in a groove on the top to form a gutter. The
rafters are placed eight feet apart, their ends resting on the
roof-girders, and lying, therefore, in the opposite direction to them, that
is, in the direction of the length of the building; these rafters are
commonly called the Paxton's Gutters. Between the rafters so described,
_ridges_ are supported by light sash-bars sloping up to them, at an
inclination of two-and-a-half to one, and the rafter itself forms the
bottom of the _furrow_. The advantage of this form of roofing is the
facility it affords for the escape of the water, which runs from the
surface of the roof into the Paxton's gutters; from them it is discharged
into the main gutters resting on the roof-girders, by which it is conducted
to the hollow columns, and passes down through them into the drains. A drop
of water falling on the most distant point from the discharge would only
have to traverse a distance of forty-eight feet; but in most cases the
length to be passed over before reaching the down pipe would be
considerably less.[5] The covering of the roof is glass, fixed between the
sash-bars, which are grooved to receive it; and in order to carry off the
moisture arising from condensation on the inner surface of the glass, the
rafters have a small groove on each side, which makes the Paxton's gutter
complete, and from which the moisture is also discharged into the main
gutters. The essential portions of the roof may therefore be considered as
a network of gutters; one set, the main gutters, lying in a transverse
direction, and the others resting on them, and lying in the direction of
the length of the building; by which arrangement any amount of surface can
always be covered by roofing of a small span. The principle is precisely
the same as that of subdividing large fields of arable land into strips or
"lands" with furrows between them, in order to facilitate the


The outer inclosure, on the ground-floor, is formed by dividing each
24-feet bay between the columns into three 8-feet bays by half columns of
wood, between which is placed boarding, held in its place by iron clips and
bolts; a plinth, four feet high, is formed immediately above the floor by
frames, filled with what are commonly called louvre-blades, which are hung
on pivots, and of which a large number can be moved simultaneously for the
admission of air; similar ventilating-frames, three feet deep, are
introduced at the top of each storey round the entire circuit of the
building, and by this means a ventilating-surface of no less than 40,800
square feet is obtained, or rather more than one acre.


Externally some light arches are inserted, and open panels form the
inclosure for the upper louvre-frames. The details we have been describing
may be readily traced in the engraving of a portion of the lower storey as
seen from the outside. The exit doors occupy one of the 8-feet bays opening
about six feet wide. The inclosure to the upper storeys closely resembles
those of the ground-floor, but glazed sashes are substituted for the close
boarding, and the plinth is omitted. Each storey is crowned externally with
a cornice and cresting ornament, and over the columns posts are carried up,
to which flagstaffs will be fixed.

To return to the interior. The whole of the floor is boarded; that below is
laid with an interval of half an inch between the boards, to allow the
passage of dust from the millions of feet by which it will be trod; the
gallery floor, on the contrary, has iron tongues between the boards to
prevent the dust from coming through on the heads of the visitors below.

The roof of the transept, which we have described as crossing the building
about the centre of its length, differs from that of the other parts, its
general form being semicircular instead of flat, and rising above the rest
of the building so as to show the whole of the semicircle externally. This
roof is supported by arched timber ribs placed twenty-four feet apart, or
one over every column, which forms a socket, into which the foot of the rib
is fitted and secured by iron straps. Between the ribs, timbers are fixed
which carry minor ribs at a distance of eight feet apart, and upon these
the ridge-and-furrow roofing is constructed in the manner that has been
described for the flat roofing, but following the curve of the arched ribs.
At the springing or foot of the arch on either side of the transept there
is a range of louvre-frames to assist in the ventilation of the building,
and on the top of the arch externally a narrow passage is formed to give
access to the different parts of this roof. On the inner side of the arch
diagonal tie-rods are introduced between the main ribs, which, while they
serve to increase the strength of the construction by tying together all
the parts from end to end, produce an agreeable play of lines forming a
kind of network over the whole of the surface.

The ends of the transept are closed in with fan-like tracery, reminding the
spectator of the magnificent wheel windows of our Gothic cathedrals; this
elegant feature is not visible in our interior view, but will be seen in
some of the exteriors.

There is, perhaps, no part of this interesting building in which the great
size and singular lightness, almost airiness, of the construction are so
strikingly displayed as in the TRANSEPT, inclosing as it does a row of fine
old elm-trees, as if to protect them in their venerable age from the smoke
of the thousands of chimneys that have been gradually forming a destructive
circle around them.

The only portion of solid untransparent roofing in the whole of this
building is formed on either side of the arched roof just described, where
there is a lead flat twenty-four feet wide. This was partly required for a
platform to serve for carrying on the works for the arched roof, and was
also exceedingly useful in giving access to the other roofs on either side;
it likewise afforded the opportunity of giving some additional strength at
the springing of the arched ribs to resist any possible tendency they might
have to spread outwards.

[Illustration: View of the Interior of the Transept.]

[Illustration: View of Glass Roof from the Lead Flat.]

As the weight of such lead roofing considerably exceeds that of the glass
ridge-and-furrow covering, it was necessary at the point where it crosses
the wide span of the main avenue to introduce some stronger roof-girders
than those used elsewhere; of these there are two on either side of the
transept, the inner one of which has also to sustain two of the large
arched ribs with their superincumbent roofing, and its strength is
therefore increased in proportion to the additional load placed upon it.
The extra-strong roof-girders are six feet deep, or twice that of the
others; but their general construction is similar, the diagonal ties
forming a kind of latticework, and thus keeping up the same character.
These, like all the roof-girders of large span, are constructed principally
of wrought-iron. Those who visited the building during its erection, and
were among the fortunate few who were enabled to ascend to the "lead-flat,"
must have been very much struck with the singular appearance presented by
the great expanse of acres of glass stretching in long lines of
"ridge-and-furrow" roofing on each side of the centre, while the eye,
penetrating the transparent covering, became lost in endeavouring to follow
the apparently intricate lines of the interior. Such a view might fairly be
said to justify the title of "Crystal Palace," by which this building is so
commonly known; and it would require no great stretch of imagination to
believe that it had been reared by fairy hands, as a votive offering at the
world's jubilee of labour.

But we must descend again to the interior, to point out the arrangement of
the offices for the staff of the Executive. The principal of these are
naturally placed in the centre, on either side of the principal entrance,
where they occupy in two storeys the space underneath the gallery, which is
continued uninterrupted over them. The entrances at the end are also
flanked by offices of less extent. The outer inclosure of these spaces is
formed with glazed sashes, similar to those which are placed on the
exterior of the building, and boarded partitions divide the interior. The
rooms are arranged to be heated and lighted by gas when required, and ample
means of ventilation are provided.

The simplicity of the construction renders it very easy to extend or
contract the accommodation much more readily than would be possible under
ordinary circumstances.

It now remains to notice the arrangements provided for refreshments, which
are introduced in connexion with the open courts left on account of the
groups of trees. These happen to occur towards the ends of the building,
and on the north side of the main avenue; the space at the north end of the
transept, next to the inclosed trees, is also appropriated for this
purpose. The roofing over these parts is a continuation of that over the
rest of the building; and the partitions necessary for inclosing the
different spaces are formed chiefly with glazed sashes, avoiding as much as
possible any solid construction, which would appear out of character. The
open courts are inclosed with sashes and doors, rendered necessary by the
uncertain nature of our climate.

A small detached building which has not been mentioned serves for the
boiler-house, and is placed near the west end of the building. As it had
been determined to afford the means of exhibiting some of the machinery in
actual motion, it was necessary to erect boilers to supply the steam to the
different machines, as it would clearly be inadmissible for each to
generate steam for its own use in the building. The house to contain the
boilers is ninety-six feet long and twenty-four feet wide, and is placed as
near as practicable to the machinery-department; but at the same time it is
quite detached from the main building to avoid risk from the fires. In
appearance it resembles the one-storey portion of the main building, but it
is constructed entirely of fire-proof materials. It contains five boilers,
each to supply steam for twenty-horse power, which is distributed by a pipe
to the different machinery.

[Illustration: General View of the Building from the South-West.]

An ornamental cast-iron railing designed by Mr. Owen Jones incloses the
building, being placed at a distance of about eight feet from it along the
principal fronts, but carried much further off at the ends, so as to
inclose a considerable space, which will thus be available for exhibiting
any large objects that will bear exposure to the weather, if there should
not be sufficient room in the interior of the building. Gates are placed
opposite all the entrances and exits, and these are so arranged that when
closed they are uniform in appearance with the rest of the railing.

[Illustration: EXTERNAL RAILING.]

Having thus given a general sketch of the arrangement and appearance of the
building, we shall proceed to describe somewhat more minutely the various
details of the construction, of which the essential parts are few in number
compared with the great repetition of each individually. To assist in this
multiplied reproduction of the same form, some exceedingly ingenious
machinery has been employed, which will therefore be described in connexion
with the parts it has been used to form; and thus these will be traced
through their various stages, from the raw material to their finished state
as portions of the building. The greater part of this machinery has been
used in shaping out those parts which are of wood, and particularly the
different portions of the roof, with which we will therefore commence.

The Paxton's Gutters.

It has been mentioned that the rafters which span the space between the
roof-girders serve, at the same time, as gutters, for which purpose they
are hollowed out on the upper face, besides having smaller grooves at the
sides to take the condensation-water. The bottom of the gutter is of a
circular form, which is universally considered the best for conveying
liquids with the least amount of friction, and therefore the least liable
to obstruction from an accumulation of dirt.




A section of the gutter, as finished, is shown. To bring it into this form,
after the timbers had been sawn into the requisite general dimensions they
were brought under the action of the planing-machine, where they were
planed on the four sides. This machine is patented by W. Furness, of
Liverpool, and was worked at the Chelsea Wharf Saw-mills. The operation was
effected by cutters (_a_) attached to the ends of an arm revolving with
great rapidity in a horizontal plane; the timbers to be planed were wedged
up into a frame (_b_) traversing on rails, and as this was passed under the
revolving cutters the upper surface was removed by them, at the same time
the timbers were held down upon the frame by a large iron disc (_c_)
pressing upon their upper surface. The disc, together with the revolving
arm carrying the cutters, was capable of being adjusted vertically to the
exact dimensions of the timber. The traversing-frame was slowly propelled
by the machinery, and three widths of timber were operated upon at one
time. On leaving the planing-machine these quarter baulks were passed on to
the gutter-cutting machine. Four different cutters were required to form
the section, as shown above; they were placed one behind the other, so that
the piece of timber, which was presented to their action above the centre
of motion, passed over each of them in succession. The first set, which
revolved in a vertical plane, roughly hollowed out the larger groove to the
section shown in Fig. 1; the two next were counterparts, and formed the
same section in opposite directions; they were set at an inclination to the
upright of about 45 degrees, the one to the right, the other to the left;
and each hollowed out one of the small side grooves, and one side of the
larger gutter, leaving the section of the timber respectively of the forms
shown in Figs. 2 and 3. Fig. 4 shows the form of its section after it had
passed both; the fourth set of cutters again revolved vertically, and gave
the gutter its finished form, as shown above. As the timber passed over the
cutters it was supported at the ends on revolving rollers, and was held in
its place by guiding grooves, being pressed gradually forwards against the



In this manner forty-two lengths of solid gutter, each twenty-four feet and
a fraction long, were completed in a day of ten hours; and as the machine
was worked double time, a length of more than 2,000 feet was turned out
daily ready for use: this, it has been calculated, would have required the
labour of about three hundred men to be employed for the same length of
time. The absolute necessity for such rapid production will be evident when
it is known that no less than 110,000 feet, or about twenty miles length,
of such gutters were required--very nearly the distance from Buckingham
Palace to Windsor Castle.

Finished as described above, the Paxton's gutters arrived at the building,
where the first operation they underwent was that of cutting them to the
exact length requisite. This was a nice operation, as the smallest
deviation would have caused a difficulty in fitting them into their place,
and to perform it a framework was constructed by which the solid gutter
could be bent to the same curve it would have when fixed; a precaution that
was necessary in order that the ends might be cut off quite vertically so
as to fit together when in their place. At one end of this frame-work was
placed a circular saw, twenty inches diameter, hung with a pulley and
balance weight, so as to be moved up and down by means of a lever. The
gutter being fixed in the frame by means of hinged guage-plates, one end
was cut by the circular saw being brought down upon it; and at the same
time another operation was performed: two cutters, placed in the centre of
the circular saw, were so arranged that when brought down upon the end of
the solid gutter they cut out a semi-circular notch, so that when the ends
of two gutters were afterwards placed together there was a circular hole
left, through which the water passed down into the main gutter. When these
operations were completed at one end of the gutter, the guage-plates were
taken off, and the timber was swung round on a pivot or crutch in the
centre, and the same process gone through as before; the whole scarcely
occupying two minutes. We shall presently have to return to this piece of
machinery, as it was also used in finishing the ridge rafters.


The solid gutter was now transferred to the hands of the carpenter, who
fixed at each end, on the under-side, a small cast-iron shoe; and two
struts, nine inches long, were placed so as to divide the whole length into
three equal parts--the struts spread out at the top in order to present a
large surface of pressure against the under-side of the gutter; and tenons
projected upwards, which were fitted into mortices cut into the timber. The
lower end of the struts were formed so as to give them a firm hold upon a
wrought-iron rod, thirteen-sixteenths of an inch diameter, which was passed
under them and through the shoes, where it was screwed up with nuts; and
the struts pressing up against the timber produced the requisite bend or
camber. Twenty-seven notches, to receive the sash bars, were marked with a
templet and cut out on each edge of the upper-side of the gutter; and a
small cast-iron plate having been fitted on the under-side at each end, the
Paxton's gutter was complete and ready for fixing. The under-trussing of
the rafters increased their strength considerably, so that a weight of
one-and-a-half tons was required to break one which was experimented upon.

The Sash-bars.

We will next consider the sash-bars which support the ridge of the roof and
receive the glass. The total length which was required of these amounts to
about two hundred miles; it will, therefore, be easily understood that
mechanical contrivance for cutting them out became an absolute necessity;
this Mr. Paxton appears to have discovered in his works at Chatsworth, as
he mentions in his lecture.


The sash-bars are one inch thick and one-and-a-half inches deep, and are
grooved on each side, besides having all the four edges bevelled or
chamfered; all which was done in one passage through the machine. The plank
which was to form the sash-bars was passed in at one end of the machine,
between pressure-rollers; it then passed between cutters placed both above
and below it, which made about twelve hundred revolutions per minute, and
hollowed out the different grooves; and, lastly, it passed between circular
saws which divided it into separate sash-bars, after which they had only to
be cut into their proper lengths.[6] The exact length of each sash-bar when
finished is four feet one inch.

In this state the skylight bars were sent to the building, where they
underwent several finishing operations, necessary to make the ends fit down
into the notches prepared in the ridges and gutters. Thirty of the bars
were first placed together in a horizontal traversing-frame on a saw-table,
on each side of which circular saws were fixed at the distance of the
required length of the sash-bar; the frame was then moved forward against
the saws, so that both ends of the whole set of bars were cut off
simultaneously, and at the same time a cut was made at one end half-way
through the bar, in order to form the shoulder against the gutter. They
were then removed to another bench, where the end of the bar was bevelled
and the shoulder formed by means of a small instrument having a handle with
two projecting jaws fitting into the ends of the glass grooves of the bars;
between these there was a small blade which, being pressed down, cut out
the shoulder which had been sawn through in the other direction, and
another blade was placed at the proper angle to remove the bevelled piece
at the end of the bar.


One more process made the sash-bars complete for fixing--this was the
drilling a hole at each end to nail them down on the gutter and ridge; and
this was also done by machinery, to insure all the holes being drilled at
the same angle. On one side of a horizontal bench were placed a set of
four-inch driving pulleys (_a a_), with as many horizontal drills
projecting towards the other side of the bench; a wooden traversing-plate
(_c_) opposite each drill, and working towards it, received one end of the
sash-bar, while the other rested in an inclined position against a wooden
rail (_b_) placed longitudinally above the pulleys, having as many sinkings
thereon as there were drills. The traversing-plate being then pushed
forward, the sash-bar was perforated by the drill; the plate was then drawn
back, and the same operation repeated with the other end of the bar, which
left it ready for fixing.

The action of the traversing-plate (_c_) is shown more distinctly in the
second engraving.[7] One out of every nine of the sash-bars of the roof is
stronger than the rest, to serve for fixing the ridge previous to glazing.
These extra-strong bars are two inches wide and one inch and a half deep,
and were formed by the same machinery already described, by an adjustment
of the different cutters and saws.


The Ridges.

The total length of these required was about sixteen miles. They are cut
out of timber three inches square, in section, and are of the form shown in
the diagram, with a groove on each side to receive the glass. This was also
done by machinery which, with about five-horse power, turned out one
hundred lengths of twenty-four feet in a day of ten hours, allowing the
time for the necessary stoppages. After they had been delivered at the
building, these ridge-pieces were cut to the exact lengths by means of the
same apparatus used for the solid gutters which has already been described.
At each end of the ridge-piece two holes were also drilled to receive
dowells to connect it with the adjoining length. By no other than
mechanical means could the immense number of holes thus drilled have been
placed so exactly that those in the opposite ends of any two ridge-pieces
should correspond precisely.


The different essential component parts of the roof having thus been
described, we propose to take the different members of the construction in
succession downwards.

The Glass.

But first it may be mentioned here that the glass used throughout the
building is sheet, on an average about one-sixteenth of an inch thick, and
weighing one pound per foot superficial. This gives an aggregate weight of
about four hundred tons for the whole of the work, the greater part of
which was supplied by Messrs. Chance and Co., of Birmingham. Each square is
forty-nine inches long and ten wide, the greatest length of sheet glass
that has ever been made in this country. The manufacture of this kind of
glass is of comparatively recent introduction into England, though
practised for some time on the Continent; and the rapid progress made by
the manufacturers alluded to must be in a great measure attributed to the
wise removal of the fiscal burden on the article, made by the late Sir
Robert Peel. That lamented statesman, with his usual foresight, doubtless
contemplated that great social benefits would follow from that enactment;
and it is, perhaps, not too much to say that, but for Sir Robert's
enlightened measure, this "huge pile of transparency" would never have been

The Box Gutters.

It has been mentioned that the triple gutters deliver the water into main
gutters running in the transverse direction of the building; these are
formed of wood, with a bottom piece, into which are grooved two upright
sides, they are firmly bolted down upon the upper flange of the
roof-girders, and where these are quite horizontal the fall in the gutter
is given by a false bottom laid to a slope. Of these gutters there is a
length of about five-and-a-half miles in the building, which, added to the
aggregate length of the Paxton's gutters, makes a total of about
twenty-five-and-a-half miles of gutter.

Roof Girders.

These are of cast-iron, where not more than twenty-four feet long, and the
rest of wrought-iron. The cast-iron ones are precisely the same in
appearance as those used for the galleries, but lighter in metal; a
separate description of them is not, therefore, necessary. The weight of
each of these girders is twelve cwt., and each was proved to nine tons
previously to being used; but it is calculated that the greatest weight
they may have to bear will not exceed five tons: the total number required
was about 470.

The wrought-iron girders, or trusses, are partly forty-eight and partly
seventy-two feet long, to span the avenues of those respective widths; the
principle of the construction is the same in each. The top rail (if it may
be so called) of the truss is formed with two pieces of [L section] iron
placed back to back [double L sections], and the bottom rail with two flat
bars [parallel flat bars], the total depth being three feet; at the ends
these bars are riveted on to cast-iron standards, and the intermediate
distance is divided into eight-feet lengths by other cast-iron standards,
to which the bars are also riveted, and thus a framework of rectangles is
formed. In the trusses forty-eight feet span there are, therefore, six such
divisions in the length, and nine in those of seventy-two feet span. These
are then divided in the direction of ONE of the diagonals by a flat bar
passing between and riveted to those forming the top and bottom rails. This
completes the constructional part of the truss; but to render the
appearance more uniform with that of the cast-iron girders, a flat bar of
wood (shown by the dotted lines) is made to form the other diagonal of the

[Illustration: DIAGRAM OF 48-FEET GIRDER.]

The trusses for a span of seventy-two feet are cambered or bent upwards
about ten inches, which both adds to their strength and improves the
appearance. The form and arrangement of these roof-trusses may be clearly
traced in several of the views of the interior which are presented to the
reader. The weight, when completed, of each of the trusses of seventy-two
feet span is about thirty-five cwt., and of those of forty-eight feet span
about thirteen cwt.

It has been already mentioned that four of the roof-trusses vary from the
rest on account of the greater load they have to sustain. The depth of
these exceptional trusses is six feet, and their length seventy-two feet,
or the width of the main avenue, which they bridge over. The principle of
their construction is similar to that employed in the lighter trusses; but
the arrangement of the parts is somewhat modified. The top rail consists of
two pieces of [L section] iron, placed, as before, back to back; but they
are further connected on the top by a flat piece [double L sections with
flat]. The lower rail is formed by two flat bars placed upright [parallel
flat bars], and these are riveted at the ends to standards of cast-iron,
which, however, are considerably heavier in construction than those before
described; and they have also in the centre, at (_a_) two slots, or
sinkings, into which the ends of two of the diagonal bars are riveted. The
whole length is then divided into three equal parts, each 24 feet long, by
strong CAST-iron standards at (_b_) the ends of which are riveted between
the rails, and these spaces are again subdivided into three eight-feet
lengths by WROUGHT-iron standards at (_c c_). The top of each standard is
next connected with the foot of the next but one to it by diagonal flat
bars, which, together with the short pieces fastened into the slots at
(_a_), complete the figure of the whole, forming a kind of trellis-work,
two diamonds in depth. In the diagram only half the length of the girder is


The dimensions of the different bars of iron in this piece of construction
are proportional to the amount of strain they have to bear. The two heavier
out of the four trusses just described weighed when completed eight tons
each, and the other two, which are of rather lighter construction, six tons

The riveting together of the wrought-iron trusses was performed on
horizontal supports, on which the curve that they were to be made to was
marked out. The bars having been previously cut to the requisite lengths,
and punched and drilled with holes for the rivets, were laid out on the
stages in the proper forms with the cast-iron standards, which were
temporarily kept in place by bolts passed through some of the rivet-holes.
The whole framework was then riveted up with red-hot rivets supplied from
small portable furnaces, several sets of men being employed upon each
truss, by which means as many as sixteen were completed in one day. The
whole of the trusses, three hundred and seventy-two in number, required for
the building were put together on the ground, and several ingenious
mechanical contrivances were made use of to facilitate and hasten the work.
To form some idea of the amount of labour that had to be performed, it may
be mentioned that each of the trusses forty-eight feet in length, or the
smallest, is held together by more than fifty rivets, requiring more than
twice that number of holes to be made in bars of iron varying in thickness
from a quarter of an inch upwards. About 25,000 rivets were thus required
for the whole of the work.

Iron Drilling Machine.

The holes for the rivets were made partly by drilling and partly by
punching. In the machine used for the former the bar to be bored was laid
upon a flat surface forming part of the solid cast-iron stand of the
machinery; the drilling-point worked vertically, and could be moved in that
direction to suit the different thicknesses of iron brought under its
operation. It was suspended at one end of a lever, with a counterpoise at
the other. This lever was also connected by a rod and crank, with another
near the ground, one end of which was formed into a tread to be worked by
the foot. The workman, when he had arranged the iron in the right position
under the drill, pressed his foot upon the tread; thus raising the
counterpoise end of the upper lever, and pressing the point of the drill,
which was of a spear-head form, down upon the iron. Underneath the iron to
be drilled was placed a piece of wood to protect the point of the drill
when it had passed through the iron. It was also necessary to moisten the
iron during the operation, in order to keep the drill-point cool. Three men
were required to attend to this work, which was not so rapid as the other
method of making the holes by punching.


The Punching Machine.


The enormous power exerted by this piece of machinery renders it necessary
that the stand containing the punch, &c., should be exceedingly solid, and
it is formed accordingly by a heavy mass of cast-iron, in which there are
two indentations, as seen by the engraving. In the lower of these the
punching operation is performed, and in the upper there are shears for
cutting off the ends of the bars when required. The motion is communicated
to each of these by means of a cogged wheel at the back; but both the punch
and the shears work in a vertical direction, slowly moving up and down with
irresistible force. There is no sudden blow or jerk, which makes the effect
the more striking, as the unpractised eye has no means of discovering the
amount of the force which is being put in operation. It is, however, so
great that, although the punching of a hole scarcely occupies two or three
seconds, the iron becomes quite hot from the effect of the pressure. In
using this machine, the workman arranges the iron bar on a solid rest,
placing it so that when the punch descends it makes the hole in the
position required. As soon as the punch has passed through the bar, the
action of the machinery is reversed, and the instrument ascends again;
during which time the bar is re-arranged, and the operation is thus
continually repeated. This piece of machinery also requires three men to
work it, if the bars to be punched are of considerable length, so as to
require the ends to be held up; otherwise, one alone is sufficient; and in
the course of a ten-hours day about three thousand holes can be punched
out--the number, of course, varying according to the thickness of the bars.

Neither of the mechanical contrivances just described are novel inventions,
though they are thus, perhaps, brought for the first time under the notice
of many of our readers, to whom they may be so far rendered interesting
from their being connected with the execution of THE building of the day.

The Adzing and Planing Machine.

[Illustration: THE ADZING-CUTTERS.]

At the Chelsea Saw-mills, where the reader has already seen the Paxton's
gutters shaped out, another interesting piece of machinery was in use for
these works, for the purpose of finishing planks to a certain size and
thickness, called the adzing and planing machine. An adze is a tool used by
carpenters to remove any unevenness in the surface of a board in a
particular spot. In this piece of machinery two cutters are fixed to a
revolving arm, under which the plank is made to pass; and as it does so the
cutters remove a certain thickness from the whole of the surface. The
arrangement of these cutters is very plainly shown in the annexed
engraving. On the under-side of the same bench to which this apparatus is
fixed, three planes are set, each at an angle of about 5 degrees, by which
the under-side of the plank is brought to an even face, while the upper
surface is operated on by the adzing-cutters, and in this manner the plank
is reduced to an even thickness throughout. As it passes on it is brought
between two circular saws, which are adjusted to the width which it is
desired to give to the plank. It is dragged forward towards the planes and
cutters by means of an endless chain, composed of open links; which chain
passes over a wheel provided with projecting pegs, so arranged as to fit
into the links. The plank is kept down upon the planes, and otherwise held
in position, by pressure-rollers.


The Columns and Connecting Pieces.

[Illustration: SECTION OF COLUMN.]

The columns in the building perform three important offices. They support
the roof and the galleries, and serve as pipes to convey the rain-water
from the roofs. Their form, which is beautiful, both mechanically and
artistically, was suggested by Mr. Barry; it is a ring, eight inches in
diameter externally, the thickness varying in the different columns,
according to the weights they have to support respectively. Four flat
faces, about three inches wide, are added on the outside of this ring, so
that when the column is in its place, they face nearly north, south, east,
and west. The column may therefore be considered as a hollow tube, of the
section just described, and of the same form at each end, having at its
extremities horizontally projecting rings called SNUGS, through which the
bolts are passed, to fasten the columns to the connecting-pieces and
base-pieces. That the hollow form adopted for the columns is that best
suited to obtain the greatest strength with the least amount of material
has been abundantly shown by experiments, as even two straws placed in an
upright position will bear a very considerable weight; it is that also seen
in the structure of the bones of animals. Of these columns there are 3,300
in the whole building.

Those portions of the height of the columns which correspond with the depth
and position of the girders form separate lengths, which are called
connecting-pieces, as they unite the lengths of columns of the different
storeys. These connecting-pieces have the same sectional form as the
columns themselves, and, like them, are the same at each end, where there
are projections cast on, which serve to support the girders, and which are
provided with holes through which the bolts pass to connect them with the
columns. These holes alternate with the projections to receive the girders,
which projections are so formed that they clip others cast on to the ends
of the girders, which will be hereafter described. In the centre of each
projection there is formed a small notch which receives the key or wedge
for fixing the girders.

The meeting faces of the columns and connecting-pieces were all turned in a
lathe, in order that, when set up, they might fit so precisely as not to
require any packing to adjust them in an upright position; and only in the
cases of those columns which serve as water-pipes is any such packing
introduced. In those a piece of canvass, with white lead, is put into the
joint. An enormous amount of additional labour was involved by this
proceeding, as no less than twelve hundred of such faces had to be operated
on; but this did not deter the enterprising contractors, who were fully
alive to the importance of the object to be attained. When fixed, the
projecting "snugs," with the bolts passing through them, were covered by
ornamental caps and bases of cast-iron, fixed after the rest of the work
was completed.

The Base Pieces.

The lower storey of columns in every case stands upon base-pieces of which
the upright portion is a continuation of the column, with "snugs" at the
top, to correspond with those of the column, and standing on a horizontal
bed-plate, from which "shoulders" rise to strengthen the upright portion.
These bed-plates vary in size from three feet by two feet to one foot six
inches by one foot, in proportion to the weight which the several
superincumbent columns have to sustain. The longest dimension of the
bed-plate is in the transverse direction of the building, in which the
greatest overturning strain might be expected to act upon the columns. From
the vertical portion of the base-pieces, sockets six inches in diameter
project, in the direction of the length of the building, into which are
fitted the cast-iron drain-pipes, which convey away the water brought down
by the columns from the roof. The height of the base-pieces varies to suit
the different levels at which the floor is supported above the ground.
These levels had therefore to be determined in every individual instance
previous to the castings being made. It was done, however, with such
precision that, when they came to be used, they were all found to be of the
exact length required for their situation. Of these base-pieces, 1,074 were
required for the building.

[Illustration: BASE-PIECE.]

Cast-iron Girders.

It has been mentioned that the columns supported girders at three different
heights, dividing the greatest altitude of the building into three storeys;
and that the lower tier of girders, where the building consisted of more
than one storey, served to support a gallery.

These gallery girders are all twenty-four feet long and three feet deep,
the upper and lower "flanges" or rails having a [T section] formed section
with standards at the ends of similar section. The rectangular space
between them is then divided into three equal parts, by uprights having a
[+ section] form of section, and the three smaller spaces thus obtained
have diagonal "struts" in each direction. The girder thus described forms a
double truss, in which the diagonal braces are subjected both to the strain
of compression and tension. At the top and bottom of the end-standards
small projections are cast on, by which the connecting-pieces hold the
girders; and at each end of the flat portion of the top and bottom rails
small sinkings are cast, by means of which the girder is keyed up to its
position. The flat portion of the upper and lower "flanges" of the girder
is swelled out in width from the ends towards the centre, in order to
increase the quantity of metal in that part where the strain is greatest.

The description just given of the gallery girders will apply to all the
cast-iron girders throughout the building, of which there are 2,150; the
only difference between them being, that those for the roofs or other
internal portions, where no gallery is to be supported, are cast with a
less amount of metal. The form of girder just described, which is unusual,
was the result of several experiments performed under the superintendence
of Messrs. W. Cubitt, C. H. Wild, C. Fox, and other gentlemen, previous to
the commencement of the building; and the thickness of metal for the
different parts of these, as well as for all the other cast-iron work in
the building, was minutely calculated and determined by Mr. C. H. Wild and
Mr. C. Fox, under the supervision of Mr. Cubitt, the President of the
Institution of Civil Engineers, to whom the Royal Commission had intrusted
the responsible duty of the chief superintendence of the whole of the work.

[Illustration: View of Interior from the Level of Galleries.]

The Galleries.

To proceed to the gallery itself, supported by the girders just described.
The timbers supporting the floor are so arranged that the weight of each
bay of twenty-four feet square is distributed equally to the four girders
inclosing it, and in such a manner as to bear upon them at the points
immediately over the vertical standards.

In the transverse direction of the building two pairs of joists, eight feet
apart in each bay, are formed into trusses by tie-rods, 1-3/8 inches
diameter, passed through a cast-iron shoe at each end, and pressing up two
"struts," which are made to bear against the under-side of binding-timbers
running longitudinally, or crossing the joists, and immediately under them.
The cast-iron shoes for the trusses are bolted down to the girders, and
serve at the same time to receive the standard supports of the gallery
railing. The ends of the binding-timbers are secured by bolts and oak
suspension-pieces to the other two girders inclosing the square. Joists
about two feet six inches apart bear from girder to girder parallel to the
trusses, and resting on the binding-timbers. On these is laid the floor, 1¼
inches thick, grooved and iron-tongued. A light cast-iron railing, forming
a kind of trellis-work, is fixed between the columns, and is capped with a
round mahogany hand-rail. From the view at page 60 the arrangement of the
galleries will be readily understood.

Testing the Cast-iron Girders.

From the very important office which the girders perform throughout the
building, but more particularly those supporting the galleries, it was of
the utmost importance that, previously to their being fixed in their
places, the soundness of the casting should be proved; for it could hardly
be expected that so large a number of girders could be produced without
some of them being defective. The ordinary means of testing girders, by
loading them with weights, would have occupied far too much time; and
therefore an ingenious apparatus was devised by Mr. C. H. Wild for this
purpose, by the use of which the testing of a girder occupied but a few


It consisted of a very strong cast-iron frame rather longer than the
girder, the bottom of which was formed by two fixed beams placed eight
inches apart, and supported a few inches above the ground. At each end of
these a cast-iron standard was firmly bolted between them and rose to a
height rather greater than the depth of the girder to be tested; on the
inner faces of these standards two "shoulders" were formed, which received
the projections cast on the ends of the girder, as before mentioned.
Between the fixed beams below, at two points dividing the whole length into
three equal parts, were placed strong cylinders, with rising pistons
connected with a forcing-pump, together with which they formed a Bramah's
hydraulic press. A girder being placed in this frame, in an inverted
position, the force applied by means of the pistons rising from the
cylinders acted upon it precisely at those points, and in the same manner,
as the load from the gallery or the roof would do when afterwards fixed in
its place.

The essential parts of the Bramah's press may be thus briefly described. It
consists of two cylinders, the diameter of one being considerably larger
than that of the other. The smaller cylinder is fitted with a solid plunger
or piston, by means of which water may be forced from it into the larger;
this being also fitted with a rising piston, the force is communicated by
it to the weight which it is desired to raise. The power obtained by means
of this apparatus arises from the distributive power of fluids and the
practical incompressibility of water, and it is proportioned to the
difference of the diameters of the two cylinders; so that if a pressure of
one pound per square inch be applied on the surface of the piston in the
smaller cylinder, and the piston in the larger cylinder present a surface
ten times greater, the power is multiplied by that number; whilst, in
addition, the lever power used in applying the pressure to the smaller
piston is obtained. The cylinders are fitted with valves, so arranged as to
prevent the return of the water from the larger to the smaller, while the
apparatus is in action, and thus the power is accumulated in the former.

In the instance before us, the two 3-inch cylinders already alluded to in
the proving-frame took the place of the larger cylinder of the ordinary
apparatus; and they were connected with the forcing-pump by a strong metal
tube. When a girder had been fixed in the frame for proving, the force-pump
was worked till the pistons underneath the girder carried it off its lower
bearings and pressed it upwards against the "shoulders," by which it was
firmly held, and the pressure was then continued until the amount
previously fixed upon as necessary for proof had been obtained. This was
ascertained by means of a self-adjusting apparatus attached to the
hydraulic press.

An iron cylinder 1½ inches diameter was placed in communication with the
pipe connecting the pump and the press, so that the pressure obtained in it
was, in proportion to its diameter, the same as that in the large cylinder;
and it was fitted with a piston-rod, working in a vertical direction. This
piston-rod was connected with a lever, from the end of which a scale-pan
was suspended, at a distance from the fulcrum ten times greater than that
of the point of attachment of the piston from the same. The weight of the
scale-pan and lever were balanced by a large mass of iron at the other end.
In the scale-pan a certain weight was placed, proportioned to the proof
desired to be obtained; and the action of the pump was continued until the
water, rising in the iron cylinder just described, forced up the lever, and
with it the weight attached; and thus indicated that the pressure to which
it was desired to subject the girder had been reached. The weight to be
placed in the scale-pan was thus determined: the diameter of the lever
cylinder being 1½ inches, and that of each of those in the proving-frame
three inches, the pistons or "rams" in the latter presented together eight
times the surface of that in the lever cylinder; which being multiplied by
the difference of length of the two parts of the lever, determines the
weight for the scale-pan to be one-eightieth of that to which it was
desired to prove the girder.

The ordinary gallery girders were tested with a pressure equivalent to a
weight of fifteen tons; but it was calculated that, when fixed, the
greatest weight they would have to sustain would be seven-and-a-half tons.
In one instance, for the sake of experiment, the pressure was continued
beyond the proof weight of fifteen tons, to see what amount of strain the
girders would bear without fracture, and it was found that a strain of
thirty tons produced no injurious effect; but the girder broke with an
additional weight of half a ton.

Roof of Transept.

We will now return to describe that portion of the roof which varies in
form and arrangement from the rest, namely, the semicircular covering of
the transept. This is supported by arched ribs, placed twenty-four feet
apart, and constructed of Memel timber, in three thicknesses; the
centre-piece four inches thick, with a 2-inch piece on each side of it.
They are formed in lengths of about nine feet, placed so as to break joint;
that is, the joints of the outer pieces fall upon the centre of the inner
one. The thicknesses are fastened together by bolts passing through them
about two feet six inches apart, besides being nailed at other points. On
the inner circumference of the rib thus constructed there is then placed a
piece of timber moulded to correspond with the form of the columns; and on
the outer circumference two boards, each one inch thick, are bent round and
attached to the rib with strong nails. On both the outer and inner
circumference a flat bar of iron is secured by bolts passing through the
whole depth of the rib, which, thus finished, measures eighteen inches in
depth by eight inches in thickness. The ends of the ribs are fitted into
sockets, formed by the upward continuation of the columns, to which they
are attached by iron straps.

The ribs, which are supported by the trusses over the main avenue, have
their ends bolted down upon a piece of timber secured on the upper portion
of the truss; and they are further fixed in their places by oak brackets,
forming a spreading foot on each side upon the same piece of timber.

Between these large ribs horizontal timbers, called "purlins," are fixed
about nine feet apart, by means of cast-iron shoes, bolted both to them and
to the ribs. These serve to support the minor or intermediate ribs,
occurring at distances of eight feet apart; which consist of a single
square piece of timber, having the two thicknesses of 1-inch board bent
round their outer circumference, as on the main ribs. The boards form the
gutters or furrows between which rise the ridges, in the same manner as in
that portion of the roof which is horizontal.

The ridges, in this case, instead of being cut out of solid pieces, are
formed in three thicknesses, bent round to the requisite curve, and so
retained by small bolts tying them down to the "purlins." The sash-bars
which receive the glass form, as elsewhere, the sloping rafters or supports
of the ridge.

[Illustration: Interior View of the Central Avenue towards the West.]

The space below the first "purlin" or plate at the springing of the arch,
down to the level of the lead-flat beneath it, is fitted with louvre-frames
for ventilation. The diagonal bracing between the main ribs has been
already alluded to. Each set consists of four wrought-iron rods three
quarters of an inch in diameter, having eyes at one end, by means of which
they are secured with bolts, passing through the thickness of the ribs; in
the centre they meet in a cast-iron ring, on the inner side of which the
ends are screwed up with nuts.

The semicircular ends of the transept are filled in with tracery, formed by
radiating timbers, strutted apart with short pieces placed in concentric
rings. The circular heads of the openings are formed by iron castings
screwed into their places, and the eye from which the radiating lines of
the tracery proceed is also formed by solid iron castings bolted together.
On the outer face the ribs of the tracery are moulded, and on the inner
side glazed sashes are fixed, filling in the openings.

The lead-flat, twenty-four feet wide, extending the whole length of the
transept, on either side of the semicircular roof, is constructed in a
similar manner to the floor of the galleries, by under-trussing two pairs
of joists in each bay. In the width of the lead-flat roof a horizontal
truss is formed by flat bars of iron fixed in the direction of the diagonal
of the 24-feet square bays, to resist any possible thrust or tendency of
the ends of the ribs to open outwards at the springing.

The Facework.

The external inclosures of the building, on the levels of the different
storeys, require but little description in detail beyond that already
given. The sash-bars dividing the sashes of the upper tiers are grooved for
glass similarly to those used in the roof, and were cut out by the same
machinery. The glass was put in after they were framed together, so that it
was necessary to arrange the ends of the bars that it could be slipped in
at one end. As the bars of these sashes were of slight dimensions and
considerable length, they were strengthened by wrought-iron rods passed
through the sash-frame and the bars, and screwed up at the ends, causing
the whole to work together. The sashes are held in their position by small
cast-iron clips, which are bolted on to the columns; and as the surface
presented to the wind by the upright sides of the building is of such
considerable extent, wooden bridges are fixed against the sashes on the
inside, by small cast-iron shoes bolted to the columns; and at the internal
angles, where the wind would exert its greatest force, these bridges are
further strengthened by wrought-iron rods half an inch in diameter,
pressing against the back of them, which is grooved for the purpose, and
screwed up at each end in the cast-iron shoes. In this manner a connected
chain of resistance to any external pressure is established round the whole
circuit of the building.

[Illustration: THE LOUVRE-FRAME.]

The louvre-frames, which form part of the face-work in all the different
storeys, consist of a deal frame in which bent louvre-blades are hung on
pivots at each end. These blades are of galvanised iron of an [S section]
form. On the back of each blade is fixed a loop of thin iron, to which a
rack is fitted; and by these means all the blades in each frame are moved
simultaneously. A considerable number of these racks may also be connected,
so that a large area of ventilation may be regulated at once.

The Diagonal Bracing.

From the total absence in this building of any internal division-walls,
which in ordinary structures considerably add to their stability, it was
thought desirable to introduce into the construction something to
compensate for this deficiency. At several points in the length of the
building, where a continuous connexion could be established transversely,
the squares formed by the columns and girders on the different storeys have
their four corners connected by diagonal rods, seven-eighths of an inch in
diameter, having eyes at the ends, by which they are secured to the bolts
connecting the different parts of the columns. In the centre of the square
the four rods meet in a cast-iron ring, and are screwed up with nuts;
ornamental faces are fitted into the rings, so that this addition to the
construction is by no means detrimental to the general effect.

In a similar manner this diagonal bracing is introduced in a horizontal
direction immediately under the floor of some portions of the galleries; of
these there are twenty-two sets, and of those placed vertically there are,
altogether, 220 sets in the building, and the manner of their introduction
will be readily understood from the views of the interior.

The Staircases.

The double staircases, of which it has been mentioned there are eight in
the building, consist each of four flights, about eight feet wide; two
parallel ones, leading from the ground-floor to a landing, at the
half-height, and the other two branching in opposite directions from the
landing to the two galleries. The treads of the steps are made of a species
of mahogany called sabicu, which is much harder than oak, and therefore
peculiarly suited to the purpose for which it is here employed. The risers,
or faces of the steps, are of deal. The stairs are supported by cast-iron
girders, following the slope, the lower ones being fixed at the foot to
stout timbers under the flooring, and the upper ends bolted to the
cast-iron columns which support the landing. These columns are of the same
pattern as the rest throughout the building, but only five inches in
diameter. They are supported on concrete, and eight of them are required
for each staircase. The floor of the landing is carried by lesser cast-iron
girders, with flooring-joists.

[Illustration: VIEW OF STAIRCASE.]

The girders carrying the upper flights spring from the landing girders, and
have their upper ends bolted on to the main girders supporting the
galleries, which are varied in pattern for this purpose. The railing of the
staircase is formed in separate cast-iron standards, one to each step,
which are bolted on to the top flange of the girders; and the foot of the
standard is so continued that the ends of the treads are fitted into it,
and are thus supported. The pattern of these standards is assimilated to
that of the gallery railing.

The hand-rail is formed of Honduras mahogany, with carved ends. On each
side of the upper flight, which occupies the centre of a 24-feet space,
connecting-galleries about eight feet wide are carried, establishing a
communication between the two lines of gallery without descending to the
level of the landing and then re-ascending. The landing is sufficiently
high above the ground-floor to give ample headway for passing underneath
it; so that the space occupied by the staircases on the ground-floor is but

The Floor and Foundations.

It now only remains to mention briefly the construction of the floor of the
building, and the foundations for the base-pieces. The substratum of the
site consists of gravel of an excellent quality, and sufficiently dense to
have sustained, perhaps without any preparation, the load brought upon it
by the bases of the columns. A thickness of concrete, proportioned in all
cases to the amount of the weight to be borne by the superincumbent
columns, and of such a size as to be two feet in each direction larger than
the bed-plates, was placed upon the gravel, and the upper surface was
finished with a bed of fine mortar to receive the bed-plates. In this
manner it was calculated that in no case would a greater weight than
two-and-a-half tons be borne by each foot superficial of the
gravel--previous experiments having shown that a considerably larger weight
could be placed upon it without any injurious effect.

The timbers supporting the joists for the floor are also placed upon small
blocks of concrete, about one foot cube, at a distance of eight feet apart.
On these are fixed the flooring-joists, and a deal floor an inch and a half
thick is laid on them, as has been already mentioned, with intervals of
about half an inch between the boards.


In order to carry off the water brought down from the roof by every
alternate longitudinal row of columns, 6-inch cast-iron pipes are fitted
into the sockets described in the base-pieces, and are carried in the lines
of those columns through the whole length of the building, with discharges
into the larger drains at the centre and at each end; the natural slope of
the ground gives a sufficient fall to the pipes.

Having thus described in detail all the different portions of the
construction of the building, we must proceed to give some account of its
actual erection, which will enable us to mention many very ingenious
mechanical contrivances which were employed in the course of its progress.

The First Operations on the Ground.

From the great extent of the area required for the building, it was not to
be expected that any site would be found of the necessary size, perfectly
level. On the ground occupied by the building there is a difference of
level between the two extreme ends of about eight feet. In consequence of
this fall of the natural surface from west to east, and in order to avoid
having a considerable flight of steps at one end of the building to
compensate for it, it was determined to arrange the floor with an
inclination following nearly that of the ground, such fall being at the
rate of one inch in twenty-four feet. All the lines of the building which
would be called horizontal in fact follow this line of the floor, and those
which are supposed to be upright are placed at right angles to the floor,
and therefore slightly inclined from the perpendicular towards the east.
The deviation, however, is so exceedingly small as to be perfectly
imperceptible even to those who are aware of the fact; and no one who was
not previously informed of it would be able to detect it.

It has been mentioned that Messrs. Fox and Henderson's tender for the
building was verbally accepted on the 16th of July, 1850, and on the 30th
of that month they obtained possession of the site from the Commissioners
of Woods and Forests.

The first proceeding was to inclose the whole area (including a
considerable space at each end more than would be covered by the building)
with a hoarding about eight feet high, put together in a very simple
manner, so that the boards were afterwards available for the flooring. The
supports for the hoarding consisted of pieces of timber fixed in the ground
in pairs, at intervals of the length of the boards, leaving a narrow space
between them, into which the boards were dropped, and thus held in their
place without any nails. Temporary offices were then erected in a
convenient portion of the site, and were covered with a roofing which was a
specimen of that to be used in the building itself. Considerable ranges of
carpenters' sheds were also put up, and even stables for twenty or thirty
horses, which were required in the progress of the works.

Setting out the Ground.

The first thing to be done towards the building itself was to set out
accurately all the points where the columns would stand, as well as the
general outline of the building. It will be readily understood that this
was an exceedingly important part of the work, as upon its accuracy
depended the fitting together of the various parts that had afterwards to
be put in place.

This part of the work was executed with great precision by Mr. W. G.
Brounger. He commenced by determining the four extreme angles of the
building, and the centre lines of the main avenues. These formed fixed
points from which were determined the whole of the centres for the columns.

Our readers will recollect that the dimension of twenty-four feet occurs
horizontally throughout the building, either in multiples or sub-multiples.
In order to measure off the different distances, rods of American pine were
made, into which, near the ends, pieces of metal were fixed, having
corresponding notches at the exact distance of twenty-four feet apart. By
these means the lengths were measured off with great accuracy, as the wood
used is not liable to alteration in the length of its fibre; and by means
of the metal notches the rods were sure to be placed correctly together. It
was necessary to make these sockets or notches of metal, from the great
amount of work the rods had to perform.

In determining the length of the rods, the standard of the Astronomical
Society was used; and this was referred to in all important measurements
for the castings and other parts of the building, to insure their precise
eventual agreement in length. This will hardly be considered to have been
unnecessary when it is remembered that, from the great length of the
building, a very minute error in any of the parts would have been so
multiplied as sensibly to throw out the ends.

To those who are unacquainted with the fact, it may be well to mention that
the standard of length referred to is obtained from a pendulum, which
oscillates seconds, in the latitude of London, in a vacuum, at the level of
the sea, at a certain fixed temperature. The length of this pendulum is
then divided into a certain registered number of feet and inches.

The rods above described were carried along the centre lines of the
columns, and the position of each column was marked by a small stake driven
into the ground; and in order still more accurately to fix the centre, a
long nail was driven into the head of the stake. In this manner the
position of every column throughout the building was determined.

The level at which the floor was to be fixed was the next point determined
by the ordinary method of levelling, and stakes, with a [T section] piece
at the top, called boning-sticks, were fixed in different parts of the
building; by the aid of which the tops of the base-pieces for the columns
were all afterwards fixed in one plane of the required slope.

Fixing the Base Plates.

The next proceeding was to excavate the holes for the concrete, on which
the base-pieces were to stand. To do this, the stakes marking the centres
of the columns had to be removed, and it was therefore necessary to adopt
some method of finding those centres again with precision. For this purpose
a large carpenter's square, as it is called, was made. This instrument
forms a right-angled triangle, and in this instance was used in the
following manner:--The centre of its longest side, or hypothenuse, was
marked by a line, which, if continued, would pass through the right angle
of the triangle, and at an equal distance along each of the other sides of
the triangle from the right angle an upright saw-cut or notch was made. The
square was then placed horizontally, so that the line marked on the
hypothenuse coincided with that of the centres of a row of columns, and so
that the right-angled corner of the square touched the nail marking the
exact site of a column. Two small stakes were then driven under the notches
in the short arms of the square, and nails were driven into them through
the notches. It will be seen that by these means the site of the first
stake could easily be again ascertained after its removal. The holes for
the concrete were then dug of an oval form and of the various sizes and
depths required, and the concrete filled in to the proper height. The
gravel used for the concrete was raised in a pit at one end of the ground.

Next to the setting out of the positions of the columns, perhaps the
operation of fixing the base-pieces was that in which the greatest accuracy
was required; for as there were in some parts three storeys of columns to
be fixed over them, any inaccuracy as to their level or position would be
very much increased at the top of the building. To fix the base-pieces over
the centres that had been determined for the columns, another carpenter's
square was made use of, like that already described, but having the
right-angled corner cut out to the form of the section of a column. This
square being placed with the notches in its short sides over the two stakes
already described, the upright portion of the base-piece was fitted into
the notch at the angle; and as the reader will at once see, if he has
followed us in the description of the various processes, its correct
position was thus exactly found.

In order to determine the level of the top of the base-pieces,
boning-sticks were placed in the lines of the columns, and when the
base-piece had been approximately fixed, a piece of wood was placed on it
edgeways, the top of which was to range with the top of the boning-sticks.
This was easily arranged by looking along them; and the workmen drove down
the base-piece with a wooden mallet till the desired level was obtained.

From what has been previously stated, it may be gathered that the
base-pieces had to be fixed truly upright in one direction, but slightly
inclined in the other; and to effect this a plumb-rule was made, on which
the deviation from the perpendicular line was marked; and this, when
applied to those faces of the base-pieces which were to incline, served to
show when the proper inclination was arrived at, whilst an ordinary
plumb-rule applied to the other upright faces tested their vertical

The first column was raised on the ground on the 26th of September, but
little more than two months after the tender had been accepted. In the
meantime, many of the different castings had already arrived on the ground,
and a considerable advance had been made in the carpenter's work for the
gutters and other parts. The semi-circular ribs for the transept roof were
also being put together, and stacked in such a manner as not to stand in
the way of the other works.


We may mention here that every casting, as it came on to the ground, was
weighed and registered, and every girder proved, as already described; in
doing which considerable assistance was derived from one of Mr. Henderson's
patent Derrick cranes, which was erected near the proving-apparatus. By its
means a girder was raised from the waggon in which it arrived, placed on
the weighing-machine, weighed, removed to the proving-press, tested, raised
again, and deposited on the ground in a stack, in less than four minutes.

Henderson's Derrick Crane.

[Illustration: (FIG. 1.) HENDERSON'S DERRICK CRANE.]



A brief description of this useful engine may not be out of place here. It
consists of an upright mast (E), steadied when the crane is in use by two
sloping stays (F F). These stays are fixed into horizontal timbers (G) on
the ground, connected with the foundation-plate (H) on which the mast
turns. At the foot of the mast is fixed a combination of wheels and working
handles for raising the weight, technically called a crab. A beam (A)
working at the bottom in a socket (B, Fig. 3) fixed to the foot of the
mast, but hanging out from it in a sloping direction, is called the
DERRICK, and forms the principal peculiarity of the crane, as it can be
raised more to the upright line, or lowered to slope more outwards, as may
be desired, by means of the chain (C). The advantage of this is obvious;
for a weight may thus be raised from or deposited at any point within a
circle of a certain radius, depending on the length of the derrick;
whereas, in an ordinary crane, the weight can only be placed at points upon
the circumference of that circle. The whole engine revolves on a pivot (H,
Fig. 2) at the foot of the mast. Cranes of this description are made
varying in power from one to forty tons, and with derricks ranging from
twenty to sixty feet radius.

Raising and Fixing the Columns and Girders.

Many of the persons who visited the building during the progress of its
erection were heard to inquire "where was the scaffolding;" and others even
imagined that the skeleton framework they saw was, in fact, only the
scaffolding for the building, and not parts of its actual construction.
This leads us to point out one of the most interesting peculiarities of the
structure; namely, that it formed, as it were, the scaffolding for its own
erection. In order to raise the columns upon the base-pieces, two poles
were placed upright, connected by a horizontal piece, forming what is
called shear-legs; the whole being steadied in its position by ropes from
the summit fixed to the ground in various directions. A rope with pulleys
fixed to the horizontal piece served to hoist the column, and sustain it in
a vertical position until the bolts were passed through the projecting
rings at the bottom of the column and the corresponding ones at the top of
the base-piece, and screwed up. When two columns had been thus fixed, a
connecting-piece was attached to each end of a girder, and the whole raised
by the same apparatus, and fixed on the top of the columns; bolts being
passed through the holes in the projections of the connecting-pieces,
corresponding with those on the top of the columns. The shear-legs were
then moved on twenty-four feet to perform the same duties to another pair
of columns; and two sides of a 24-feet bay were thus formed. To complete
the square, two more girders were raised in a similar manner, and fixed
between the connecting-pieces over the columns. The square bay then became
a firm structure, requiring no further support; and by repeating these
operations all the smaller avenues of the building were erected, of the
different heights of one, two, or three storeys. The greatest number of
columns thus fixed in one week was 310.

[Illustration: FIXING THE GIRDERS.]

[Illustration: General View of the Works in Progress.]

Hoisting the Roof Trusses.

The wrought-iron roof-trusses over the 48-feet avenues were raised in a
similar manner to the columns and girders; and in all cases horses were
employed to run out the end of the fall-rope, which was passed through a
pulley or catch-block at the foot of the shear-legs, in order to change its
direction from vertical to horizontal.

For raising the roof-trusses of seventy-two feet span over the main avenue
a somewhat different method was employed. A single mast or derrick, more
than seventy feet high, was placed in the centre of the avenue, and
steadied in an upright position by guide-ropes spreading from the top in
various directions. Near its summit the hoisting-tackle was firmly lashed
on. The trusses to be hoisted were brought from the places where they had
been put together, and placed across the main avenue at the points where
they were to be fixed. Two ends of a stout chain were passed round the
upper portion of the truss, at points dividing its length into about three
equal parts. To this chain the hoisting-tackle was attached, guide-ropes
being further fastened to each end of the truss to steady it in its ascent.
In order to stiffen the truss horizontally, struts were attached at the
centre projecting on each side, and held in their place by tie-rods
attached to the upper part of the truss, and forming a triangle on each
side. Before the truss, therefore, could bend in a horizontal direction,
the attachment of these tie-rods must have given way. Six horses drew out
the end of the fall-rope, and in the course of a very few minutes the truss
was hoisted to its giddy height, and each end slipped in between the
projections made in the connecting-pieces to receive it.

The animated scene presented by these operations was highly interesting
from the number of men employed, both on the ground and for fixing the
trusses in their position aloft, and from the rapid progress so many hands
made. Each gang of men was managed by a foreman, who was obliged to issue
his orders through a speaking-trumpet, to enable his voice to be heard in
the din caused by the other works going on around. Besides the two large
gangs of men engaged in the hoisting of the trusses, other smaller gangs
were at work at different points getting up the columns and girders. In one
part, the roofing of which was completed as early as practicable, a crowd
of carpenters were preparing the Paxton's gutters and other portions of the
work. In another place, as soon as a sufficient space could be roofed over
and a temporary floor laid, various parts of the machinery we have already
described were fitted up and worked by portable steam-engines. Of these
there were three in different parts: one drove the machinery for finishing
the sash-bars, gutters, ridges, &c.; another worked the drilling, punching,
and other machinery connected with the iron-work; and a third was used for
working circular saws.

Of the number of trusses that were hoisted as above described, in only one
instance (and that the first) was the result otherwise than perfectly
successful. The first truss was raised by its ends, instead of from the
centre; but that method was afterwards abandoned, from the difficulty of
maintaining the truss in an upright position during its ascent; which was
important, as, if it turned on its side, its lateral strength was not
sufficient to prevent it from bending, which would have destroyed the
joints of the work.

One of the tall masts was worked on each side of the transept, from the
centre to the ends of the building, being maintained constantly in an
upright position, while traversing from point to point, by alternate
slackening and hauling up of the ropes which steadied it; and it was
curious to witness the motion of these tall giants, as they slowly
progressed from one point to another, in the performance of their important
office. Stout planks were laid along the ground, upon which the foot of the
mast was forced forward by crowbars and levers; the planks served also to
distribute the weight, which would otherwise have sunk the end into the
ground. As many as seven trusses were hoisted in one day by each derrick,
which had therefore to travel a distance of 168 feet.

So careful were the men, under the direction of the manager (to whom was
intrusted the active superintendence of the whole erection of the
building), that no accident of importance occurred in these difficult


Provision for Expansion of Girders.

In connexion with the fixing of the girders, it may be desirable to mention
the provision that was made for the expansion and contraction of the iron,
which in so great a length as that of the building might have otherwise
produced results prejudicial to its stability.

Between the projections cast on to the connecting-pieces and those
projecting from the ends of the girders which they were made to clip,
sufficient space was left for the introduction of oak keys, by driving in
which the girder was fixed in its place, whilst the compressibility of the
wood left sufficient play for the expansion of the metal. In describing the
girders, it was mentioned that in the upper and lower flat flanges small
sinkings were cast near the ends. Corresponding with these sinkings, a
notch was left in the projection which came out from the connecting-piece;
and when the girder was put into its place, iron wedges were driven in
between the notch and the sinking, by which means any lateral motion of the
girder was prevented. It was a great advantage to have the means of fixing
the girders of so simple a nature, as any arrangement presenting the least
complication, or requiring great nicety, would have materially retarded the
progress of the work.

The wrought-iron trusses were held by the connecting-pieces in a similar
manner to the cast-iron girders; but, as an additional security, bolts were
passed through holes provided in the standards at the ends, and through the
connecting-pieces, where they were screwed up with nuts.

The raising and fixing of the extra-strong roof-trusses crossing the main
avenue near the side of the transept required particular care, from their
great weight; the heaviest being, as we have before mentioned, no less than
eight tons. These trusses were the first that were fixed across the central
avenue, and about 150 men were engaged in the hoisting of each one. They
are secured to the columns by four strong bolts passing through the

In order to provide additional support for the great weight brought upon
the last-mentioned trusses by the transept roof, extra columns were
introduced underneath them. These were built up in storeys corresponding
with those of the other columns, with which they were connected, at the
levels of the girders, by bolts and straps. A cast-iron shoe, fixed on the
top of the columns, provided a bearing for the ends of the truss. The
columns just described project slightly into the main avenue from the line
of the other columns; and this is the only instance in the interior of the
building of the iron columns occurring at a less distance than twenty-four
feet apart.

Glazing the Roof.

We have now traced the erection of the building up to the level of the
roof, in which it will be readily conceived the operation of glazing was
one of extreme difficulty, there being no scaffolding to aid the workmen in
conducting their operations. When the glazing was first commenced a light
scaffolding was suspended from the rafters; but this was found to be too
tedious and troublesome a method of proceeding for so large an extent of
roofing. It was, moreover, of great importance that some means should be
devised for completing this part of the construction independently of the
weather; a matter of some moment, when it is remembered that the work had
to be done in the winter, when in our climate such operations are liable to
be very much impeded by heavy rain. The arrangements made to meet this
difficulty, as well as some others for carrying on the works, are very
clearly described in a paper by Mr. Digby Wyatt, read at the Institution of
Civil Engineers, on the 14th January, 1851, from which we quote some
passages, by permission, for the benefit of our readers.

With reference to the means employed for glazing the roof he says: "To
effect this purpose, a travelling stage was devised by Mr. Fox, which
superseded the necessity of any scaffolding for glazing, and by means of
seventy-six of these machines nearly the whole of the work has been
executed. The stage was about eight feet square, and rested on four small
wheels travelling in the Paxton's gutters. It thus embraced a width of one
bay of eight feet of the roof, with one ridge and two sloping sides. Each
bay in width required, therefore, a separate stage."

"Each stage was occupied by two workmen, and was covered by an awning of
canvass stretched over hoops, to protect them in bad weather, and was
further provided with a box on each side to contain a supply of glass. The
sash-bars and other materials were piled upon the stage itself, the centre
of the platform being left open for the convenience of hoisting up
materials, for which purpose there was a small iron arm with a single block


"Whilst working, the men sat at one end of the platform (the ridge having
been previously fixed in position by means of the extra-strong sash-bars),
and they fixed the glass in front of them, pushing the stage backwards as
they completed each pane. On coming to the strong sash-bars previously
fixed, they temporarily removed them to allow the stage to pass. In this
manner each stage travelled, uninterruptedly, from the transept to the east
and west ends of the building, and the glaziers were enabled to follow up
the previously-fixed work very closely. The average amount of glazing done
by one man per day was fifty-eight squares, or about 200 superficial feet;
and the largest amount done by any one man in a working-day was 108
squares, or 367 superficial feet."

The mode of fixing the squares of glass was this: a sash-bar having been
nailed down between the ridge and the gutter, the workman inserted one long
edge of a square of glass into the groove in the sash-bar, he then placed a
loose bar against the other long edge of the glass and brought the whole
down to bear upon the ridge and gutter, the second sash-bar fitting into
the notches prepared for it; the glass was then pressed up a little, in
order to insert its upper edge into the groove in the ridge, and the
workman then filled in the grooves on the outside of the glass with putty,
the lower edge of the glass having been also bedded on putty where it bears
on the edge of the gutter. The ends of each sash-bar were fixed with a nail
driven into the holes previously drilled.

Stage for Repairing Glass.

As it might naturally be expected that out of the thousands of panes of
glass employed, particularly in the flat roof of the building, many would
be broken in the course of the works, subsequently to their being fixed, it
was necessary that a ready means should be devised for repairing any such
damage, as the glazing-waggons used for the first execution of the work
would not be available for that purpose. A light stage was therefore
constructed, travelling with wooden wheels upon the ridges instead of in
the gutters; and from this the men were able to perform their work without
walking along the narrow gutters, which would have been attended with much
risk. This stage was also used for fixing the canvass on the outside of the
roofing, where it is nailed along the ridges, and allowed to bag down
slightly between them. The object of the canvass, which covers externally
the whole of the roof except the transept, is twofold: it preserves the
glass from damage, and also protects the objects exhibited from the direct
rays of the sun, which would, of course, in many instances, be very
prejudicial; for the latter purpose the upright sashes on the south side
are also covered with canvass on the inside.

Hoisting the Ribs for Transept Roof.

One of the most interesting operations which attracted the attention of the
numerous visitors to the works was the raising the ribs for the
semicircular roof of the transept, the description of which we give from
Mr. Wyatt's paper:--

"The operation about which most anxiety had been felt was the hoisting of
the arched ribs of the transept. These ribs were constructed on the ground
horizontally, and when completed with all their bolts, two of them were
reared on end, and maintained in a vertical position, at a distance of
twenty-four feet from each other, by guy-ropes. As the ribs singly
possessed little lateral stiffness, they were framed together in pairs with
the purlins, intermediate small ribs and diagonal tie-rods, forming a
complete bay of the roof twenty-four feet long; two complete sets of
temporary ties were also introduced to provide for the strains incident to
the variations in position of the ribs during the hoisting. The feet of the
ribs were bolted on to a stout piece of timber, and the lower purlins
strutted up from the same." In this state the framework is shown in the


"The whole framework was then moved on rollers to the centre of the square
formed by the intersection of the transept and the main avenue, where it
was afterwards hoisted. All the ribs were landed over this square, and were
afterwards moved on a tramway formed of a half baulk of timber constructed
over the columns on either side of the transept, at a height of about four
feet above the lead-flat. The hoisting-tackle consisted of four crabs, each
one being placed on the side of the transept opposite to the part of the
ribs to be lifted by it, so that the men at the crabs might watch the
effect of their exertions with greater convenience."

"The hoisting-shears were placed on the lead-flat immediately over the deep
trusses of seventy-two feet span; each set consisted of three stout
scaffold-poles, lashed together at the top, and footed on planks laid
across the flat, and secured by the necessary guy-ropes. The hoisting-rope
passed from each of the crabs across the transept horizontally, to a
leading block attached to the foot of the opposite angle column of the
square; it then passed up to a treble block fastened to the shears on the
flat, and from thence down to a double block secured by chains to the
bottom part of the ribs."

[Illustration: Hoisting the Ribs for the Transept Roof.]

"There was a peculiar difficulty to be overcome in this operation, which
arose from the circumstance that the width of the framework was greater
than that of the transept, the extreme width of the framework to be hoisted
being seventy-four feet, and the clear width apart of the trusses above
which it had to be hoisted being only seventy-one feet four inches. It was
therefore necessary to raise one side to a height of thirty-five feet
before raising the other, so as to diminish the horizontal width of the
whole, the diameter of the semicircle being maintained at this angle; the
whole was then hoisted, until the highest end could clear the tramway."

This accounts for the slanting position in which the ribs are shown in the
view given.

"The foot of the ribs on one side was then passed over the tramway
sufficiently to allow the other side to clear the opposite truss; after
which the whole was hoisted to the full height, and rested on rollers of
hard wood placed between the sills attached to the framework and the
tramway, by means of which it was moved to its permanent position. There it
was again raised by another set of shears, while the sill and tramway were
removed from under it; and the ribs were then lowered into the sockets
prepared for them, formed by the continuation of the columns above the
level of the lead-flat."

"Each successive pair of ribs was fixed at a distance of twenty-four feet,
or one bay from the preceding one; and the purlins, &c., were fixed in the
intervening space without any scaffolding from the ground, by means of
jointed ladders, which were adjusted to the form of the roof."

The first pair of ribs was hoisted December 4th, and the eighth pair on
December 12th. The operation, which was one of great excitement and
considerable anxiety, was personally superintended by the contractors,
aided by their most able foremen and assistants; and a crowd of visitors,
including many of the illustrious promoters of the undertaking, watched
with intense interest the steady ascent of the apparently unwieldy piece of
construction, and every spectator seemed astonished at the mechanical
regularity with which the whole operation proceeded. It took about one hour
to raise a pair from the ground to the level of the lead-flat, and the
whole was done without any accident whatever. About sixty men were employed
in the hoisting, there being eleven men to each crab, and the remainder on
the lead-flats.

Glazing the Transept Roof.

The semicircular form of the transept roof rendered it necessary to adopt a
different mode of operation for glazing it to that used in the horizontal
portion. A stage, thirty-two feet long and about three feet wide, with a
protecting rail at the side, was constructed, so that it rested upon
rollers, travelling on the ridges. It was slung by ropes from the crown of
the arched roof, and could be raised and lowered at pleasure. It
accommodated eight workmen, with the necessary quantity of materials in
sash-bars and glass; and they thus performed, with ease and rapidity, an
operation which before the fitting-up of the stage appeared at least
extremely difficult, and to the uninitiated next to impossible.


The men commenced fixing the glass at the bottom or springing of the arch,
and as they completed their work the stage was raised at intervals by
labourers stationed on the lead-flat. A portion of the glazing at the crown
of the arch was effected by men working on a light scaffold, suspended
within from the temporary ties mentioned as having been attached to the
ribs; whilst those upon the stage worked upwards till they joined the
portion done from the top.

The Painting.

A portion of the work which necessarily occupied a very large amount of
time was the painting, which was necessary for the preservation of all the
parts, as well as for their appearance; and when it is considered that
every portion required to be gone over four times, it must be evident that
it was highly desirable to adopt some means for facilitating the operation.
It was found that the sash-bars of the roof, being in short lengths and of
small dimensions, could readily be operated upon by some mechanical


A wooden trough was made sufficiently long to receive the sash-bars, and
this was filled with paint; a number of the bars were then put into it, and
upon being taken out separately, they were passed through a frame into
which a set of brushes were fixed in such a manner as to clear off all the
unnecessary paint. Two small brushes, placed where the bar first entered
the frame, cleared out the grooves. One workman pushed the bar in at one
end of the frame, which was about two feet six inches long, and another
drew it out at the other end, where a trough was placed to receive any
droppings of paint. The bars were then stacked upright, until they were
sufficiently dry for the next coat. The first coat only was put on by this
apparatus, the second being done in the ordinary manner, and the last not
till after the work was all fixed in its place. By means of this apparatus
a workman could perform at least ten times the amount of work done in the
ordinary way.


The finishing the painting of the various parts of the roof internally,
after they had been put together, was very ingeniously managed, so that
while the workmen were able to work with ease to themselves, the
scaffolding on which they stood required no supports from the ground, where
they would have been much in the way of other operations; loops of
wrought-iron were hooked on to the roof-trusses, and by means of these a
perfect cloud of scaffold-boards was suspended, enabling between 400 and
500 men to be at work at one time. The roof of the main avenue,
particularly, presented a very singular appearance, as nearly one half of
the entire length was thus covered at one time, and a crowd of painters
were at work over the heads of many, perhaps unconscious exhibitors, who
were arranging their goods undisturbed below.

The Hand-rail Machine.

One of the mechanical contrivances which were put up on the ground during
the works, for saving labour and increasing the rapidity of production,
remains to be mentioned; it was contrived for turning out the rounded
mahogany hand-rail for the gallery railing as well as that for the

The mahogany being supplied in slabs of the requisite thickness, these were
first cut up by circular saws into pieces of a square section, and the
angles of these were then bevelled off by the same means; the lengths were
afterwards transferred to the hand-rail cutting machine to be rounded.



The principal portion of the machine consists of a hollow cast-iron
cylinder, round which a strap may be passed to drive it. At one end of this
cylinder four cutters are fixed, so that a piece of wood passing between
them and through the cylinder, as it revolves, is rounded off to a true
circular form of section, and is turned out so smoothly finished as to
require scarcely any further work upon it before fixing. In advance of the
cutters pressure-rollers are placed, furnished with teeth; and these, as
they are turned round by a cranked handle, seize upon a piece of mahogany
and force it forward against the cutters, which form, as it were, the jaws
of the hollow cylinder, which thus seems to be constantly swallowing
lengths of rough mahogany, which escape from it finished. The wooden rail
is passed up to the cutters along a groove, the end of which is shown in
the small engraving; and opposite each end of the revolving cylinder
springs are fixed, which prevent the rail from shifting its position. The
hand-rail was all turned out in 21-feet lengths, of which about thirty were
completed in the day.

General View of the Works.

We have mentioned that the actual commencement of the building was made by
fixing one of the columns on the 26th of September; and, within a few
weeks, more than a thousand men were at work, though, from the great extent
of the ground they were spread over, it was difficult to estimate their
number, which was, however, made apparent by the rapidity with which the
building began to grow. The place presented an animated and interesting
scene, which attracted a great number of visitors; and crowds of the fair
sex were not deterred by the rough state of the ground from endeavouring to
satisfy their proverbial thirst for knowledge. In one part of the ground
might be seen the putting together of the wrought-iron roof-girders to the
deafening tune of more than a hundred hammers; in another place gutters
were being put together by the mile, for which some hundred or two of
sawyers were cutting up ship-loads of timber. Three portable steam-engines
in various parts were driving the different machinery already described,
which, however, was mostly grouped in one place near the transept. The
central avenue formed, of course, the great thoroughfare, where teams of
horses were constantly passing, dragging the slender columns, or
unwieldy-looking girders, to their places, while other teams were engaged
in running them up to their final position. Over-head, too, the glaziers'
waggons, dotted about the roof, seemed to be running on some new aerial
railways; in every direction that the eye turned the busy scene extended.

For carrying on these extensive works an immense number of men were
necessarily employed on the spot, besides those occupied in preparing the
various parts at different places. The greatest number of men on the ground
in any one week was 2,260; and the season of the year frequently rendered
it necessary for the workmen to continue their labours after dark, which
they did partly by the light of huge bonfires of shavings and odd scraps of
wood. The effect of these great fires, which were generally lighted in some
part of the main avenue, was exceedingly grand. The light of the tall
flames was reflected from the glass of the roof far away into the darkness
which concealed all the other parts; whilst occasionally a lantern carried
by a workman engaged in fixing the upper columns, or some part of the roof,
glimmered like some new star.

On one occasion, when the greatest efforts were being made to push on the
progress of the works, no less than twelve large bonfires lighted the men
at their midnight toil; and had the building been formed of combustible
materials, a passing observer would have imagined that the whole was in

Paying the Workmen.

The process of distributing their wages among so large a number of men, on
every recurring Saturday evening, was one which could only be effected
within a reasonable time by some systematic arrangement; and to such
perfection was this brought in the course of the works, that the whole
number of 2,000 men or upwards were sometimes paid in little more than an
hour; though at first it occupied a considerably longer time.

The mode in which this was effected was as follows:--When a workman was
engaged his name was entered in a book against a certain number, which was
stamped on several brass tickets, three of which were given to each workman
before leaving the ground in the evening.


Every man had to enter the premises three times in the course of the day;
namely, the first thing in the morning, after returning from breakfast, and
after returning from dinner. On each occasion he was required to deposit at
the gate one of these tickets, which were afterwards sorted by the clerks,
and entered in the time-book. In this way, if a man failed to come to his
work, his ticket would be missing, and the time during which he was absent
would not be entered; a corresponding amount being deducted from his week's

On the Saturday, each man's time was made up from the book; and his wages
calculated accordingly, and the amount entered against his name. The money
due to each man was then counted out and placed in a small tin box, with a
ticket, on which was written the man's name and number, and the amount of
wages paid to him.


All this was done in the time-keeper's office, which was conveniently
placed near the entrance to the works. When all the preliminary
arrangements had been completed, the workmen's bell was rung, and they
assembled (a motley and sometimes clamorous crowd) round the pay-office,
which was provided with two small openings through which the payments were


Two men stationed outside the office then called over the numbers of the
workmen, who presented themselves, in the order in which they were called,
at the pay-windows, where each man took the small box passed out to him
with the money, and left the box in passing out at the gate. If any man
considered the amount of wages paid to him not correct, he presented the
ticket given to him with the wages at the office on the Monday morning
following, when the matter was arranged by the time-keeper.


Any person acquainted with the irregular habits of vast numbers of our
workmen, who will often be absent from their work a quarter of a day, and
at other times a whole day, thus varying the amount of wages due at the end
of the week to almost every man, will at once see that, without a
well-arranged system, such as that described, the payment of so large a
body of men would have occupied as many days as it really did hours. The
engravings annexed, in illustration of this part of our subject, will
convey to the reader some idea of the scene we have endeavoured to
describe, though it must fall far short of the picturesque reality.

General Statistics.

It is with great pleasure that we are able to mention that, notwithstanding
the difficult character of some of the work, and the extreme rapidity with
which it was carried on, very few accidents of importance occurred; a
circumstance which must be ascribed to the great care taken by the
contractors for the safety of the men while engaged in their work: and in
the cases where the accidents that occurred were of a serious or fatal
kind, their origin was mostly to be traced to a neglect of those
precautions which the men were constantly urged and ordered to take.

A few statistics of the quantities of different parts of the work not
already mentioned will complete this portion of our subject. The whole
amount of iron-work in the building is stated at about 4000 tons; and about
1,200 loads of timber were required for the wood-work. There are 2,941
trussed gutters in the roof, and 1,495 glazed sashes were required to
inclose the sides of the building. As many as 316 iron girders were cast,
in one week, and 442 lengths of the Paxton's gutters were cut out by the
machinery in the same time. No less than 18,392 squares of glass,
containing 62,508 feet superficial, or about one-and-a-half acres, were
also fixed in one week.

It may be further mentioned that the weight of the different parts forming
the flat ridge-and-furrow roofing amounts to three-and-a-quarter pounds per
foot superficial, on the whole surface; the weight of the arched roof of
the transept, including the ribs, amounts to five-and-three-quarter pounds
per superficial foot; and the timbers and boards of the gallery floor weigh
eight-and-a-half pounds to the superficial foot: from these data the actual
weight on the different girders may be calculated.

The light iron-work, with the exception of some of the gallery railing, was
cast at the works of the contractors near Birmingham; and the remainder,
including the columns, girders, &c., was distributed between their own
foundry, and those of the Messrs. Cochrane, of Wood Side, and Mr. Jobson,
of Holly Hall, both near Dudley. The wrought-iron was supplied by Messrs.
Fothergill, and the timber by Messrs. Dowson and Co.

The Parti-coloured Painting.

The coloured decoration introduced in finishing the painting of the
building is a subject which has been much discussed, and many suggestions
have been made by persons generally received as authorities on the subject.
The system adopted was proposed by Mr. Owen Jones, under whose active
superintendence it has been carried out. That gentleman explained his
reasons for its adoption, and the effect which he expected it to produce,
in a lecture at the Institute of British Architects, on the 16th of
December, 1850, some portions of which are submitted to our readers:--

"It is not necessary for me to describe the building, the painting of which
we are now about to discuss, as it is well known to most of you by its
marvellous dimensions, the simplicity of its construction, and the
advantage which has been taken of the power which the repetition of simple
forms will give in producing grandeur of effect; and I wish now to show
that this grandeur may be still further enhanced by a system of colouring
which, by marking distinctly every line in the building, will increase the
height, the length, and the bulk.

"The very nature of the material of which this building is mainly
constructed, viz., iron, requires that it should be painted. On what
principle shall we do this? Should we be justified in adopting a simple
tint of white or stone colour, the usual method of painting iron? Now, it
must be borne in mind that this building will be covered on the south side,
and over the whole of the roof, with canvass, so that there can be but
little light and shade. The myriads of similar lines, therefore, of which
the building is composed, falling one before the other, would lose all
distinctness, and form, in fact, one dull cloud overhanging the Exhibition.

"A line of columns (as it may be seen even now at the building) would
present the effect of a white wall, and it would be impossible, in the
distance, to distinguish one column from another. This mode of painting
would have the further disadvantage of rendering the building totally
unconnected with the various objects it is to contain.

"May the building be painted of a dark colour, like the roofs of some of
our railway-stations? This, equally with the white method, would present
one mass of indistinctness; the relief of the cast-iron would disappear,
and each column and girder would present to the eye but a flat silhouette.

"Let us now consider the building as painted with some pale neutral tint,
dull green or buff. In doing this we should be perfectly safe, as, provided
the colours were not too pale so as to be indistinct, or too dark so as
sensibly to affect the eye, we could hardly make a mistake. Yet how tame
and monotonous would be the result! It would be necessary that this tint,
whichever we might choose, should be of a very subdued neutral character,
in order to avoid the difficulty well known to mounters of drawings and
painters of picture-galleries, viz., that in proportion as you incline to
any particular shade of colour, so in that exact proportion you injure or
destroy those objects it is intended to relieve which may have similar
colour. To this, then, we should be reduced--a dull monotonous colour
without character. How unworthy this would be of the great occasion!  How
little would it impress the public! How little would it teach the artist!
It would be to cut instead of patiently to unravel the knot.

"We are now brought to the consideration of the only other well-defined
system which presents itself, namely, parti-colouring. This, I conceive, if
successfully worked out, would bring the building and its contents into
perfect harmony, and it would fitly carry out one of the objects for which
this Exhibition was formed, namely, that of promoting the union of the
fine-arts with manufactures. It would be an experiment on an immense scale,
which, if successful, would tend to dispel the prejudices of those whose
eyes are yet unformed to colour, to develope the imperfect appreciations of
others, and to save this country from the reproach which foreign visitors,
more educated in this particular than ourselves, would not fail to make
were the building otherwise painted; it would everywhere bring out the
construction of the building, which, as I said before, would also appear
higher, longer, and more solid."

Mr. Jones then adduced the practice of the ancient and mediæval artists,
and explained the kind of colours they generally adopted, mentioning that
in the best periods of art the primary colours were chiefly or exclusively

"In the decoration of the Exhibition building I therefore propose to use
the colours blue, red, and yellow, in such relative quantities as to
neutralise or destroy each other; thus no one colour will be dominant or
fatiguing to the eye, and all the objects exhibited will assist, and be
assisted by, the colours of the building itself.

"In house-decoration we occasionally find a run on one colour; thus we have
a green room, a pink room, and a red room; but it would obviously be unwise
to adopt any one colour for this building, whose contents will be of all
imaginable hues from white to black. Discarding, on the other hand, the
perfect neutral white as unfit for the occasion, we naturally adopt the
colours blue, red, and yellow, in or near the neutral proportions of eight,
five, and three; but to avoid any harsh antagonism of the primary colours
when in contact, or any undesired complementary secondaries arising from
the immediate proximity of the primaries, I propose, in all cases, to
interpose a line of white between them, which will soften them and give
them their true value.

"As one of the objects of decorating a building is to increase the effect
of light and shade, the best means of using blue, red, and yellow is to
place blue, which retires, on the concave surfaces; yellow, which advances,
on the convex; and red, the colour of the middle distance, on the
horizontal planes; and the neutral white on the vertical planes.

"Following out this principle on the building in question, we have red for
the under-side of the girders, yellow on the round portions of the columns,
and blue in the hollow parts of the capitals.

"Now, it is necessary not only to put the several colours in the right
places, but also to use them in their due proportions to each other.

"Mr. Field, in his admirable works on colour, has shown by direct
experiment that white light consists of blue, red, and yellow, neutralising
each other in the proportions of eight, five, and three. It will readily be
seen, that the nearer we can arrive at this state of neutrality the more
harmonious and light-giving will a building become; and an examination of
the most perfect specimens of harmonious colouring of the ancients will
show that this proportion has generally obtained among them; that is to
say, broadly, there has been as much blue as the yellow and red put
together, the light and the shade balancing each other.

"Of course, we cannot in decorating buildings always command the exact
proportions of coloured surface which we require; but the balance of
colours can always be obtained by a change in the colours themselves. Thus,
if the surfaces to be coloured should give too much yellow, we should make
the red more crimson and the blue more purple; that is, we should take the
yellow out of them. So, if we had too much blue, we should make the yellow
more orange, and the red more scarlet.

"A practised eye will as readily do this as a musician can tune a musical
instrument; it is here that science abandons the artist, who must trust to
his own perceptions, cultivated by renewed trials and repeated failures."

In concluding, Mr. Jones said, with reference to some specimens of the
proposed decoration which had been executed, "I would ask you to banish
from your minds the glare of light by which this decoration is now seen--to
forget the rough foreground, where men are engaged in every variety of
occupation for the completion of this great building; and I would ask you
to fill it in imagination with the gorgeous products of every clime. I
would ask you to picture to yourselves in the foreground the brilliant
primaries, blue, red, and yellow--the rich secondaries, purple, amber, and
green, moulded in forms of every conceivable diversity; and, lastly,
against them the darker tertiaries fading into neutral perspective.

"The conception of such an effect, difficult even to the artist accustomed
to abstract his attention from present interruptions and to calculate
future harmonies, is impossible to the uninstructed spectator, who, from
the experimental decoration of a single column, draws a premature and,
necessarily, a fallacious inference as to the collective effect of the

"From my brother architects I hope for a more patient, a more
comprehensive, and a fairer appreciation; for myself, I have a confident
hope, grounded on the experience of years devoted to this particular branch
of art, that the principles and plans I have had the honour to propose to
the Royal Commission, for the decoration of this magnificent structure,
will be found, when complete, not to disappoint the public expectations, or
to prove wholly unworthy of the great occasion."

In this lecture, Mr. Owen Jones asked his hearers, and the public
generally, to suspend their final judgment upon his system of colouring
until the whole should be completed, and the building filled with the
objects to be exhibited, as he considered that many of the objections which
were raised to his proposition resulted from a want of consideration of the
ultimate effect to be produced by the whole, when completed and occupied;
and so far as this effect has been realised, we believe it has inclined the
public opinion more in favour of the coloured decoration than originally,
when it was undoubtedly very strongly commented upon in various quarters.
Without venturing to express any opinion ourselves, we may trust that Mr.
Owen Jones's fondest hopes will be fully realised.

[Illustration: View of the Building from the North Bank of the Serpentine.]

The Water Supply.

The supply of water necessary both for the protection of this enormous
building from fire, and for the use of fountains and machinery to be
exhibited, is furnished at a very liberal rate by the Chelsea Waterworks'
Company. It is brought into the building by a 9-inch main pipe, at about
the centre of its length, branching out into three 6-inch pipes, which
extend throughout the whole length of the building. Short pipes branch off
from these, terminating in fire-cocks, placed at such distances that a
circle of 120-feet radius from any one of them will touch a similar circle
described round the adjacent ones; by which means the whole extent of the
building may be brought under the action of hose attached to each of the
fire-cocks. The water is supplied at a pressure equal to a column of about
seventy feet, so as to work the fountains that will be exhibited, and to
play efficiently from hose in case of any accident by fire. The quantity
which the Company have undertaken to supply is 300,000 gallons a day.

The Stability of the Building.

The subject of the strength and stability of the building is one on which
considerable anxiety has been felt, both by the public at large and by
those professional bodies more capable of forming a correct judgment upon
it. In the prolonged discussion which followed the reading of Mr. Wyatt's
paper at the Institution of Civil Engineers, many points of objection were
raised which seemed at first sight of a very serious nature; but, in most
cases, the answers that were given to them were perfectly satisfactory. The
two greatest difficulties raised were, firstly, the enormous surface
presented by the exterior to the pressure of the wind, with apparently but
a slight power of resistance; and, secondly, the construction of the
galleries, which, it was thought, would not be able to resist the vibratory
motion likely to be produced by great numbers of people walking upon them.
The results of several calculations were adduced on the occasion alluded to
in support of the objections on the first point; but perhaps the best
answer that could be given to them was the circumstance mentioned by Mr.
Fox--that on the 5th of that month (January) the pressure of the wind,
which blew a perfect gale, was not only much above the average, but very
nearly reached the greatest amount known within a considerable period in
London--about 25lbs. per square foot; and that as the building, although in
an incomplete state, had resisted that pressure without receiving any
injury, it was fair to conclude that, when finished, it would be able to
sustain the greatest force which the wind could be reasonably expected to
exert upon it.

The question of the strength of the galleries was one of even greater
importance than the other, as, in case of any failure in that part of the
building, human life must almost inevitably have been sacrificed to a great
extent. It was therefore deemed necessary to ascertain, as far as was
practicable, by experiment, that their strength was abundantly sufficient;
and in Mr. Wyatt's paper, as printed, the following description of the
experiments instituted for this purpose will be found.

Testing the Galleries.

In the interval between the reading of this paper and its going to press a
series of experiments have been tried to ascertain the action of these
galleries under the strain of a moving load. A complete bay, twenty-four
feet square, was constructed, raised slightly from the ground, consisting
of the four cast-iron girders, with the connecting-pieces at the angles,
and on this the timbers and boards of the flooring. Rows of planks the full
width of the platform led up to it and down from it, so that a body of men
as wide as the gallery might be able to march up and down in close rank.

"The area of the platform was first covered over with labourers packed as
closely together as possible; but no action of walking, running, or jumping
that 300 men could perform did any injury whatever to it, and the greatest
deflection of the girders did not exceed a quarter of an inch. Soldiers of
the corps of Royal Sappers and Miners were then substituted for the
contractors' men; and although the perfect regularity of their step in
marking time sharply appeared a remarkably severe test, a minute
examination of the construction after the completion of the experiments
showed that no damage whatever had been done by their evolutions.

"But as the Commissioners were deeply impressed with the necessity of
thoroughly convincing the public, who should visit the Exhibition, that
they might feel perfectly secure in every part of the building, it was
deemed desirable to apply a still further test to the actual galleries as
they stand; as it might perhaps be said that the single bay which had been
experimented upon was not similarly circumstanced to those forming parts of
the building.

[Illustration: Testing the Gallery Floor.]

[Illustration: View of the Boiler House.]

"For this purpose a very ingenious apparatus was devised by the late Mr.
Field, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, for testing the
stability of the galleries _in situ_, and on being applied over the greater
part of the building not a single bolt or girder gave way under its action.
This apparatus consisted of eight square wooden frames divided into
thirty-six compartments, each just capable of containing and allowing to
rotate a 68-pounder shot. The surfaces of the balls placed in each of these
compartments came in contact with the gallery floor, the frames themselves
being attached to one another and running along the floor by means of
castors fixed at the angles; the whole apparatus being drawn along by a
number of men. Two hundred and eighty-eight 68-pound shot confined in a
limited area were thus set rolling over more than half the extent of the
galleries; when, not the slightest mishap having occurred, the experiment
was considered decisive, and a persistence in it deemed unnecessary."

The pressure obtained in this experiment amounted to about a hundred pounds
per square foot, and it had been ascertained that the greatest pressure
caused by packing men together as closely as possible was equal to about
ninety-five pounds per square foot; so that the testing force applied was
considered amply sufficient, as a considerable portion of the surface of
the gallery will be occupied by light articles exhibited in the cases and
stalls which are placed along the centre of the gallery, where a great
weight would have most effect.

This ingenious method of proving the strength of the galleries _in situ_,
without endangering those engaged in the experiment, is admirable; and the
result of the proof will no doubt allay all fear in the mind of the public
as to the safety of this portion of the building.

General Advantages of the Building.

It is always much easier to point out the defects of any work than its
excellences; whilst we may, therefore, safely leave the former, as regards
our present subject, to be discovered and enlarged upon by those who may be
perhaps more competent than ourselves, we will attempt to point out what we
conceive to be some of the advantages obtained in the present building.

One of the principal of these, considering throughout the purpose of the
structure, is, perhaps, the uninterrupted view of the interior which the
spectator may obtain from any point of the building--a matter of great
importance to the general grandeur of its effect. From the galleries more
particularly, which will be less obstructed by large objects, the eye of
the spectator will be able to range from end to end of the vast edifice;
while the transparency of the material used for the roof allows every
object to be brilliantly illuminated. The slender lines of the supports,
though they serve to sustain a protecting covering, scarcely interrupt the
view of the objects protected, and the absence of any fixed divisions or
partitions enables all the articles exhibited to be so arranged as to suit
the peculiar requirements of each particular class; while the ample space
between the supports has admitted of the formation of large open avenues
for the free passage of visitors, who may thus reach as readily the
remotest corners of the building as those situated near the entrances; and
whenever the visitor may find himself fatigued by the labour of
sight-seeing, he will be sure to find himself near one of the numerous
exit-doors, whereby he may immediately free himself from the crowd of

From the simplicity of the details of the construction, and their constant
recurrence, it will be seen that so long as the ends of the building were
left incomplete, its size could easily be limited or expanded, so as to
include that precise amount of space which, up to the last moment when the
point could be kept open, appeared most likely to be required. This
simplicity of arrangement will also be found very advantageous in case the
building is removed after the termination of its present temporary purpose;
as the parts may be easily separated without much injury, and as readily
re-erected, either as a whole, or even in many separate buildings, having
the same arrangement of parts, without the same general form or appearance.

It has been calculated that the passages remaining in the building, after
deducting the space appropriated to the objects exhibited, will hold more
than 100,000 persons; though it is not to be expected that half that number
will be collected there at one time. The ventilation and supply of fresh
air for so vast a throng was therefore a matter of the first importance;
and the means already described for accomplishing this great object are so
ample, that any inconvenience from oppressive heat or foul air can hardly
be expected. The canvass with which the roof is covered will not only serve
to modify the heat of the sun in the interior, but it is expected that if
it be watered by the hose of engines, it may even reduce the temperature
within to considerably below that of the external air. From his experience
in glass-houses for horticultural purposes, Mr. Paxton speaks confidently
on this point.

The arrangement of the construction of the building resting on isolated
instead of continuous supports, will enable all traces of it to be readily
effaced from the site if it is removed; and, on the other hand, if it
remains, it is evidently peculiarly suited to form a vast winter-garden and
public promenade.


Before taking leave of the reader who may have patiently followed us thus
far, a few words may be necessary on the general arrangement of the
articles to be exhibited in the building whose outline and details we have
been endeavouring to trace. The first classification is geographical. All
the western half of the building is given to England, and the eastern,
which is rather the larger of the two, to foreign countries; the space
assigned to each country being distinctly defined, so as to avoid the
possibility of any disputes. As far as it was possible, the space for each
country is so arranged as to have a frontage towards the main central
avenue, and in most cases occupies a strip the whole width of the building;
the visitor, therefore, passing up and down the length, will not miss out
any country.

In the central avenue, and immediately on either side of it, are placed the
most remarkable specimens of objects coming under the class of fine-arts,
or otherwise sufficiently remarkable to entitle them to such a prominent
place. Behind these, in the side avenues, will be found the various
specimens of manufactured articles; and along the outside longitudinal
avenues are placed, on the south side, those belonging to the class of raw
products (a portion being devoted to agricultural implements), and the
projecting portion of the building on the north side forms the hall of
machinery, which is separated by a partition of glazed sashes from the rest
of the building. Many of the articles will be grouped in courts, an
arrangement which the construction particularly leads to; and these will
probably form some of the greatest attractions in the Exhibition, each
being, as it were, complete in itself, and the inclosures preventing the
eye from being distracted by distant objects. To enter further into the
detail of this part of the subject would be foreign to the purpose of this
work, the building itself being our text.

We have now, we believe, completed the pleasant task we proposed to
ourselves at the outset, and we hope that in doing so we may have been able
to render interesting to our general readers this description of
operations, usually occupying the attention of the technical professions
only. With this intention, we have avoided as far as possible the use of
technical terms, which would be a dead letter to the uninitiated, at the
risk, perhaps, of being considered inaccurate by those acquainted with all
the details of the subject.

So many men whose eminent talent is well known and appreciated by the
public have been engaged in perfecting the designs and carrying out the
erection of this vast structure, that the critic should be one of no mean
reputation who would venture to raise even a small voice of individual
criticism on its merits. We have considered it, therefore, to be our part
rather to record the opinions of others on any points where a discussion
has been raised than to trouble the reader with any personal views, which
would, perhaps, have only appeared impertinent.

The nature and extent of the difficulties which have been successfully
surmounted in carrying out this great work can only be fully appreciated by
those intimately acquainted with all its structural details and with its
rapid progress; and its completion in so short a period must be regarded as
a striking instance of the productive power and spirit of commercial
enterprise of this country, while the fact of its being defrayed by the
voluntary contributions of the people will illustrate in an interesting
manner to our continental visitors that principle of self-government which
forms the basis of all our institutions, and the spirit of private
enterprise which characterises most of our great undertakings.

The illustrative engravings with which we have endeavoured to render more
interesting the descriptive details, necessarily somewhat dry to the
general reader, are only intended to convey general ideas, without
attempting that minute accuracy which would be required in a more technical
work; and with reference to some of them we take this opportunity of
acknowledging the assistance our artists have derived from views already
published elsewhere, others having been exclusively drawn for the present

We have much pleasure in presenting our readers, in the Appendix, with
views and descriptions of two of the most striking designs sent in the
first competition for the building, the materials for which have been
kindly afforded us by their respective authors; and we may remind the
reader that these two designs were specially mentioned by the Building
Committee in their Report already quoted. In the same place some
interesting documents connected with the building will also be found, which
we were unable to insert in the text.




  Mons. Acollas, Architecte, 33, Rue Lafayette, à Paris.
  Messrs. Aickin and Capes, 1, Clarence-street, Islington.
  W. Albon, Esq., 32, Abingdon-street, Westminster.
  C. B. Allen, Architect, 9, Great College-street, Westminster.
  F. C. Anderson, Esq., 9, Holles-street, Cavendish-square.
  _Architekton_ (W. Bardwell, 4, Great Queen-street, Westminster).
  Henry Ashton, Esq., 50A, Lower Brooke-street.
  John S. Austin, Architect, Bedford.
  William Austin, Esq., High-street, East Dereham, Norfolk.
  C. Badger, Esq., Architect, 40, Rue Blanche, Paris.
  R. Baly, Esq., 14, Buckingham-street, Adelphi.
  Alfred Beaumont, Architect, 5, Warwick Chambers, Beak-street.
  Richard Bell, Architect, Pope's Head Chambers, Cornhill.
  W. Bell, Esq., Clift Cottage, Coronation-road, Bristol.
  Thomas Bellamy, Esq., 8, Charlotte-street, Bedford-square.
  Mons. Felix Belleflamme, Brussels.
  J. S. Benest, Esq., 21, Rutland-street, Hampstead-road.
  J. H. Bertram, M. Inst. C. E., Reading.
  John Black, Esq., 33, Ernest-street, Regent's Park.
  E. Blatchley, Esq., Jun., 362, Oxford-street.
  Mons. Alphonse Botrel, Architecte, 121, Rue Poissonnière, Paris.
  A. W. Boulnois, Esq., Bazaar, King-street, Baker-street.
  W. Boyle, Esq., 5, Little George-street, Westminster.
  R. Brandon, Architect, 11, Beaufort-buildings, Strand.
  R. Broad, Esq., Horseley Works, Tipton.
  B. Broadbridge, Architect, 35, Ladbroke-square, Notting-hill.
  F. Brown, Esq., Francis-street, Torrington-square.
  R. Brown, Esq., 41, Lord-street, Liverpool.
  J. B. Bunning, Esq., Guildhall.
  George A. Burn, Architect, George-place, Hammersmith.
  H. P. Burt, Esq., 238, Blackfriars-road.
  John G. Grace, Esq., 14, Wigmore-street.
  E. I. C., Alnwick.
  Mons. J. Cailloux, 25, Marché St. Honoré, Paris.
  A. F. Campbell, Esq., 104, Pall Mall, Reform Club.
  Henry Case, Esq., 19, Hanover Villas, Kensington Park.
  James Catt, Esq., Blackheath Park.
  Mons. J. Charpentier, Architecte, 15, Rue Larochefoucalt, Paris.
  J. Claringbull, Esq., 95, Herbert-street, New North-road.
  Mons. Henri van Cléemputte, Laon, France.
  Mons. J. P. Cluysenaar, Architecte, Bruxèlles.
  J. Colshurst, Esq., 36, Jermyn-street, St. James's.
  John Colson, Architect, Winchester.
  Mons. J. W. Conrad, Chief Engineer, La Haye, Holland.
  C. E. Coote, Esq., Clifton.
  W. R. Corson, Architect, 3, Albion-place, Leeds.
  H. Courtney, Esq., 39, Awylne-road, Canonbury-square, Islington.
  David Cowan, Esq., 9, Hungerford-street, Strand.
  Mons. Crémont, 10, Place des Vosges, Paris.
  W. Cruikshank, Esq., 24, Duke-street.
  Mons. E. Damas de Culture, 20, Rue Mazayran, Paris.
  G. J. Darley, Esq., C.E., 7, Kildare-street, Dublin.
  Mons. A. Delaage, 6, Place de l'Oratoire du Louvre, Paris.
  W. Dennis, Esq., Church-street, Hackney.
  Charles Downes, Esq., 29, Coleshill-street, Eaton-square.
  Francis Drake, Esq., 11, Calthorpe-street, Gray's-inn-road.
  Henry Duesbury, Architect, Kensington Gore.
  Mons. Duflocq, 96, Rue Rochechouart, Paris.
  Mons. Dupuy, 9, Rue Duplessés, Versailles.
  Mons. Dusillion, Architecte, Thoune Suisse, Faubourg St. Germain, Paris.
  Mons. A. Durand, Moulins, France.
  O. C. Edwards, Esq., Gloucester.
  J. Eldudge, Esq., 16, Somerset-place, New Road, Commercial-rd. East.
  J. Elliott, Architect, 28, Portland-terrace, Southampton.
  M. G. Fétar van Elven, Architecte, Amsterdam.
  D. Erskine, Esq., 58, Clerk-street, Edinburgh.
  W. J. Everitt, Esq., 1, Garden-street, Stepney-green.
  Mons. Théodore Faure, 2, Little Argyle-street, Regent-street.
  Mons. F. Desaint Félix, and E. E. White, Architects, Ipswich.
  Mons. Henri Fevre, Architecte, 41, Rue de Vaugirard, à Paris.
  F. Finlay, Esq., 26, Duke-street, Westminster.
  Charles Folkard, Esq., C.E., 56, King-street, Whitehall.
  David Colin Forbes, Esq., Stirling.
  James Forrest, Esq., C.E., 25, Great George-street.
  W. Freebody, Esq., 9, Duke-street, Westminster.
  S. C. Fripp, Architect, Bristol.
  L. Fürges, Architecte, Crefeld.
  C. E. G., Warwick.
  A. Garrard. Esq., Surveyor.
  Mons. Gaulle, 81, Rue Française, à Calais.
  Arthur Gearing, Esq., 2, Ranelagh-street, Leamington Spa.
  William Geggie, Esq., Knaresbro'.
  J. Gibson, Esq., Great Western Railway, Paddington.
  Robert Gilingham, Esq., 31, Clarence-road, Kentish Town.
  Mons. Godeboeuf, Architecte, 12, Place Breda, à Paris.
  C. W. Gooch, Esq., 42, Connaught-terrace, Edgeware-road.
  John Gould, Esq., Tottenham Park, Wiltshire.
  Richard Greene, Esq., F.S.A., Sec. to Lichfield Architectural Society.
  Edmund W. Grubb, Esq., Newnham, Gloucestershire.
  Robert S. Grubb, Esq., Newham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire.
  T. R. Guppy, Esq., Naples.
  J. C. Haddan, Esq., 29, Bloomsbury-square.
  Thomas Roberts Hannaford, Architect, 21, Trigon-terrace, Kennington.
  O. Hansard, Architect, 2, Kensington-gardens-terrace, Hyde Park.
  Robert Hardy, Carpenter, 32, North Conduit-street, Bethnal-green.
  John Thornhill Harrison, Esq., East Bolden, near Gateshead.
  J. P. Harrison, Esq., 11, Chancery-lane.
  Thomas Haw, Esq., 27, Prospect-terrace, Globe-road, Mile-end.
  Thomas Hayes, Esq., 7, St. George's-terrace, Hyde Park.
  Samuel Heilton, Esq., 54, Red Cross-street, City.
  Mons. J. Henard, 98, Rue St. Lazarre, Paris.
  James Hendrey, Esq., 4, Pancras-lane, Cheapside.
  J. Hewitt, Esq., Oxford.
  W. S. Hollands, Esq., 37, King William-street.
  Mons. Hector Horeau, 70, Rue Richelieu, Paris.
  George Horton, Esq., 6, Green-street, Grosvenor-square.
  Albert P. Howell, Architect, 2, Holywell-street, Westminster.
  Mons. C. Huchon, 28, Rue Meslay, Paris.
  Benjamin Hurwitz, Esq., 1, Brydges-street, Strand.
  John Imray, Esq., Engineer, 12, Howley-street, Lambeth.
  A. Jackson, Esq., Barkhart House, Orpington, Kent.
  Mons. Ch. Schoech Jaquet, 238, Rue de la Vertasse, Geneva.
  Charles Jayne, Architect, 7, Chancery-lane.
  Adam Jizkowski, Architect to the Government, Warsaw.
  Joseph Jopling, Esq., Felton Villa, Finchley-road.
  H. J. Kaye, Esq., 63, Sloane-street, Knightsbridge.
  G. P. Kennedy and R. Kennedy, Esqrs., Sussex Chambers, Duke-street, St.
  J. T. Knowles, Esq., 1, Raymond-buildings, Gray's Inn.
  Herr Friedrich Krahe, Brunswick.
  Louis Kûhne, Brunswick.
  A Lady with great diffidence submits this plan.
  M. Laves, Architect to the King of Hanover, Hanover.
  Mons. A. G. Ledrut, Claremont.
  S. W. Leonard, Assistant-Curator Micrological Society, 11, Upper
      Stamford-street, Waterloo-road.
  W. B. Lewis, Esq., Rainbow-hill, Worcester.
  R. Lobb, Esq., 8, Goulden-terrace, Barnsbury-road, Islington.
  Locke Brothers, New Peckham.
  Henry Lockwood, F.S.A., and William Mawson, Architects, Bradford.
  Henry Lote, Esq., 51, Brompton-row.
  R. Lovely, Esq., C.E., 1, Victoria-terrace, Queen's-road, Nottingham.
  George Mackenzie, Esq., 3, Claremont-row, Barnsbury-road, Islington.
  Messrs. Magni and Thummeloup, 26, Boulevard du Temple, Paris.
  R. Mallet, Esq., Victoria Foundry, Dublin.
  Mansell and Elliott, Architects, Halkin-street West, Belgrave-square.
  R. M. Marchant, Esq., 18, Great George-street.
  P. J. Margary, Esq., Dawlish, Devonshire.
  W. P. Marshall, Esq., Temple-buildings, New-street, Birmingham.
  D. Mickle, Esq., 37, Queen-square, Bloomsbury.
  Joseph Mitchell, Architect, St. James's-street, Sheffield.
  J. Montheath, Esq., 10, Stanley-street, Paddington.
  James Moon, Architect, 1, Millman-street, Bedford-row.
  Captain W. S. Moorsom, 17½, Great George-street.
  G. Morgan, Architect, 6, Charles-street, Westminster.
  J. H. Muller, Gaes, Holland.
  Charles C. Nelson, Esq., 30, Hyde-park-gardens, London.
  Mons. C. Frédéric Nepveu, 13, Place d'Armes, Versailles.
  W. Nethersole, Esq., C.E., 73, Oakley-square, St. Pancras.
  I. W. Newberry, Esq., Hook Norton, Chipping Norton, Oxon.
  Francis B. Newman, Architect, 14, Heathcote-street, Mecklenburgh-sq.
  C. H. Newton, Esq., 92, Camden-road Villas, Regent's Park.
  Mons. Paliard, 23, Rue d'Enghein, Paris.
  E. Paraire, Architect, 16, Woodstock-street, Bond-street.
  Mons. Henri le Pâtre, 47, Grande Rue de la Chapelle, St. Denis, Paris.
  Thomas Peacock, Esq., High-street, Kensington.
  J. D. Pemberton, Esq., Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.
  G. Perry, Architect, 42, Newington-place, Kennington.
  Mons. Casimir Pétiaux, Paris.
  William Radley, Chemical Engineer, Regent-street, Lambeth.
  W. Railton, Esq., 12, Regent-street.
  W. Rankin, Esq., Stirling.
  W. Reed, Esq., Cannon Cottage Hill, Southampton.
  Messrs. Reid and Butcher, Architects and Surveyors, 38, Red Lion-square,
  Stanley Reilly, Architect, 3, Upper Kennington-green, Kennington.
  George Banks Rennie, Esq., Whitehall-place.
  Harry Ralph Ricardo, Esq., Beaulieu Lodge, Norwood, Surrey.
  W. Riddle, Esq., East Temple Chambers, Whitefriars, Fleet-street.
  H. S. Ridley, Architect, 31, Vincent-square, Westminster.
  J. B. Roberts, Architect, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
  R. Roberta, Esq., Globe Works, Manchester.
  Andrew John Robertson, Esq., C.E., Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
  William Robertson, Esq., 12, Gordon-street, City-road.
  A. Rosengarten, Architect, Hamburg.
  Alex. M. Ross, Esq., 3, Parliament-street, Westminster.
  Rough Draught, 42, Stainford-street.
  Henry Rouse, Esq.
  H. H. Russell, Esq., C.E., M.R.S.A.
  W. Russell, Esq., 3, Frederick-street, Hampstead-road.
  E. Ryde, Esq., 14, Upper Belgrave-place, Eaton-square.
  George Sanderson, Esq., 136, Solly-street, Sheffield.
  Charles Sanderson, Esq., Friar-street, Reading.
  Robert Sandeman, Architect, Greenside, Edinburgh.
  H. Savage, Esq., 22, Beaumont-street. Mary-le-bone.
  W. Scurry, Esq., 7, Denbigh-place, Pimlico.
  Sed quis custodiet Custodes.
  J. P. Seddon, Esq., Gray's-inn-road.
  J. R. Sewell, Esq., Carrington, near Nottingham.
  Mons. A. Slater, Architecte, Elève de Mons. l'Architecte Cluysenaar.
  E. Smallwood, Architect, 86, Park-street, Camden Town.
  F. Smallman Smith, Esq., 18, Brunswick-st., Barnsbury-road, Islington.
  C. H. Smith, Esq., 29, Clipstone-street.
  J. M. Smith, Esq., 1, Chapel-place, Duke-street, Westminster.
  W. J. Smith, Esq., 18, Bond-street, Commercial-road, Lambeth.
  G. Campbell Smith, Esq., Banff.
  Messrs. Soyer and Warrener, Reform Club.
  Paul Sprenger, Esq., Architect to the Government, Vienna.
  Herr Friederich Stammann, Hamburg.
  Francis Sternitz, Esq., 10, Berner-street, Commercial-road East.
  W. Stewart, Esq., Seacombe, Cheshire.
  M. J. Stutely, Architect, 4, Doughty-street, Mecklenburgh-square.
  H. Suckling, Esq., 1, Conduit-street, Regent-street.
  George Tate, Esq., Bawtry, Yorkshire.
  J. Taylor, Architect, 22, Parliament-street.
  T. Taylor, Architect, 33, Clarendon-street, Oakley-square.
  J. H. Taunton, Esq., 2, Gordon-place, Kensington.
  D. W. Thomas, Esq., 20, St. Petersburg-place, Bayswater.
  R. M. Thompson, Esq., 46, Leicester-square.
  P. Thompson, Architect, 1, Osnaburgh-place, New-road.
  F. Thompson, Esq., 15, Trafalgar-square, Peckham.
  James Thrupp, Architect, 2, Park-place, Bath.
  H. W. Todd and W. Allingham, 91, Newman-street, Oxford-street.
  Richard Turner and Thomas Turner, Hammersmith Works, Dublin.
  Henry Turner, Esq., Low Heaton, Haugh, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
  F. Tyerman, Jun., Architect, 14, Parliament-street.
  Mons. Véron, 2, Quai des Armes, Paris.
  John Walker, Esq., Crooked-lane Chambers, King William-street.
  George Wallis, Artist, and Henry Summers, Architect, 14, College-place,
      Camden Town.
  J. N. Warren, Esq., C.E., 18, Adam-street, Adelphi.
  J. E. Watson, Esq., 74, Grey-street, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
  Henry Whitcombe, Esq., Slough.
  George Wightwick, Architect, 3, Athenæum-terrace, Plymouth.
  George Wilkie, Esq., C.E., 8, Powell-street West, King's-square.
  George Wilkinson, Esq., Horsham.
  S. J. Wilkinson, Esq., 7, Jeffry's-square, St. Mary Axe.
  James Williams, Esq., 18, Westgate-buildings, Bath.
  George Wilson, Esq., Knaresbro', Yorkshire.
  Ralph Wilson, Architect, 16, Bridge-street, Westminster.
  James G. Wilson, Esq., 18, Great George-street, Westminster,
  Richard Winder, Esq., Fenchurch-street.
  R. A. Withall, Architect, 80, Cheapside.
  W. H. Wontner, Architect, St. Ann's-road, North Brixton.
  Frederick Wood, Esq., 6, Franklin-road, Queen's-road, East Chelsea.
  Thomas Worthington, Architect, 54, King-street, Manchester.
  James Wylson, Architect, 112, Fyfe-place, Glasgow.




  C. B. Allen, Architect, Great College-street, Westminster.
  W. Allingham (and Todd), 91, Newman-street, Oxford-street.
  _Architekton_ (W. Bardwell, 4, Great Queen-street, Westminster).
  H. Ashton, 50A, Lower Brooke-street.
  C. Badger, Architect, Rue Blanche, Paris.
  B. P. Baly (four designs).
  R. Bell, Architect, Pope's Head Chambers, Cornhill.
  Thomas Bellamy, Architect, Charlotte-street, Bedford-square.
  J. H. Bertram, C. E., Reading.
  A. Botrel, Architect, 121, Rue Poissonnière, Paris.
  R. Brandon, Architect, Little Beaufort-buildings, Strand.
  F. Brown, Francis-street, Torrington-square.
  J. B. Bunning, Architect, Guildhall, City of London.
  G. A. Burn, Architect, George-place, Hammersmith.
  J. Cailloux, Architect, 25, Marché St. Honoré, Paris.
  H. Case, 19, Hanover Villas, Kensington Park.
  J. Charpentier, Architect, 15, Rue Larochefoucalt, Paris.
  Henri Van Cléemputte, Architect, Laon, France.
  J. P. Cluysenaar, Architect of King of the Belgians, Brussels.
  J. W. Conrad, Chief Engineer, La Haye, Holland.
  H. Courtney, Esq., 39, Alwyne-road, Canonbury-square, Islington.
  Mons. Crémont, Architect, 10, Place des Vosges, Paris.
  W. Cruikshank, 24, Duke-street.
  A. Delaage, Architect, 6, Place de l'Oratoire du Louvre, Paris.
  C. Downes, Coleshill-street, Eaton-square.
  A. Durand, Moulins, France.
  Mons. Dusillion, Architect, Thoune Suisse, Faubourg St. Germain, Paris.
  M. G. Fétar Van Elven, Architect, Amsterdam.
  H. Fevre, Architect, 41, Rue de Vaugirard, à Paris.
  S. C. Fripp, Architect, Bristol.
  Mons. Gaulle, 81, Rue Française, Calais.
  A. Gearing, 2, Ranelagh-street, Leamington Spa.
  Eugene Godeboeuf, 12, Place Breda, Paris.
  J. T. Harrison, East Bolden, near Gateshead.
  T. Hayes, 7, St. George's-terrace, Hyde-park.
  J. Henard, Architect, 98, Rue St. Lazarre, Paris.
  H. Horeau, 70, Rue Richelieu, Paris.
  C. Huchon, 28, Rue Meslay, Paris.
  J. Imray, C. E., Howley-street, Lambeth.
  Ch. Schoech Jaquet, 238, Rue de la Vertasse, Geneva.
  Louis Kûhne, Brunswick.
  J. T. Knowles, Architect, 1, Raymond-buildings, Gray's Inn.
  M. Laves, Architect of the King, Hanover.
  A. G. Ledrut, Clermont, France.
  W. B. Lewis, Rainbow-hill, Worcester.
  C. C. Nelson, 30, Hyde-park-gardens, London.
  C. F. Nepveu, 13, Place d'Armes, Versailles.
  Mons. Paliard, Rue d'Enghein, Paris.
  H. le Pâtre, Architect, 47, Grande Rue de la Chapelle, St. Denis, Paris.
  Casimir Pétiaux, Paris.
  H. S. Ridley, Architect, 31, Vincent-square, Westminster.
  J. B. Roberts, Architect, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
  A. Rosengarten, Architect, Hamburg.
  H. Rouse, Esq.
  W. Russell, 3, Frederick-street, Hampstead-road.
  H. Savage, 22, Beaumont-street, Marylebone.
  J. P. Seddon, Esq., Gray's-inn-road.
  A. Slater, Architect, Elève de Mons. Cluysenaar.
  F. Smallman Smith, 18, Brunswick-street, Barnsbury-road, Islington.
  C. H. Smith, Clipstone-street, London.
  Paul Sprenger, Architect, Vienna.
  H. Sumners, Architect, 14, College-place, Camden Town.
  Richard and Thomas Turner, Hammersmith Works, Dublin.
  F. Tyerman, Jun., Architect, 14, Parliament-street.
  Mons. Véron, 2, Quai des Ormes, Paris.
  J. Watson, 74, Grey-street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
  W. H. Wontner, Architect, St. Ann's-road, North Brixton.
  T. Worthington, Architect, King-street, Manchester.




  C. Badger, Architect, Rue Blanche, Paris.
  Thomas Bellamy, Architect, Charlotte-street, Bedford-square.
  J. H. Bertram, C. E., Reading.
  A. Botrel, Architect, 121, Rue Poissonnière, Paris.
  J. Cailloux, Architect, 25, Marché St. Honoré, Paris.
  Henri Van Cléemputte, Architect, Laon, France.
  Mons. Crémont, Architect, 10, Place des Vosges, Paris.
  A. Delaage, Architect, 6, Place de l'Oratoire du Louvre, Paris.
  M. G. Fétar Van Elven, Architect, Amsterdam.
  J. Henard, Architect, 98, Rue St. Lazarre, Paris.
  H. Horeau, 70, Rue Richelieu, Paris.
  C. Huchon, 28, Rue Meslay, Paris.
  A. G. Ledrut, Clermont, France.
  H. le Pâtre, Architect, 4K, Grande Rue de la Chapelle, St. Denis, Paris.
  Casimir Pétiaux, Paris.
  Paul Sprenger, Architect, Vienna.
  Richard and Thomas Turner, Hammersmith Works, Dublin.
  Mons. Véron, 2, Quai des Ormes, Paris.

[Illustration: Mons. Hector Horeau's Design for the Building. Exterior]

[Illustration: View of the Interior.]



The following descriptions and plates of two of the designs sent in
competition for the Building, and specially mentioned by the Committee in
their Report, are given from information obligingly furnished to us by
their respective authors.


  This was one of the most striking of all that were submitted to the
  Commission; it formed one immense hall, or shed, more than 2000 feet
  long, by about 270 feet wide throughout, with several small detached
  buildings on the north side, for refreshments, &c.

  The interior of the main building was divided into five avenues, the
  centre one about ninety feet wide, those next adjoining rather more than
  fifty feet, and the outside ones about forty feet wide. Iron columns,
  about twenty-three feet apart, formed these avenues and supported arched
  ribs for the roof. One end of the building was semicircular, the other
  forming an ornamental façade, and about the centre of the length a
  transept was formed.

  M. Horeau says: "Simplicity, grandeur, ready means of construction, and
  of increasing or diminishing the accommodation, and of removal if
  required, forming altogether a specimen of the most recent improvements
  introduced into the art of building--these are the principal objects
  which it has been sought to attain. The whole of the construction is of
  iron, without a single piece of wood, the foundation being executed in
  brick; the façade to be in metal, porcelain, and glass, the floor of
  asphalte, the roof to be principally covered with ornamental thick glass,
  in large dimensions, or ground glass with patterns.

  "Of the trusses or arched ribs supporting the roof there were to be but
  three varieties, each in three pieces, with which the whole of the
  building could be erected. This subdivision of the roof-trusses would
  have facilitated the conversion of the building for other purposes; for,
  taken singly, or in various combinations, they would have formed many
  kinds of buildings for ordinary purposes. The attached buildings placed
  on the north side would have shown several modes of effecting this. The
  ornamental spandrils of the roof-trusses would be formed in stamped-work
  out of copper, and gilt.

  "The façade shows at a glance the purpose of the building, as well as its
  interior disposition, in which the different widths of avenues would
  afford space for objects of all varieties of dimensions. The façade
  itself was to be formed with tracery or trellis-work of cast-iron, the
  lower part being covered with sheet-iron; the cornice and ornamental
  panels of porcelain; the medallions in coloured stone-ware; the doors and
  inclosures of metal, silvered and gilt; the ornamental details to be
  either cast or stamped; the scrolls in the panels being in coloured glass
  or mosaic.

  "The pediment is crowned with a group of figures representing the Genius
  of Industry crowning the Arts and Sciences; in the cornice are placed the
  names of all the principal cities of the world, and the names of eminent
  men in panels. In the medallions are represented allegorical figures of
  the different branches of science and industry. At the angles of the
  building are placed trophies, the base of which would serve as

  The engravings will serve to show the general effect of this design in
  its interior and exterior.



  In this design also the interior was arranged as one uninterrupted space,
  about 1,940 feet long, and 408 wide, the roof in one span rising about
  120 feet above the floor; the supports, consisting of semicircular ribs,
  forming the interior into three avenues, the centre one 200 feet wide and
  the full height, the side ones 104 feet wide and about sixty feet high.
  In the centre of the length a transept was proposed, and the square area
  at the meeting of that with the central avenue was to be covered with a
  glass dome.

  The ends of the building, as well as those of the transept, were to be
  filled in with tracery in the upper part, a colonnade below protecting
  the entrances. Galleries, if necessary, were to be placed in the side
  avenues. The construction of this building was proposed to be principally
  of wrought iron, which would have given to the circular ribs and other
  parts a great lightness of effect; but, on the other hand, the
  difficulties of producing and putting together such an enormous amount of
  wrought-iron work in so short a space of time as that required was
  considered an almost insuperable objection to the design. Large portions
  of the roof were to be covered with glass, so as to admit an abundance of
  light into the interior.

  The accompanying views of the exterior and interior of this design, from
  the simplicity of the arrangement, consisting of a repetition of similar
  parts, require but little description for their elucidation.

[Illustration: Messrs. R and T. Turner's Design. View of Exterior from one

[Illustration: Messrs. R. and T. Turner's Design. Transverse Section, and
View of the Interior.]


_Return to an Order of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 1st July,
1850; for_

COPY of a LETTER addressed by the Commissioners of the EXHIBITION of 1851
to the Lords of the Treasury, inclosing Memorandum as to the Site of the
Exhibition Building in Hyde Park.


SIR,--I am directed by her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of
1851 to transmit to you herewith, for the information of the Lords
Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, a memorandum of the grounds on
which the present site has been selected for the Exhibition, and of the
proceedings that have been taken in consequence of that selection.--I have,

    The Right Honourable W. G. Hayter, M.P., &c. &c. &c.


Memorandum of the grounds on which the site has been selected for the
Exhibition of 1851, and of the proceedings which have been taken in
consequence of that selection, prepared for the information of the Lords of
the Treasury by the Royal Commissioners for promoting the Exhibition.

  1.  It is within the knowledge of the Lords of the Treasury, that from
  the time of the earliest announcement of the proposed Exhibition it has
  always been intended that it should take place in the Metropolis. Not
  only was such an intention matter of notoriety at the time that the
  question of issuing a Royal Commission was under consideration, but the
  Commission itself, when issued formally recited that it was proposed "To
  establish an Enlarged Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations,
  to be holden in London, in the year 1851;" and it was to further the
  holding of such an exhibition that the present Commissioners were
  specially appointed.

  2.  Considering the importance of the undertaking, and the circumstances
  attending its promulgation, the selection of the Metropolis as its
  intended locality appears to have been both natural and proper. It will
  be borne in mind that the exhibitions which have from time to time been
  held in foreign countries have generally, and, as the Commissioners
  believe, invariably, been held in the capitals of the respective
  countries. In the present case it was peculiarly important that an
  undertaking which required the constant superintendence of a body of
  Commissioners, whose occupations for the most part confine them to
  London, should be carried on within their immediate cognisance, and not
  removed to a distant situation.

  3.  It being thus distinctly evident that the Exhibition ought to take
  place in London, it is further obvious that the actual site which may be
  selected for it should be within the precincts of, or in the closest
  vicinity to, the most central and accessible parts of the Metropolis
  itself. It need hardly be pointed out that it would be objectionable to
  impose upon persons who may have come to London from a great distance the
  necessity of an additional journey to visit the Exhibition; a
  consideration which has already been urged upon the Commissioners by the
  representatives of several of the most important provincial towns, who
  are apprehensive of the inconvenience to which artizans in particular
  might thus be subjected. Moreover, the removal of the Exhibition to any
  distance sufficient to diminish the number of visitors would not only
  militate against its essential character of general accessibility, but
  might most seriously affect the receipts upon which its self-supporting
  character must depend, a point upon which it appears that much stress has
  been laid.

  4.  Although Hyde Park, and even the particular space now in question,
  had been already mentioned before the issue of the Commission, and indeed
  so far back as October, 1849, as a probable site for the Exhibition, it
  is unnecessary to assure the Lords of the Treasury that the Commissioners
  approached the question of the site after their appointment without
  having in any degree prejudged the merits of particular localities. On
  the 14th of February, their attention having been directed to the
  importance of determining the site by the Committee then recently
  appointed for all matters relating to the building, they deputed two
  Commissioners, namely, Lord Granville and Mr. Labouchere, to wait upon
  the Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests, and to confer with him upon
  the subject. The result of this conference is set forth in the Report
  presented by the Building Committee at the next meeting of the
  Commissioners (Feb. 21), of which the following is the portion which
  relates to the question of the site:--

  "With respect to the site, it has appeared to your Committee that,
  firstly, the north-eastern portion of Hyde Park; secondly, the long space
  between her Majesty's private road and the Kensington-road, in the
  southern part of Hyde Park; and, thirdly, the north-western portion of
  Regent's Park, are the only available spaces about the Metropolis which
  would afford the necessary accommodation; and it is believed that the
  order in which they have been named represents also their relative
  eligibility. As regards the first, the Committee are informed by the
  Chief Commissioner of her Majesty's Woods and Forests, that considerable
  objections would arise to its occupation for such a purpose, and that no
  such objections would be raised to the use of the second; the Committee,
  therefore, recommend the adoption of this site, which, amongst other
  advantages, is remarkable for the facility of access afforded by the
  existing roads. Upon this occasion a letter was received from the
  Westminster Committee, stating that the local Commissioners for
  Westminster had visited the site in Hyde Park, and a site suggested in
  the Regent's Park, and that they were of opinion that the site in Hyde
  Park was the preferable one."

  The recommendation of the Building Committee having been agreed to, a
  form of advertisement, requesting plans and suggestions for the building,
  was, at the next meeting (28th February), submitted for approbation, and
  was ordered to be immediately issued in the English, French, and, German
  languages. To this advertisement was appended a ground-plan of the site
  in Hyde Park for the guidance of those to whom the advertisement was
  addressed. The details of this plan were discussed in the presence of the
  Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests, and were settled in conformity
  with his lordship's wishes.

  5.  In consequence of the advertisement thus issued, no less than 248
  plans and suggestions, many of them the productions of foreign artists,
  were sent in to the Commissioners. A large number of these were of a very
  elaborate character, and bore evident marks of considerable application
  and ability.

  6.  Soon after the site had been selected, some other important
  arrangements having also by this time been made, the Commissioners
  prepared and published a statement (21 February) explanatory of the
  nature and objects of the Exhibition, which was widely circulated in this
  country, was forwarded to our consuls abroad and to the foreign consuls
  in England, and was officially transmitted by the Secretary of State to
  all Foreign Governments, and to all the Governors of the British
  Colonies, as well as to India. In this statement it was announced that
  "Her Majesty had been graciously pleased to grant a site for the purpose
  (of the Exhibition) on the south side of Hyde Park, lying between the
  Kensington Drive and the ride commonly called Rotten Row."

  7.  The site having been thus deliberately chosen and formally announced,
  all subsequent proceedings connected with the building have been taken
  with direct reference to it. The plans have been prepared with a view to
  its peculiarities, and the form of the building and its internal as well
  as its external arrangements have been determined by them. The amount of
  space available for the display of articles has been calculated upon the
  data afforded by the site, and from a calculation of this amount the
  Commissioners have been able to assign to each foreign country a definite
  space for the arrangement of its own productions. All the necessary
  working-drawings and specifications have been prepared with very great
  labour and at considerable expense, and have now been issued in a form
  which will insure to the Commissioners the certainty of obtaining, within
  a few days, _bonâ fide_ tenders for the execution of a design presenting
  every facility for construction within the time prescribed. The
  mechanical difficulties have been surmounted, and all the preliminary
  arrangements, even to the extent of provision for an effective drainage
  and a sufficient water supply, have been entered into. The whole of these
  preparations have reference to this particular site only, and are
  inapplicable or unsuitable to any other.

  8.  From what has been already stated, it will be seen that the present
  site was not selected without consideration, and that the proceedings
  which have been taken with respect to it were not commenced until the
  Commissioners had good ground for believing that there would be no
  objection to its occupation. The attention, however, which has lately
  been directed to the point, has caused them anxiously to reconsider the
  whole subject, and renders it now necessary for them to enter into
  somewhat more of detail as to the grounds upon which they have come to
  the conclusion which they have formed, that this is the only site in or
  about the Metropolis which is at once suitable and practically available
  for the purposes of the Exhibition.

  9.  Of the other sites which have been suggested, the following are the
  only ones deserving of particular consideration:--

    (_a_) The North-eastern portion of Hyde Park.
    (_b_) The North-western portion of Regent's Park.
    (_c_) Battersea Park.
    (_d_) Victoria Park.
    (_e_) Wormwood Scrubbs.

  10.  The north-eastern portion of Hyde Park would, in the opinion of many
  members of the Building Committee, be a very eligible situation; but, as
  has been already mentioned, an objection was taken to this locality on
  the part of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, on the ground that
  the building would interfere with some important thoroughfares in that
  part of the park, and on account of other considerations of public
  importance; and the idea was abandoned in consequence.

  11.  The site suggested in the Regent's Park has been found, since it was
  visited by the Building Committee, not to be available, as the leases
  under which the houses in the neighbourhood are held contain a clear and
  stringent provision that no new building of any kind shall be erected
  within the limits of the park.

  12.  With regard to the ground in the neighbourhood of Battersea proposed
  to be purchased by the Government, and to be converted into a park to be
  called Battersea Park, the Lords of the Treasury are of course aware that
  only a small proportion of the whole area has as yet been purchased; and
  the Commissioners found on inquiry that this proportion consists of
  numerous small detached pieces, utterly insufficient to accommodate a
  building of the contemplated size, and separated from each other by
  intervening plots of ground, many of them in a state of high cultivation,
  and belonging to a great number of different proprietors, with whom it
  would be absolutely impossible to effect arrangements within any time
  which would afford the slightest chance of the Commissioners being put in
  possession of a site in time to complete their building by the spring of
  next year. It should be added that the site of this district is very low,
  a great portion of it being some feet under high-water mark, and that the
  nature of the soil presents serious objections to its use as a

  13.  Victoria Park is situated in an inconvenient and not very accessible
  part of the town. It would, moreover, be impossible to erect in it a
  building of the required size without most seriously interfering with the
  plantations and ornamental water which have been recently laid out there;
  thus inflicting on the classes for whose recreation that park has been
  opened an inconvenience infinitely more serious than could be caused to
  the frequenters of the very much larger area of Hyde Park by the proposed
  occupation of a comparatively small portion of it.

  14.  Lastly, as regards Wormwood Scrubbs, besides that the distance is a
  very serious objection, the rights of the commoners in that locality
  would prevent its appropriation; and the Commissioners are advised that
  it would be impossible to erect the building there without risk, as any
  single commoner would have it in his power to interrupt the proceedings,
  and to cause them to be discontinued at any stage of the work, however
  advanced. Similar objections apply to Wandsworth and some other commons
  in the neighbourhood of London, which have been occasionally mentioned as
  possible sites.

  14_a_. As regards Primrose Hill and the Isle of Dogs, the want of level
  space on the former, and the objectionable situation and dampness of the
  latter, render them so obviously unsuitable as to make any particular
  observations unnecessary.

  15.  But even could the objections to any of these sites be removed, or
  could another and an unobjectionable site be pointed out, the
  Commissioners feel hound to state, from their experience of the time,
  thought, and labour necessarily consumed in the investigation,
  arrangement, and preparation of the great mass of detail requisite to
  enable them to carry out this extensive work, that they are fully
  convinced of the impossibility of now adapting their plans to any other
  site, with any reasonable prospect of being able to complete the work
  within the time to which they stand pledged in the face of the world; and
  they could only regard a change of site, particularly if it should
  involve a change of plan, as tantamount to the postponement of the
  Exhibition till another year. And the Commissioners cannot shut their
  eyes to the fact, that a postponement of the Exhibition would, under the
  circumstances, certainly lead to its entire abandonment.

  16.  In order to give the Lords of the Treasury some idea of the
  consequences of an abandonment of this scheme, the Commissioners would in
  the first place direct their attention to the large amount of money
  already subscribed towards its completion (which is at present nearly
  64,000_l_.), to the number of local committees (now about 240) which have
  been called into existence throughout the country, to the funds now being
  raised by subscriptions out of their wages among the working-classes in
  all parts of the country towards enabling them to visit an Exhibition to
  which they are anxiously looking forward, and the abandonment of which
  would be a great disappointment to numbers, and still more to the
  extensive preparations which are now making for the supply of articles
  for exhibition. It is within the knowledge of the Commissioners that
  several individuals in this country have incurred several thousand
  pounds' expense in such preparations, besides the anxiety which they have

  17.  But the evils which would result from postponement, so far as this
  country is concerned, are as nothing when compared with those which would
  arise in the case of foreign nations and the colonies. The plan of the
  Exhibition has been widely circulated for several months, and the
  following States have already signified, through their respective
  Governments, that they have appointed Committees or Commissioners,
  consisting of the most distinguished individuals in those countries, to
  co-operate with the Royal Commissioners in this country:--

    Hanse Towns,
    The United States,
    Anhalt, Dessau, &c.

  Besides which it may be mentioned that special Commissioners have been
  sent to this country by France, Russia, and one or two other States; and
  that in most cases the Governments have undertaken the collection and the
  transmission to this country, at their own expense, of the articles
  intended for exhibition, for which, of course, their preparations are now

  18.  In all the countries which have been mentioned active preparations
  for the Exhibition are now going on, and in some considerable expense is
  known to have been incurred. The Russian Government has announced that
  the goods intended for exhibition will be shipped from that country in
  the autumn of this year, and questions pointing to a similar arrangement
  have recently been put by the Government of Denmark. The Austrian
  Government have given notice, that the Great Exhibition which was to have
  been held at Vienna in the year 1851 has been postponed till the year
  1852, in order not to clash with the Exhibition in London. All these
  circumstances tend to show that the postponement of the Exhibition would
  be seriously inconvenient to many countries, and would probably occasion
  considerable and natural irritation at what would appear like national
  vacillation, besides the certainty of rendering these countries unwilling
  to run the risk of a second disappointment, and of deterring them from
  continuing their preparations for a later period.

  19.  These inconveniences would be felt also by the British Colonies.
  Committees have been announced as formed in Malta, Ceylon, Nova Scotia,
  Barbadoes, Guiana, and several of the West India Islands, and it is
  probable that others have been appointed elsewhere. In India most
  extensive preparations are being made, and the East India Company have
  incurred very great expense by their exertions to contribute to the

  20.  After what has been said, it is unnecessary that the Commissioners
  should enlarge any further upon the consequences to be apprehended from
  the postponement which would be occasioned by an alteration of the site
  of building. They will proceed to offer a few remarks upon some of the
  objections which have been taken to that at present proposed.

  21.  An idea appears to prevail in some quarters that the occupation of
  the Park is intended to be of a permanent, and not, as has been
  repeatedly announced, of a merely temporary character, and the
  Commissioners are given to understand that by proposing to construct a
  building into which a good deal of brickwork is to enter, they have shown
  an intention at variance with their professions. Upon this point they
  have to remark, in the first place, that, although the eminent architects
  and engineers whom they have consulted, and to whom they have uniformly
  given instructions to prepare plans suitable to a temporary structure,
  have agreed to recommend the use of brick and other durable materials,
  they have left it perfectly open to contractors to send in their tenders
  for the execution of the work in any material or materials whatsoever,
  and have notified their readiness to entertain such tenders, on the
  single condition of their being "accompanied by working-drawings and
  specifications, and fully priced bills of quantities." It is probable
  that some such tenders will be made, and if made they will be impartially
  considered; but the Commissioners must protest against the supposition
  that it is necessarily more judicious to construct a temporary building
  of perishable than of enduring materials. The first requisite of the
  building is, that it should be suitable for its purpose, capable of
  protecting the valuable goods deposited in it from injury of every
  kind--as, for instance, from the weather, from the effects of the
  dampness of the soil, from the danger of fire, and so forth, and that it
  should be strong enough to avert all risk of accidental damage. Its next
  requisite is, that it should be economical, and in estimating its cost
  regard must be had not only to the expense of erection, but to the
  facility of removal and the value of the materials when removed, as a
  building may easily be conceived to be cheaper which should cost
  100,000_l._ to erect, but of which the materials could afterwards be sold
  for 50,000_l._, than another would be which cost but 80,000_l._ in the
  first instance, but of which the materials should become so far
  deteriorated as to produce only 20,000_l._ when taken down. It is the
  opinion of those who have devised the plans in the present case, that a
  building constructed of durable materials will in the end be cheaper than
  one constructed of such as are more perishable; particularly as a
  considerable portion of the building, namely, the iron roofing, will be
  of a kind which is generally used in the construction of
  railway-stations, and will probably be disposed of for that purpose after
  the close of the Exhibition, as its temporary application to the purposes
  of the Exhibition will be of no detriment to its being so. An opportunity
  of testing the correctness of this opinion will be given when the tenders
  are received, as, in addition to the customary form, it has been required
  that they should also be sent upon the understanding that the materials
  shall remain the property of the contractor, and shall in fact only be
  hired for the purposes of the Exhibition. The third requisite of the
  building is, that it should be at least seemly, though it may not be
  necessary that it should be highly ornamental. The Commissioners trust
  that it will fulfil this condition, while they would at the same time
  point out that no expense is to be incurred for merely ornamental
  purposes, unless it should be thought desirable to select a dome for
  covering in the large space which must necessarily be left in the centre
  of the building to suit the internal arrangements. A cheaper mode of
  covering in this space will probably be resorted to, and the
  Commissioners have directed that a special estimate of the cost of the
  dome should be laid before them when the tenders are complete, in order
  that they may judge of the propriety of sanctioning its erection.

  Having offered this short explanation, they can only repeat once more the
  assurances they have already given, that the building is not intended to
  be permanent, and that it will be entirely removed, in accordance with
  the conditions prescribed by the Lords of the Treasury on yielding up the
  site, within seven months after the closing of the Exhibition, which
  cannot be deferred after the 1st of November, and will probably take
  place at an earlier period in the autumn of next year.

  22.  Another ground of apprehension is stated to be, lest the Park should
  be injured by the erection of the building, and the injury should
  continue after the structure is removed. This apprehension is, however,
  groundless; a small clump of ten trees has been allowed to be removed, in
  compensation for which, it is proposed by the Commissioners of Woods and
  Forests to plant another clump elsewhere. It is not intended to cut down
  any more than that clump. As regards the surface of the ground to be
  occupied, it will not only not be injured, but will ultimately be
  materially improved by being drained and freshly sown with grass seed. It
  will be a strict condition with the contractors for the building that
  they shall, on its removal, restore the ground to its present condition.

  23.  Some dissatisfaction has been expressed at the prospect of a furnace
  being erected to heat the boiler and drive the steam-apparatus. It is
  however, intended to construct such furnace on the principle of consuming
  its own smoke, or to burn coke instead of coal, should that, upon the
  whole, appear the best mode of preventing annoyance. Care will also be
  taken not to erect any chimney of an unsightly character.

  24. As regards the amount of traffic which will be occasioned by the
  transport of materials and goods to the site, the Commissioners have been
  furnished by the Building Committee with an approximate estimate that it
  will not in the whole exceed the ordinary amount of three weeks' general
  traffic of a single railway-station, and as this traffic will be spread
  over a period of more than six months, it is manifest that its amount has
  been enormously exaggerated by public estimation.

  25.  The Queen's Ride, though in the immediate vicinity of the site, will
  not be in any degree interfered with, except that it may be advisable to
  rail off a strip not exceeding ten feet, or one-sixth of the whole in
  width, for foot-passengers, in order to prevent the inconvenience of
  crowding the space open to riding parties. By this arrangement the riders
  will be secured from annoyance.

  25 _a._ It has been said that the effect of the erection of the building
  will be to drive the inhabitants of London out of their Parks. The
  Commissioners think it right to draw the attention of the Lords of the
  Treasury to the following statistics:--

    The area of Hyde Park is        387 acres.
          "     Kensington Gardens  290   "
          "     Regent's Park       403   "
          "     St. James's Park     83   "
          "     Green Park           71   "
          "     Victoria Park       160   "
          "     Greenwich Park      174   "

  making a total of 1,568 acres, while only twenty acres are proposed to be
  taken or the purposes of this Exhibition.

  26.  In conclusion, the Commissioners think it desirable to call
  attention to the fact, that the three last Exhibitions of this nature
  which have taken place in Paris have been held on a site (the Champs
  Elysées) very closely corresponding to our own Hyde Park in many
  respects, and particularly resembling it in being the most fashionable
  and the most frequented promenade in Paris--more frequented, indeed, than
  the particular spot selected on the present occasion has ever been, or is
  likely to be; and yet it does not appear that the Parisians have had
  occasion to complain of those annoyances which are now apprehended by
  some persons in this country. And the Commissioners are informed, that
  the Exhibition in Vienna was held in the Prado, the principal public
  place in that city; and that the Exhibition in Berlin was held in the
  Thiergarten, which is not only the principal public place within the
  city, but is remarkable as being the only open Park of any sort within
  several miles.

  27.  In the foregoing observations the Commissioners have thought it
  right to confine themselves strictly to a discussion of the practical
  difficulties which would attend a change of site. They cannot, however,
  but express their decided opinion, that the renouncement of the selection
  of the most beautiful park in London for the scene of the Exhibition may
  be looked upon as indicating a diminution of interest in the undertaking,
  and would materially detract from that appearance of hospitality on the
  part of England which has been one great cause for the very favourable
  reception which this proposal has everywhere secured.

  They must add, that the possibility that the bringing the Exhibition into
  Hyde Park should be considered as an interference with the enjoyment of
  that Park by the public has never entered their minds. They have, on the
  contrary, always intended it as a means of recreative and intellectual
  enjoyment for the greatest portion of her Majesty's subjects: and they
  have hitherto had reason to believe that it has been so regarded by the
  country in general.




The following Report, together with her Majesty's Answer, on the occasion
of the inauguration of the building, cannot fail to be interesting as a
brief record of the proceedings connected with this noble undertaking up to
that period:--

  "May it please your Majesty,--We, the Commissioners appointed by your
  Majesty's royal warrant of the 3rd of January, 1850, for the promotion of
  the Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, and subsequently
  incorporated by your Majesty's Royal Charter of the 15th of August in the
  same year, humbly beg leave, on the occasion of your Majesty's auspicious
  visit at the opening of the Exhibition, to lay before you a brief
  statement of our proceedings to the present time.

  "By virtue of the authority graciously committed to us by your Majesty,
  we have made diligent inquiry into the matters which your Majesty was
  pleased to refer to us, namely, into the best mode of introducing the
  productions of your Majesty's colonies and of foreign countries into this
  kingdom, the selection of the most suitable site for the Exhibition, the
  general conduct of the undertaking, and the proper method of determining
  the nature of the prizes and of securing the most impartial distribution
  of them.

  "In the prosecution of these inquiries, and in the discharge of the
  duties assigned to us by your Majesty's Royal Charter of Incorporation,
  we have held constant meetings of our whole body, and have, moreover,
  referred numerous questions connected with a great variety of subjects to
  committees, composed partly of our own members and partly of individuals
  distinguished in the several departments of science and the arts, who
  have cordially responded to our applications for their assistance at a
  great sacrifice of their valuable time.

  "Among the earliest questions brought before us was the important one as
  to the terms upon which articles offered for exhibition should be
  admitted into the building. We considered that it was a main
  characteristic of the national undertaking in which we were engaged that
  it should depend wholly upon the voluntary contributions of the people of
  this country for its success; and we therefore decided, without
  hesitation, that no charge whatever should be made on the admission of
  such goods. We considered, also, that the office of selecting the
  articles to be sent should be intrusted in the first instance to local
  committees, to be established in every foreign country, and in various
  districts of your Majesty's dominions; a general power of control being
  reserved to the Commission.

  "We have now the gratification of stating that our anticipations of
  support in this course have in all respects been fully realised. Your
  Majesty's most gracious donation to the funds of the Exhibition was the
  signal for voluntary contributions from all, even the humblest, classes
  of your subjects, and the funds which have thus been placed at our
  disposal amount at present to about 65,000_l._ Local committees, from
  which we have uniformly received the most zealous co-operation, were
  formed in all parts of the United Kingdom, in many of your Majesty's
  colonies, and in the territories of the Hon. East India Company. The most
  energetic support has also been received from the Governments of nearly
  all the countries of the world, in most of which Commissions have been
  appointed for the special purpose of promoting the objects of an
  Exhibition justly characterised in your Majesty's royal warrant as an
  Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations.

  "We have also to acknowledge the great readiness with which persons of
  all classes have come forward as exhibitors. And here again it becomes
  our duty to return our humble thanks to your Majesty for the most
  gracious manner in which your Majesty has condescended to associate
  yourself with your subjects by yourself contributing some most valuable
  and interesting articles to the Exhibition.

  "The number of exhibitors whose productions it has been found possible to
  accommodate is about 15,000, of whom nearly one-half are British. The
  remainder represent the productions of more than forty foreign countries,
  comprising almost the whole of the civilised nations of the globe. In
  arranging the space to be allotted to each, we have taken into
  consideration both the nature of its productions and the facilities of
  access to this country afforded by its geographical position. Your
  Majesty will find the productions of your Majesty's dominions arranged in
  the western portion of the building, and those of foreign countries in
  the eastern. The Exhibition is divided into the four great classes of--1,
  Raw Materials; 2, Machinery; 3, Manufactures; and 4, Sculpture and the
  Fine Arts. A further division has been made according to the geographical
  position of the countries represented; those which lie within the warmer
  latitudes being placed near the centre of the building, and the colder
  countries at the extremities.

  "Your Majesty having been graciously pleased to grant a site in this your
  royal Park for the purposes of the Exhibition, the first column of the
  structure now honoured by your Majesty's presence was fixed on the 26th
  of September last. Within the short period, therefore, of seven months,
  owing to the energy of the contractors and the active industry of the
  workmen employed by them, a building has been erected, entirely novel in
  its construction, covering a space of more than eighteen acres, measuring
  1,851 feet in length, and 456 feet in extreme breadth, capable of
  containing 40,000 visitors, and affording a frontage for the exhibition
  of goods to the extent of more than ten miles. For the original
  suggestion of the principle of this structure the Commissioners are
  indebted to Mr. Joseph Paxton, to whom they feel their acknowledgments to
  be justly due for this interesting feature of their undertaking.

  "With regard to the distribution of rewards to deserving exhibitors, we
  have decided that they should be given in the form of medals, not with
  reference to merely individual competition, but as rewards for excellence
  in whatever shape it may present itself. The selection of the persons to
  be so rewarded has been intrusted to juries equally composed of British
  subjects and of foreigners, the former having been selected by the
  Commission from the recommendations made by the local committees, and the
  latter by the Governments of the foreign nations the productions of which
  are exhibited. The names of these jurors, comprising, as they do, many of
  European celebrity, afford the best guarantee of the impartiality with
  which the rewards will be assigned.

  "It affords much gratification that, notwithstanding the magnitude of
  this undertaking, and the great distances from which many of the articles
  now exhibited have had to be collected, the day on which your Majesty has
  been graciously pleased to be present at the inauguration of the
  Exhibition is the same day that was originally named for its opening,
  thus affording a proof of what may, under God's blessing, be accomplished
  by goodwill and cordial co-operation among nations, aided by the means
  that modern science has placed at our command.

  "Having thus briefly laid before your Majesty the results of our labours,
  it now only remains for us to convey to your Majesty our dutiful and
  loyal acknowledgments of the support and encouragement which we have
  derived throughout this extensive and laborious task from the gracious
  favour and countenance of your Majesty. It is our heartfelt prayer that
  this undertaking, which has for its end the promotion of all branches of
  human industry and the strengthening of the bonds of peace and friendship
  among all nations of the earth, may, by the blessing of Divine
  Providence, conduce to the welfare of your Majesty's people, and be long
  remembered among the brightest circumstances of your Majesty's peaceful
  and happy reign."

Her Majesty returned the following gracious answer:--

  "I receive with the greatest satisfaction the address which you have
  presented to me on the opening of this Exhibition.

  "I have observed with a warm and increasing interest the progress of your
  proceedings in the execution of the duties intrusted to you by the Royal
  Commission, and it affords me sincere gratification to witness the
  successful result of your judicious and unremitting exertions in the
  splendid spectacle by which I am this day surrounded.

  "I cordially concur with you in the prayer, that by God's blessing this
  undertaking may conduce to the welfare of my people and to the common
  interest of the human race, by encouraging the arts of peace and
  industry, strengthening the bonds of union among the nations of the
  earth, and promoting a friendly and honourable rivalry in the useful
  exercise of those faculties which have been conferred by a beneficent
  Providence for the good and the happiness of mankind."



*       *       *       *       *       *





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NOW READY, in 200 pages, demy 18mo, with Illustrations, price, in fancy
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With a Guide to the future Rules and Arrangements.





  "A well-written volume. A useful record of the history and progressive
  development of the marking incident of our age and nation. Mr. Berlyn
  was, we believe, officially employed by the Executive Committee in the
  earlier stages of their labours; his statements, therefore, are on good
  authority and may be relied on. The narrative is sufficiently full in its
  details for the general public now and hereafter."


  "This is a clever book, full of timely and interesting matter, and with
  sufficient merit as a record of the origin and history of the Great
  Exhibition to outlive the mere curiosity of the hour. Mr. Berlyn has had
  official opportunities of becoming well acquainted with the subject, and
  has not neglected them. He puts his materials together with spirit and
  intelligence, and indulges a hopeful strain of anticipation and prophecy
  very properly befitting his theme."


  "Within a small compass we have here gathered together all that is
  interesting in connexion with the great undertaking of the present
  year--an undertaking which must form a most important chapter in the
  world's history. We are bound to say that the work has been judiciously
  done, and the result is a very satisfactory review of all that has been
  effected in the way of Industrial Exhibitions up to the present time."


  work has just been published, written by Mr. Peter Berlyn, from authentic
  and official sources, tracing the origin, history, and progress, and
  pointing to the prospects, of the Great Exhibition. The author has
  carefully avoided all speculation and gossip on the subject, and has
  applied himself with very considerable ability to the statement and
  elucidation of all those facts, derived from authentic records, which
  bear upon the progress of this most important national movement. Many
  interesting facts are stated in connexion with the previous expositions
  which have taken place on the Continent and in this country, and the
  difficulties with which, upon its first announcement, the present
  undertaking had to contend, and the means by which the Executive were
  enabled to overcome them, are clearly and consecutively stated. The work
  also contains some valuable statistical and other information connected
  with the building, and copies of the most recent of the regulations
  issued by the Executive. We would cordially recommend this very
  interesting work."


  "The volume before us has fair claim to its title of a Narrative of the
  Exhibition. It commences with an account of such British and foreign
  exhibitions as may be supposed to have led to the idea of the great
  international show of industry to be held in the present year. The work
  also contains a complete account of how the world's industrial products
  have come to be housed in the present building; gives all the rules and
  orders of the Commissioners and Executive Committee; special instructions
  to colonial and foreign exhibitors and Custom-house authorities; names of
  authorised agents for foreign countries; Custom-house agents recommended
  by the Royal Commissioners; and such other information as renders it a
  really useful volume of practical information to all exhibitors and
  visitors at the Exhibition."


  "Within the compass of an elegant pocket-volume the author of the present
  narrative has contrived to furnish his readers with a very copious
  history of the origin, progress, and prospects of the Great Exhibition.
  Throughout the work he has written with an especial regard at once to
  simplicity and perspicuity, so that we rest satisfied his labours will
  prove eminently successful, the book being incontestibly _the_ narrative
  of the Great Industrial Exposition. Beginning with all the preliminary
  particulars, which are absolutely essential for the comprehension of the
  entire scheme of the Prince Consort, the narrative describes very lucidly
  the growth of the first crude idea to its present gigantic dimensions.
  The share taken in the project by the Society of Arts is duly celebrated,
  and the influence of the successive expositions of French industry
  especially notified. The volume is altogether a very clever and most
  complete work."


  "Works upon the above subject will become highly popular from the very
  necessity of the case; and consequently that which the public must
  chiefly look for amidst all the competition that will ensue will be
  correctness and compactness combined with economy. Mr. Peter Berlyn's
  book combines every requisite information regarding the Exhibition from
  first to last. Its clever compilation, tasteful form, quantity and
  variety of information, and the dependance that may be placed upon it for
  correctness, combine with its early appearance to render it one of the
  most valuable hand-books that are likely to be generally used."


  "A very useful and sound history of the rise and progress of the Great
  International Exhibition of 1851, in which the first movements towards it
  are carefully and ably detailed; and a very good analysis is given of all
  preceding industrial exhibitions, at home and abroad, as well as a large
  amount of information connected with the construction of the building
  itself, and abstracts of official documents connected with the entire
  movement. The author has done justice to the efforts which have been made
  to interest the English manufacturer, and stimulate him in his artistic
  endeavours; and we feel bound to acknowledge his courteous notice of the
  exertions made by 'The Art Journal' in helping forward its consummation
  in 1851."


  "For those who wish to know all about the rise and progress of the Great
  Exhibition and its Crystal Palace this neat hand-book is the very thing.
  Mr. Berlyn has performed his task with laudable industry. He has drawn
  together and arranged a large amount of scattered information regarding
  the Exhibition in a pleasant form. As an elegant and trustworthy
  hand-book, the narrative deserves to be popular."


  "This neat volume gives a history of previous Exhibitions--some on small,
  some on large scales--that have taken place in divers parts of Europe of
  late years. It then points out the precise origin of the Exhibition of
  all Nations, snowing the share his Royal Highness Prince Albert had in
  it; its history and progress are thus minutely detailed, and its
  prospects are foreshadowed without exaggeration. We cordially recommend
  it as a pocket-companion necessary to all those who have not as yet
  mastered the chief facts connected with the erection of the Palace of


  "An able and complete history of the scheme, which we have all to accept
  as _un fait accompli_, and a useful guide to the transparent mazes of the
  Crystal Palace."


  "Of the works already published, and professing to treat of this gigantic
  undertaking in its national, social, scientific, and artistic light, we
  have not met with one so completely pervaded by a spirit of universality
  as this book of Mr. Berlyn's. In matters of detail and relation his
  narrative is explicit and lucid; where he has touched on the history of
  an art or a manufacture he is correct in his data; and in tracing the
  Exhibition to its true source he has displayed a highly philosophical
  insight into the spirit of the age. Within the pages of his book will be
  found a faithful record of the most important meetings of the Royal
  Commissioners, as well as those convened by the corporations of cities,
  by societies, or by private individuals, for the furtherance of the great
  work in hand. To these is appended a verbatim report of the speeches
  delivered at these meetings by the distinguished men who were invited to
  preside over them; and the enlightened, liberal, and hopeful spirit which
  pervades their addresses forms a cheerful contrast to the ominous
  predictions of certain political and theological fanatics. After a full
  discussion of what may be termed the _business_ portion of the subject,
  Mr. Berlyn closes his excellent little book with a brief but eloquent and
  comprehensive consideration of the beneficial results which are likely to
  accrue from this great national undertaking, not only to ourselves but
  mankind in general. The entire absence of partiality or prejudice
  throughout the book, and the very interesting information contained in it
  for all matters directly or indirectly connected with the Exhibition,
  induce us to recommend the author to publish editions of it in the French
  and German languages. By this means he would be conferring a boon on our
  country's guests."


  "Mr. Peter Berlyn has produced a well arranged, clear, and concise hand
  book to this wonder of the world, in which he traces its origin,
  progress, and prospects, in a pleasing and interesting manner. This must
  have been a most difficult task, as the materials out of which he has
  formed his narrative are so widely scattered that it requires some one
  who perfectly and profoundly understands the subject (as we are convinced
  Mr. Berlyn does) to collect and arrange them in so satisfactory a manner.
  The ladies also will hail this work with pleasure, because, though
  containing every information on the subject, it is at the same time
  light, interesting, and infinitely superior to the dry and prosy style
  usually adopted in similar works. It is tastefully illustrated, has an
  elegant fancy binding, and forms a guide-book either for the library or
  the pocket."


  "A volume carefully compiled from authentic sources of information upon
  the several points set forth in its ample title page."


  "We do not go out of our province as horticultural journalists in
  noticing a work recently issued by Mr. Gilbert, of Paternoster-row. Our
  friends in the provinces will do well to study beforehand as many of the
  probable incidents of their trip as possible; and, though innumerable
  prints and tabular descriptions of the Exhibition Building have been
  issued, we have not had anything before like a connected history of the
  great project itself. The work before us is called 'A Popular Narrative
  of the Origin, History, Progress, and Prospects of the Great Exhibition
  of 1851; and we think the author, Mr. Berlyn, has treated his subject in
  perfect accordance with the title. More than this it is quite unnecessary
  to say as to the merits of the work; but we may just notice that the
  'getting-up' has evidently been intrusted to careful hands. The binding
  is neat and tasteful, and, besides a ground-plan, a perspective view of
  the building is given."


  "This volume, which unostentatiously treats on the highly interesting
  subjects indicated in the title, is based on records of unimpeachable
  value. All speculation has been wisely avoided, and its pages present an
  unvarnished history of one of the most extraordinary undertakings of
  which the history of the world can boast; extraordinary in the fact of
  the people of this little island challenging the people of the universe
  to meet on its shores with specimens of their several productions of
  industry; and extraordinary in the magnitude, decidedly novel, and
  inconceivably rapid erection of the building for their reception. The
  history of every similar exhibition is traced back to its source; those
  of Manchester, Birmingham, London, and France are minutely recorded; the
  growing interest which followed every subsequent exposition statistically
  described, and every detail connected with the Royal Commission, the
  arrangements, the building, future rules, throughout a space of 200
  pages, and finishing with a list of the local committees, conveys a vivid
  and correct picture of this vast national undertaking."


  "A work that was wanted. It puts the public in full possession of every
  iota of intelligence in connexion with the Great Exhibition worth having,
  and has some very sensible remarks on the prospects of home exhibitors,
  especially at the forthcoming display. It is indispensable to all
  interested in the subject."


  "'A Popular Narrative of the Great Exhibition' was really needed,
  explaining its whole history from its first conception in the Prince
  Consort's brain, and Mr. Berlyn's book has amply supplied the need. It is
  a very smart volume, and the writer is duly impressed with the grandeur
  of his theme."


  "We can hardly speak too highly of this elegant and useful volume. Mr.
  Berlyn has done his part admirably, and the publisher has seconded him in
  the business department no less satisfactorily. All the floating and
  disconnected accounts that have hitherto been brought before the public
  from time to time are here collected and arranged in a very popular and
  lucid manner, while a mass of fresh information, entirely new and
  authentic, renders this book the only complete compendium of the
  Exhibition in all its bearings. The history of its origin is written with
  a graphic power and a narrative vigour very surprising on such a subject.
  You are carried along with as much interest as if reading a work of
  fiction. The contents fully justify the ample title, and in that tact
  lies more of eulogy than columns of praise could say."


  "A neatly-printed volume on the History of the Exhibition; containing a
  careful digest of all the documents which the Commissioners have issued."


  "Mr. Berlyn's book is an elegant volume by way of a guide to the Crystal
  Palace. It contains a well-condensed summary on everything connected with
  the subject of the Exhibition."


  "A gaily-boarded volume, nattily emblazoned on the outside with colours,
  with a tinted frontispiece of the Glass House from the same familiar
  aspect. It is dedicated to Prince Albert, and contains an elaborate
  introduction, in which the by-past expositions of Paris, Birmingham,
  Manchester, Dublin, &c. are duly noticed. It is as a whole a neat mode of
  preserving all the 'printed gossip,' as well as weightier reports of
  Commissioners, relating to the preparations of the shell of the


  "A most interesting record of the history and opinions as to the probable
  results of the World's Fair, to be held in the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park.
  The author has condensed into a most readable work every transaction
  which has given rise to this exhibition of the choice products of the


  "This book gives, in a concise and agreeable manner, a narrative of the
  progress of the scheme towards fruition, and an account of the building.
  The account is put together pleasantly, and makes a pretty book."


  "A valuable and elegant introduction to the Great Industrial Exhibition.
  It contains much useful information, lucidly and carefully arranged."


  "Mr. Berlyn's book is all it professes to be. It contains an ample and
  popular narrative of the circumstances connected with the conception and
  ultimate realisation or the idea; and incidentally throws much light upon
  the progress and effects of similar exhibitions abroad. The author
  deserves the greatest credit for the lively, interesting, and accurate
  manner in which he has recorded all the leading events connected with the
  Exhibition. In doing this we are happy to perceive also that he has the
  manliness to do justice to those who first introduced the idea of such
  Exhibitions into this country, and who had to struggle with all the
  difficulties which usually dog the footsteps of innovators and inventors.
  The first exhibitions had to encounter prejudice and apathy, and the
  funds for carrying them out were comparatively small, and difficult to be
  procured; they had not the _prestige_ of princely and titled names, to
  give them acceptance with the vulgar herd, who eagerly copy the fashion
  set by the great. They were the production of a pure love of art, and
  science, and industry, and a desire to promote the improvement of public
  taste and skill. One of the first promoters 'of the plan of National
  Expositions, similar to those on the Continent,' was Mr. George Wallis,
  formerly master of the Manchester School of Design; of whose exertions
  Mr. Berlyn makes honourable mention. It is exceedingly interesting to
  have presented at one view the gradual expansion of the original idea,
  through a succession of varied phases, to its ultimate development as an
  Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations. It appears clear that Prince
  Albert is entitled to the merit of giving it this cosmopolitan character;
  other exhibitions have always been either local, provincial, or national.
  The idea of making that of 1851 universal is due to the Prince Consort
  alone. The circumstances under which Mr. Paxton conceived the idea of the
  structure which now attracts the admiration of every beholder, in Hyde
  Park, read more like a sketch of the imagination than a sober reality;
  and the almost incredible rapidity with which the plan has been
  translated into a great fact is one of the proudest testimonies that can
  be borne to the industrial resources, skill and enterprise of this
  country. Of all the marvels that will be exhibited at the World's Fair
  next May, none will be so marvellous as the structure in which they are
  collected; and we confidently commend Mr. Berlyn's book as an agreeable
  companion and guide to every visitor, as well as a record of the growth
  of the Exhibition, well deserving of preservation on account of its
  intrinsic merits and historical value."


  "Mr. Berlyn (whom many of our readers will remember as an active and
  earnest promoter of the interests of our Athenæum, in his character of
  honorary secretary to that institution), having held an official
  situation in connexion with the Royal Commission for carrying out the
  business detail of the intended Exhibition, finds means to present us
  with an extremely able and instructive volume. His narrative is cleverly
  written, and affords ample information of the origin and progress of a
  movement which has already acquired a world-wide fame. The gradual
  advance of public opinion and feeling in reference to the study of art,
  and to the more general cultivation of a love for the ideal and the
  beautiful among the people, are care fully traced, and we have every
  reason to believe that credit is justly given to the humble but earnest
  workers in the cause."


  "A popular narrative of the origin, history, progress, and prospects of
  the Great Exhibition, with a guide to the future rules and arrangements,
  by Peter Berlyn, has just been published by Gilbert, of Paternoster-row.
  It is a very able and useful volume, beautifully got up, and at a cheap


  "Mr. Berlyn's book supplies a _desideratum_. It is the first attempt, so
  far as we know, to give a consecutive narrative of the circumstances
  which have given birth to the great design, whose realisation is to
  illustrate the history of the present year. He has done his work well.
  The narrative is entirely derived from authentic and official sources, to
  which Mr. Berlyn, from his connexion with the undertaking, had peculiar
  opportunities of access. The author regards the Exhibition, not as a
  sudden individual thought, but as the natural result of certain
  industrial ideas and tendencies which have been gradually developing
  themselves during several years; and this view leads him to trace the
  history of various prior exhibitions on a minor scale in this country,
  such as the polytechnic exhibitions in different towns, and the
  exhibitions of art and manufactures which have taken place, many years,
  in Manchester, Birmingham, and the metropolis. The proceedings more
  immediately connected with the great World's Exhibition now in
  preparation are then related from the commencement, and in a manner at
  once concise and complete. Finally, we have a full account of the rules
  and regulations determined on for the conduct of this remarkable
  undertaking. The volume contains several excellent illustrations, is
  tastefully bound, and in a portable form."


  "This is an exceedingly interesting and useful book. It has been got up
  as a hand-book for the visitors to the Great Exhibition, but its object
  is more to give a condensed account of the history of the event than to
  serve as a guide within the building. The writer, who treats his subject
  most clearly and ably, enters into a brief narrative of all that has been
  hitherto done, in this and other countries, to foster national taste in
  connexion with these public displays. In our own countries he goes on, at
  length, into an investigation of what may be termed the initiatory
  exhibition lately held at Birmingham, and which, in its results, far
  exceeded the expectations of its founders. He also gives a concise
  history of the proceedings relative to the 'Palace of Glass,' from the
  time that its erection was a dreamy idea until it rose in its gigantic
  transparency to astonish the world."


  "This is a book for the times and to the purpose. Its title-page tells
  with what object it has been written, and is well borne out by its
  contents. When we open it we find a concise and faithful account of the
  causes and progress of the world's gathering which is just upon us. In
  preparing his volume the author has taken care to avoid all 'culling of
  simples,' and to give only such information as may be depended upon, and
  which possesses more than ephemeral interest. It abounds also, in
  practical suggestions and philosophical observations. We will only say
  further that the publisher, although he does not puff the work by talking
  of giving it away, certainly comes as near as possible to that point in
  the price which he has fixed upon it. We can safely recommend it."


  "A cleverly-written and carefully-condensed little volume, containing all
  that has been done, and much that should be known, respecting the great
  event of the year. The author culls with great judgment from the
  addresses delivered at various meetings held throughout the country; the
  regulations issued by the Executive Committee are also introduced.
  Altogether, a more complete record, within the same amount of space, it
  would be impossible to find; it confers great credit upon the writer, who
  in addition is evidently an enthusiast in the work about which he writes
  so well."


  "This volume should be in the hands of all who take an interest in the
  great event of this _annus mirabilis_, 1851. What it promises in the
  title-page it performs in those which follow. It contains an accurate and
  deeply interesting record of the causes and progress of the preparation
  for that gathering of the nations of the earth which we are about to
  witness, and chronicles all the official information on the subject which
  is worth preserving. The practical suggestions and observations to be
  found in it are greatly to the credit of the writer. We must also give
  our praise to the publisher, Mr. Gilbert, for the manner in which he has
  brought it out, and the low price at which he offers it to the buyer."


  "Of course we are already deluged with hand-books, guide-books, &c., to
  the Exhibition. Such little works, properly compiled, will not only be
  interesting, but absolutely serviceable, to the country visitor. We have
  had oceans sent to us, varying in price as in truthfulness and English
  grammar. The best we have seen is a 'Popular Narrative of the
  Exhibition,' by Peter Berlyn, published by Gilbert, of Paternoster-row; a
  book distinguished not only by correctness and labour, but also by very
  considerable literary merit."


  "What the flower-garden is to the bees, attracting them to gather honey
  from its sweets, the Grand Exhibition has been to many a candidate
  anxious to take his place in the ranks of authorship. The book before us
  is one of the proofs of its stimulating powers. It fully and ably
  accomplishes all which the title-page leads us to expect, setting forth
  the causes and progress of that wondrous festival of industry at which
  the world is to meet in Britannia's Crystal Palace. The information which
  it contains may be relied upon as derived from the best sources; the
  practical suggestions are valuable; and the observations are penned in a
  highly philosophical spirit. We can safely recommend the work to our
  readers, and we are quite certain that everybody who buys it will be
  satisfied that his money has been well laid out. We speak not from our
  own authority only, but have our verdict backed by the opinion of persons
  competent to pronounce upon the merits of the volume before us."


  "This little volume has a merit which belongs to but few books published
  in the present age. It is wanted. There has no doubt been a great deal
  written on the subject of which it treats, as well as a great deal
  spoken; but till now we have had only scattered and almost inaccessible
  information on the one hand, or mere catchpenny pamphlets on the other.
  Mr. Berlyn's excellence is, that he is honest; that his work fulfils the
  promise of its title-page. Officially connected from its outset with the
  great scheme which he describes, he has enjoyed peculiar facilities for
  this task, has known where to look for materials, and been able to judge
  of their relative usefulness and importance. Of these opportunities he
  has diligently availed himself, and the result is to be seen in the
  elegant book before us. Simple and popular in style, it is comprehensive
  and instructive in its contents; we therefore recommend it."

*       *       *       *       *       *

_Beautifully printed in 8vo, price only 7s. 6d., or postage free, 8s. 6d.,
Illustrated by Eighty very splendid Pictures, engraved by George Measom,_





Its Architectural History and Constructive Marvels.


The Engravings will depict the various peculiarities and novelties of this
wonderful Building as well as the Machinery, &c., used in its construction.
The combined efforts of the Proprietor, as well as the Authors and Artists,
are to produce a work worthy to be purchased and preserved by every visitor
to the Great Exhibition.






_With Illustrations of its most Important Buildings and Sights,_

Engraved on their exact Localities.

This novel Map will be found an interesting, intellectual, and practical
guide to all Visitors who may wish to proceed readily to the more Important
Sights and Attractions of London. The price, in sheet, coloured, with
Letter-press Keys and References, is 1s. 6d.; or in Case for the pocket,
2s.; postage free, 3s.






Frontispiece and Tables of Cab Fares; the Rules and Laws relative to
Metropolitan Conveyances; and Explanations in four Languages--to enable the
Visitor to find his own way throughout the length and breadth of the
Metropolis.--Price 6d; or postage free, 1s.

*       *       *       *       *       *

_Price 1s. 6d., or 2s. bound; postage free, 6d. extra,_



This original work, which has long been in full preparation for
publication, is especially intended as a useful and indispensable pocket
companion to every visitor to the Metropolis during the Great Exhibition of

*** Separate Editions of the book issued in the French and German
Languages, price 6d. each extra.


  "Contains much useful information for residents as well as visitors. It
  has also a good Map, and is very moderate in price."--_English

  "A very useful companion throughout the streets and sights of
  London."--_Lady's News._

  "The distinguishing excellences of this guide are, that it is cheap, and
  that it is written especially for the benefit of the visitors to London
  during the Great Exhibition."--_Standard of Freedom._

  "A publication prompted by the Great Exhibition: it is a plain and
  business-like affair, giving a good deal of information upon various
  subjects connected with the comfort of visitors, as well as directions
  for sight-seeing."--_Spectator._

  "This hand-book contains the most complete information connected with the
  localities, customs, public buildings, amusements, and resources of the
  capital city of this kingdom; and for travellers or foreigners we say it
  is an indispensable work, if they desire to possess an accurate knowledge
  of London during their visit to the Great Exhibition."--_Mark-lane

  "Unquestionably the most useful little work of its sort we have met with.
  It abounds with accurate, ample, and valuable information respecting
  London and its suburbs. We know of no more interesting or cheaper
  publication."--_Catholic Standard._


_Price, on a large sheet, only 6d.; in case, 1s. 6d.; or on roller,
varnished, 3s. 6d.,_



Containing particulars of its Palaces, Public Buildings, Religious
Edifices, Hospitals, Inns of Court, Parks, Gardens, Bridges, Museums,
Literary Institutions, Theatres, Public Amusements, Exhibitions, Cab Fares,
Railway Stations, Ambassadors, Bankers, Hotels, Docks, Arcades, Private
Galleries, Curiosities, Churches and Chapels, Cab, Omnibus, and Coach Rules
and Laws, Omnibus Routes, Environs, Post-offices, Steamers, Foreign Money
Tables, &c.


_Price, coloured and mounted in cloth case for the pocket, only 1s.; or
paper case, 6d.; in sheet, 4d._




*       *       *       *       *       *



_Just Published, size of the Engraving 18 inches by 10, printed on paper,
size 21 inches by 14½,_






With several Hundred Scenic and Characteristic Figures, beautifully and
accurately Drawn from the Official Documents,


_With Statistical Details in English, French, and German._


The exciting interest which the Exhibition creates throughout the world,
has prompted the production of this carefully-executed, large, and
beautiful Illustration of the Exhibition Building. It is got up in
first-rate style, printed on the best paper, and published at the low price
of SIXPENCE; or coloured, ONE SHILLING. The special object of its combined
beauty and cheapness is not only to command sale in the United Kingdom, but
to induce our Merchants, Manufacturers, and all interested in this glorious
Institution to send this Illustration of the Building to every part of the
world. It may also be had in a neat gilt frame and glazed, price only 5s.;
or stretched on a frame and varnished, price 3s. Either of these two can
also be had packed in a deal box for transit by railway, or other
conveyance, at 1s. extra; or the 6d. and 1s. 6d. editions packed on roller,
for transit by post free, at 8d. each extra.



4to post size, of superior quality, with a beautiful Illustration of the
Building printed in tints. Price 2s. per quire, or 34s. per ream.


8vo post, of superior quality, with a beautiful Illustration of the
Building. Price 1s. 6d. per quire, or 21s. per ream.


With a View of the Building. Price One Penny. Size, 4½ inches by 3.


With a View of the Building. Price Twopence. Size, 7 inches by 4½.

*       *       *       *       *       *

_Just Published, in Thirty-Six Sheets, of different Subjects, at the
extremely low price affixed,_






&c. &c.


These beautiful Pictures are on folio-sized drawing-paper, and produced in
the first-rate style, being most beautiful and successful imitations of
Original Drawings. They are admirably adapted for framing; would also form
a tasteful ornament to Ladies' Portfolios, or as patterns for Drawing in


  Sheet 1, price only 2s.--Fruit: Peaches, Purple Grapes, Green Grapes.
  Flowers: Moss Rose, Campanula (Canterbury-bell), Wallflower, Convolvulus.
  Sheet 2, price 1s. 6d.--Poppy, Ranunculus, Pæonia, Hollyhock,
      Convolvulus, Anagallis, Rosebud.
  Sheet 3, price 1s. 6d.--White Rose, Red Rose, Anemone, Single Dahlia,
      Cineraria, Nastertium, Auricula, Veronica.
  Sheet 4, price 1s. 6d.--Passion Flower, Rose, Tulip, Geranium, Pinks,
  Sheet 5, price 1s. 6d.--Anemone, Petunia, Mountain Aster, Heartsease,
      Viola Tricolor, Anagallis.
  Sheet 6, price 1s. 6d.--White Lilies, Tiger Lily, Tulip, White Fuschia.

  Sheet 7, price 2s.--Fruit: Peach, Apple, Pineapple, Purple Grapes, Green
      Grapes, Egg Plum, Red Currants, White Currants.
  Flowers: Rose, Convolvulus.
  Sheet 8, price 2s.--Fruit: Peach, Apple, Pear, Plums, Red Grapes, Green
  Flowers: Lilium Lancifolium, Picotee, Fuschia, Scarlet Geranium, Marigold
  Sheet 9, price 1s. 6d.--Ipomæa Horsfallii, Ipomæa Rubro-cærulea.
  Sheet 10, price 1s. 6d.--Hibiscus Splendens.
  Sheet 11, price 1s. 6d.--Ipomæa.
  Sheet 12, price 1s. 6d.--Yellow Hibiscus.

  Sheet 13, price 2s.--Fruit: Peaches, Plums, Red Grapes, White Currants.
  Flowers: Convolvulus Major, White Rose, Heartsease, Fumaria Anagallis.
  Sheet 14, price 1s. 6d.--Noisette Rose.
  Sheet 15, price 1s. 6d.--Orange Lily, Geranium, White Pink, Mule Pink,
      Petunia, China Aster, Yellow Mallow, Anagallis, Malvi, Primula,
      Mouse-ear, Tropæolum.
  Sheet 16, price 1s. 6d.--Anemones, Tulip, Jonquil, Aster, Marigold,
      Semi-double Rose, Yellow Rose, Convolvulus Minor, Auricula,
      Nastertium, White Rose.
  Sheet 17, price 2s.--Fruit: Melon, Pomegranate.
  Flowers: Tulip, Honeysuckle, Lily of the Valley.
  Sheet 18, price 1s. 6d.--Pinks, Carnations.

  Sheet 19, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Bullfinches, Nest, Eggs, and Flowers.
  Sheet 20, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Greenfinches, Nest, Eggs, and Flowers.
  Sheet 21, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Goldfinches, Nest, Eggs, and Flowers.
  Sheet 22, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Titmouse on the Stump of a Tree.
  Sheet 23, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Redstarts, with Nest, Eggs, and
  Sheet 24, price 1s. 6d.--A pair of Chaffinches, with Nest, Eggs, and

  Sheet 25, price 1s. 6d.--A View of the Castle of Chillon, Lake of Geneva.
  Sheet 26, price 1s. 6d.--A View of Tintern Abbey.
  Sheet 27, price 1s. 6d.--View of Caerphilli Castle and Vale.
  Sheet 28, price 1s. 6d.--View of Snowdon from the Valley of Dolydellan.
  Sheet 29, price 1s. 6d.--View of Llangollen, Castle Dinas-Bran.
  Sheet 30, price 1s. 6d.--View of Fountain, St. Mary-le-Wigford, Lincoln.


It must be distinctly observed that the whole of the above are in full
colours, and most successful imitations of original drawings, the price of
each sheet being also fixed at extremely low prices. A variety of other
sheets are in active preparation.

*       *       *       *       *       *


_The 53rd Thousand, price only 1s. sewed, or 1s. 6d. bound (postage free,
4d. extra)_,

With a very useful steel-plate Genealogical Chart of the Sovereigns of



Remarks on Manners, Customs, Arts, Dresses, &c.



*** In consequence of the rapidly extended sale and approval of this Work,
every page of the present Edition has been carefully enlarged and much
improved. By a judicious enlargement of the width and length of the page,
one-third more letter-press is introduced without any increase of price.


  "In the system of Education sufficient regard is not always paid to
  impressing on the pupil's mind the leading points in a branch of study.
  His memory is confused with a too great variety of details. This manual
  of Mr. Ince's is well calculated to counteract this defective method, by
  affording a well-digested outline, which should be carefully committed to
  memory, and afterwards filled up by means of oral instruction or
  reference to larger works. Lively chapters of historical memoranda, and
  brief sketches of manners and customs, are appropriately introduced. We
  can cordially recommend this well-digested manual."--_Sharpe's Magazine._

  "A neat and accurate compendium, and written with perspicuity. The events
  of each reign are arranged under different heads, so as to give at a
  glance a comprehensive view of the whole."--_Athenæum._

  "A new edition, with improvements. It is a little 'Rapin' in its way, a
  history condensed into a nutshell; and we feel assured will, with its
  companion works, form the future text-books of the young of both sexes.
  Works intended for the mental culture of the young are sure to meet our
  approval when properly deserving it; and in the present instance we feel
  inclined to extend the usual limit of our remarks in favour of the lucid
  and well-arranged books which Mr. Ince has issued for the rising
  generation. We could not forbear a smile, on glancing over their
  contents, at the recollection of the sundry fat quartos and huge folios
  through which in boyhood we were obliged to wade for the acquirement of a
  less amount of information than is here presented within the space of one
  hundred pages."--_The Mirror._

  "Well-digested and useful outlines of our History, and deserves to be a
  standard educational work."--_Eclectic Review._

  "Superior to anything of the kind; here is a clear and comprehensive
  outline of the whole History of England. We cordially recommend
  it."--_Wesley Banner._

  "The leading points are clearly traced, and adapted for easy transmission
  to the mind."--_Mark-lane Express._

  "A valuable addition to those books specially designed for
  education."--_Bell's Messenger._

  "These 'Outlines' are particularly well done."--_Bankers Magazine._

  "A good compendium; it contains the essence of very many volumes, serving
  not only as helps for the education of youth, but as refreshers to the
  memory to those who are old."--_Sunday School Magazine._

  "This book is not undeserving of the popularity it has obtained: it is
  full of information, and contains the substance of more knowledge of the
  social progress, manners, and customs of our ancestors than many works of
  far larger pretensions."--_The third review of the Athenæum._

  "A great deal of information in a small compass, and the author has
  availed himself of the latest authorities. We prefer the form of Outlines
  to Catechisms. It contributes to the formation of more logical views,
  both by the teacher and scholar. Catechisms are the school-books of

  "Both the plan and style are perspicuous; it is admirably adapted for
  what it is intended."--_The Times._

  "Contains a vast amount of interesting and useful knowledge, and
  admirably adapted as helps to parents and teachers of youth."--_Tait's

  "A well-digested little book."--_Literary Gazette._

  "A very useful book for the instruction of youth, being a complete
  _resumé_ of the whole History of England."--_Metropolitan._

  "Well adapted for the education of the young."--_New Monthly Magazine._

  "The brief statements of the principal events of each Sovereign's reign
  are neat and succinct."--_The Economist._

  "An improved edition of Mr. Ince's very useful book."--_The Rambler._

  "Ince's 'Outlines' is a very excellent book to put into the learner's
  hands: it is clear and well-arranged."--_Author's Institute Circular._


_In 18mo, price 1s., 1s. 6d. bound (postage free, 4d. extra)_,






  "It affords a very pleasing view of the whole History of France. The
  author being gifted with a philosophical mind and a classical taste, the
  subjects, though treated in a detached, are far from being treated in a
  dry and unentertaining manner."--_The Times._

  "It is embellished with some capital engravings, and abounds in the
  narration of those romantic events which form the groundwork of so many
  delightful works."--_The Mirror._

  "Mr. Ince is not of those men who speak much without saying anything; he
  says much in a few words."--_French Paper._

  "A very useful educational work."--_Literary Gazette._

*       *       *       *       *       *

_Price 1s. sewed, or 1s. 4d. bound (postage free, 4d. extra), the Eleventh
Thousand of_




By Henry Ince, M.A.


*** This Edition has been very much extended and improved; by an
enlargement of the size of the page, and careful arrangement of the type, a
very great quantity of highly valuable information has been added.


  "The 'Outlines of General Knowledge' embrace a great variety of facts
  connected with the natural sciences. Even the names of all the divisions
  into which the moderns have classified knowledge fill no inconsiderable
  space. Add to them the names and height of mountains, and names and
  length of rivers, the names of constellations, the names of the chemical
  elements, the amount of population of the different kingdoms of the
  world, the amount of their respective taxation per head, &c. &c., and the
  mere nomenclature seems calculated to fill a tolerably large book. All
  this, and more than this, is collected in Mr. Ince's 'Outlines,' and
  those not accustomed to the art of the author will wonder how one small
  head could carry all he has brought together."--_The Economist._

  "Well-digested 'Outlines,' which should be committed to everybody's
  memory."--_Sharpe's Magazine._

  "A capital book, deserving especial attention."--_Family Friend._

  "Contains for its size a remarkable quantity of interesting and
  well-arranged information. It would make a valuable present to Sunday
  Schools and lending libraries."--_Athenæum._

  "A vast amount of condensed information."--_The Rambler._

  "Contains a considerable amount of information of a very valuable kind,
  on a variety of subjects, that in ordinary routine of education are too
  much overlooked, an acquaintance with which is every day becoming more
  and more indispensable. They are germs which cannot fail to vegetate in
  the mind, to fructify in the head, and eventually to produce a fourfold
  reward to him who labours in the acquisition of them."--_Sunday School

  "Calculated to instruct anyone of common intelligence on every known
  topic of importance, and to start him with a mind stored with the
  accumulated learning of 6000 years."--_The Mirror._

  "A valuable little publication, full of information in a small compass,
  creating an appetite for deeper investigation."--_Bell's Life._

*       *       *       *       *       *



_Now publishing in Monthly Parts, price only 4½d., or 8½d. coloured (each
Part to contain four Maps)_,




Series of fifty-two Imperial Quarto Maps, Engraved on Steel,





Geographical Knowledge was to a considerable extent an essential necessity
even in the early periods of our world, cultivated indeed at first for
almost purely social purposes, yet in the same proportion as our
progenitors increased in numbers, so also did their extended range of
observation instil into their minds the necessity of more practical
observations on the relative bearings of the districts through which they
passed, noting at the same time the numerous changes of hill and dale,
rivulet and stream, and the countless varieties of the wonderful products
with which it pleased Almighty God to bless its various regions. Hence
progressively arose the Topographical and Geographical Delineations with
which the Scriptures abound; to a similar cause may also be traced the
contributions which the savage tribes have at various periods of our
World's History added to the branches of Geographical science.

Now, in the same proportion as any people forming a Nation develope their
commercial and intellectual strength, in the same ratio has it pleased
Providence to render it necessary that its inhabitants should not only
become acquainted with the Topographical and Geographical features,
relative distances and bearings, of their own and neighbouring nations, but
of every portion of the known world, even extending their researches to
unknown regions. Indeed, no member of a commercial nation, especially in
one where education is much diffused, is qualified to act his part aright
as one of its people, unless he is able to form a tolerably accurate notion
of the names of Nations, Places, Seas, Rivers, Mountains, &c., their
relative position and extent, as well as to learn how richly the Creator of
the Earth has endowed them all with the means of ministering to those
comforts and pleasures of which man in every state of society and climate
so much stands in need.

These reflections might be much extended, but the limits of a prospectus
will not permit it. Suffice it to say that every Englishman, be he rich or
poor, should have access to modern Maps of the various portions of the
World, in order to possess the means of cultivating a knowledge of its
divisions, the names of the chief Nations, Places, &c. &c., as well as to
be able to form intellectual and commercial ideas of its numerous products,
and the respective regions from whence come the countless varieties of
foreign substances now in use among us as articles of ornament or

Now, though a Modern Atlas of the World is so essential to every family in
this kingdom, still it has been almost limited in its possession, on
account of the high price at which all really good and practical works have
hitherto been issued. To remove this difficulty has been the principal
motive which has induced the Proprietors of "PHILIPS' PENNY MODERN ATLAS"
to issue a work which they feel satisfied will be universally admitted to
be surprisingly cheap, and not surpassed in usefulness by any attempt
hitherto made to extend the knowledge of Geography.



Which will appear in PHILIPS' PENNY ATLAS, any of which may now be had
separately, price ONE PENNY each Plain, or TWOPENCE Coloured:--

             MODERN MAPS.

   1. Western Hemisphere.
   2. Eastern Hemisphere.
   3. World on Mercator's Projection--Double Map.
   4. Arctic Regions.
   5. Europe--General Map.
   6. British Isles.
   7. England and Wales.
   8. Scotland.
   9. Ireland.
  10. France, in Provinces.
  11. France, in Departments.
  12. Belgium.
  13. Holland.
  14. Prussia.
  15. Poland.
  16. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
  17. Denmark.
  18. Russia in Europe.
  19. Germany.
  20. Austria.
  21. Switzerland.
  22. Spain and Portugal.
  23. Italy.
  24. Turkey in Europe, and Greece.
  25. Asia--General Map.
  26. Turkey in Asia.
  27. Russia in Asia.
  28. Persia and Cabool.
  29. Hindostan.
  30. China.
  31. East India Islands and Australia.
  32. New South Wales.
  33. Tasmania, or Van Dieman's Land.
  34. New Zealand.
  35. Africa--General Map.
  36. Egypt.
  37. America--General Map.
  38. North America.
  39. United States.
  40. Canada.
  41. Mexico, Guatimala, and Texas.
  42. West Indies.
  43. South America.

             ANCIENT MAPS.

  44. Palestine.
  45. Orbis Veteribus Notus.
  46. Orbis Romani Pars Occidentalis.
  47. Orbis Romani Pars Orientalis.
  48. Græcia Antiqua.
  49. Table of the Comparative Height of Mountains.
  50. Ditto        ditto       Length of Rivers.

*       *       *       *       *       *






Size--Full Sheet Imperial, 22 by 27 Inches, Full Coloured.

_Engraved in the best style, and embracing all the recent Geographical


          LIST OF THE MAPS.

   1. The World on Mercator's Projection.
   2.   "  Northern Hemisphere.
   3.   "  Southern ditto.
   4.   "  Eastern ditto.
   5.   "  Western ditto.
   6. North Horizontal ditto.
   7. South ditto.
   8. Europe.
   9. Asia.
  10. Africa.
  11. America--General Map.
  12. North America.
  13. South America.
  14. England.
  15. Scotland.
  16. Ireland.
  17. British Isles.
  18. The Channel Islands, including Isle of Man and Isle of Wight.
  19. Chart of the Baltic Sea.
  20. Sweden and Norway.
  21. Denmark.
  22. Germany--Northern part.
  23. Germany--Southern part.
  24. Holland.
  25. Belgium.
  26. France, in Departments.
  27. France, in Provinces.
  28. Spain and Portugal.
  29. Chart of the Mediterranean.
  30. Turkey in Europe and Greece.
  31. Italy.
  32. Venetian States.
  33. Milanese States.
  34. Tuscany and the States of the Church.
  35. Naples and Sicily.
  36. Switzerland.
  37. Austria.
  38. Prussia.
  39. Poland.
  40. Russia in Europe.
  41. Russian Empire.
  42. Tartary.
  43. Corea and Islands of Japan.
  44. China.
  45. East India Islands.
  46. Hindostan.
  47. British India--Northern part.
  48. British India--Southern part.
  49. Birman Empire.
  50. Persia.
  51. Turkey in Asia.
  52. Arabia.
  53. Egypt and Abyssinia.
  54. Palestine.
  55. North and South Africa.
  56. Atlantic Islands.
  57. Chart of the Atlantic.
  58. Canada, Nova Scotia, &c.
  59. United States.
  60. California, Mexico, &c.
  61. Panama, Guatimala, &c.
  62. West Indies.
  63. Isles of Bermuda, Bahama, and Cuba.
  64. Jamaica.
  65. St. Domingo and Virgin Isles.
  66. St. Christopher's, with Nevis and St. Lucia.
  67. Antigua, with Guadaloupe, &c.
  68. Dominico, with Martinico, &c.
  69. Barbadoes and St. Vincent.
  70. Trinidad, Grenada, Tobago, and Caraçoa.
  71. Peru, Chili, and La Plata.
  72. Caraccas and Guiana.
  73. Islands in the Pacific.
  74. Australia.
  75. New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land.
  76. South Australia.
  77. New Zealand.
  78. Chart of the North-west Passage between Europe and America.
  79. Chart of the Discoveries of Ross, Parry, and Franklin in the Arctic
  80. Table of the comparative Height of Mountains.
  81. Ditto        ditto       Length of Rivers.


*** This series of Maps is by far the largest, best, and cheapest ever
offered for separate sale. Persons desirous of having a specimen of the
series, can order a single Map, through their booksellers, or remit 10d. in
postage-stamps to the Publishers, who will send any Map named, postage

*       *       *       *       *       *

_Just published, complete in 400 very large and full pages, Demy 8vo_,

Containing matter equal in quantity to 1,500 pages of ordinary 8vo volumes,
Price only 4s., or postage free, 5s., strongly and neatly bound in cloth,





Important Documents of Permanent Historical Interest having reference to
the re-Establishment of the



The Editor of these Pamphlets deems it almost superfluous to dwell on the
paramount importance of every respectable family possessing this volume of
very special present and permanent interest. During the discussion of the
exciting matters now at issue in this all-absorbing question, there can be
no questioning the well-recognised fact that the possession of this copious
and cheap volume is essential to every thoughtful and inquiring person in
our beloved country. For those who are as yet unaware of the immense mass
of interesting and important documents that are in its pages, AN INDEX OF
testify to the fact; and the Editor, thinks it only necessary to state
that, with scarcely an exception, the whole of the documents are printed,
verbatim, as they originally appeared, and in very numerous cases they have
had the additional advantage of the direct and special revision of the

The Editor expresses his conviction that all the important facts and
documents relative to the "Roman Catholic Question" have appeared in the
pages of these pamphlets. Doubtless, during the progress of the
Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption Bill through the Houses of Parliament
speeches of interest will be made; still the Editor thinks they will be
merely elaborations of the materials already in these pages, devoid of
original facts or documents.

*** Any persons who may wish to possess the Series or sheet containing
specific articles particularised in the Index, will be at liberty to
purchase it separately, at One Penny or Three-halfpence each sheet
respectively, or at Twopence each extra post-free, through the publisher.
Series 1 to 17 sell at 1d., and 18 to 25 at 1½d. each; but it must be
observed that each sheet or Series contains several documents.


_Just Published, demy 18mo, sewed, Price 2s. 6d., or accompanied by a large
and accurate Map, and bound in Cloth, Price 5s._




Containing a description of the States, Cities, Towns, Villages,
Watering-places, Colleges, &c.; with the Railroad, Stage, and Steam-boat
Routes; the distances from place to place; and the Fares on the great
Travelling Routes.


*       *       *       *       *       *

_Just Published, in a neat Cover_,








_Lately Published, price 2s.; or 2s. 6d. bound in Cloth_,



Thirteen Large Quarto Maps, Full Coloured.




_Just Published, Price 3s. 6d. in Sheets, carefully coloured; 4s. 6d. in
case; or 7s. 6d. mounted on black rollers and varnished_,





Showing the whole of the Railways, Canals, &c., to the present time, and
the distances from place to place in hundreds of miles, taking the City of
New York as the centre.

_The Publishers can, with confidence, recommend this Map of the United
States as the most authentic and elaborate Map that has ever been


*** The works on this and the fifteen preceding pages are published by
JAMES GILBERT, 49, Paternoster-row, London, wholesale and retail
bookseller, publisher, and newsvendor.

Foreign Orders will be executed by J. GILBERT on liberal terms; or they can
be either sent to any wholesale bookseller or stationer; or to any of the
numerous merchants and manufacturers who export to all parts of the world.

It will be necessary, however, to order GILBERT'S Editions, Published at
49, Paternoster-row, London.

*       *       *       *       *       *


*       *       *       *       *       *


[1] A complete list of the names of all the competitors, together with
    those selected by the Committee, will be found in the Appendix; also a
    description and views of the two designs specially referred to.

[2] This "memorandum" will be found in the Appendix.

[3] The figures quoted are not quite correct, as will be seen hereafter.

[4] The surface covered by the Basilica of St. Peter's at Rome amounts to
    223,900 square feet, the Cathedral at Milan occupies 124,100, and St.
    Paul's, London, 114,900 square feet.

[5] It is perhaps necessary to mention here, that the leakage of the roof
    which was at first much complained of was owing to incomplete
    construction, and not to any defect in the principle, or in the manner
    in which it has been carried out.

[6] About three hundred planks were passed through the machine in a
    working-day of ten hours, allowing the necessary stoppages for
    sharpening the cutters; and if only three widths of sash-bar were
    produced out of each blank, the quantity finished per diem would amount
    to about two miles and three quarters. This machinery, as well as that
    for grooving and moulding the ridges, was worked at the Phoenix
    Saw-mills, Cumberland-basin, Regent's Park, belonging to Mr. Birch.

[7] A This piece of machinery is only novel in its application, as it is
    similar to that used by brush-makers for drilling a number of small
    holes in close and regular arrangement.

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