London World Expo: Origin, Organization and Influence

  The World Expo is a true record of science, technology and civilization in the development of human society. Through the expo, many scientific technologies and inventions have been brought to daily life. The “Universal Industrial Exposition” held in London in 1851 was recognized by the world as the first world exposition in the modern sense.

  At the end of the 18th century, the British Industrial Revolution was in full swing. In the mid-nineteenth century, Britain completed the industrial revolution and became the “world factory” and world trade center. However, the Royal Society of Arts, dedicated to promoting the development of British art, manufacturing and commerce, argued in a report in 1836 that the design of British goods was not as exquisite as continental Europe (especially France). In 1844, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, was elected as the chairman of the Royal Society of Arts. After that, several industrial fairs were successfully organized, but they were not as good as the French Industrial Fair in 1844. In the summer of 1849, the Royal Society of Art sent the backbone of Henry Cole and Matthew Digby Wyatt to Paris to evaluate French industrial exhibitions. After returning to China, Cole proposed to Albert to hold an exhibition in London where “every country’s contribution can be presented to the greatest possible extent”.
  On June 30, 1849, the backbone of the Royal Art Society Henry Cole, John Scott Russell, Francis Fuller and Prince Albert held a historic meeting at Buckingham Palace. The discussion was held in 1851. Possibility of holding an exhibition. The meeting reached an agreement on several key issues of the exhibition: First, “the exhibition must be international, and the exhibits must be attended by foreign products”, so as to “let the world clearly understand the role of the UK as an industrial leader”; Second, the exhibits are classified according to raw materials, machinery, industrial products, and sculptures; third, to build a special building as the exhibition hall; fourth, a reward plan of up to 20,000 pounds was proposed, which was later replaced by a medal system. And set up an award committee that includes experts from different fields and different countries; fifth, the Royal Art Association is responsible for the funds of the exhibition, relying on the issuance of public bonds instead of compulsory taxation; sixth, the establishment of a headed by Prince Albert The Royal Commission came to host the fair. This meeting “opened the Great Exposition of 1851.”
  In order to expand the influence, Henry Cole made a big splash in the most influential newspaper at the time, “The Times”, making the exhibition the focus of public attention. In the autumn of 1849, Cole, Fuller and Scott Russell went to the northern industrial city of England to seek sponsorship and received support from many entrepreneurs. This achievement inspired Prince Albert to publicly announce his intention to host an international exhibition at a banquet at the Mayor’s Residence in London on October 17, 1849. On January 3, 1850, Queen Victoria announced the list of the Royal Commission. Its responsibilities included supervision of the preparation of the fair, selection of venues, introduction of foreign industrial exhibits, and fair distribution of awards. The Royal Commission has several special committees and more than 300 local committees. The main task of the local committees is to raise funds, select exhibitors and exhibits, and at the same time promote the exhibition to the local people and provide certain financial support. Subsequently, Queen Victoria sent invitations to participate in the World Expo in the name of the country, and received positive responses from European and American countries.

  Holding an international exhibition is a complicated matter. The Royal Commission and its special committees and local committees carried out various tasks in an orderly manner. They selected the location of the exhibition hall on the south side of Hyde Park, and issued the exhibition hall design tender documents to various countries in English, French and German. Finally, the British gardener Joseph · The Crystal Palace designed by Paxton stands out. The workers built the Crystal Palace with prefabricated structures such as glass and steel at an astonishing speed. It is 563 meters long, 124.4 meters wide, 20.13 meters high, and has a building area of ​​72,000 square meters. It is transparent and majestic. It has matured several trees in the park. The big elm tree organically accommodates it.
  The organizers of the exhibition believe that building a “hard-working and patriotic worker image” in the exhibition is essential to reflect industrial progress. To this end, the organizers took into account the needs of the working class in terms of transportation, accommodation and affordability. The newly expanded railway network created convenient traffic conditions for workers to visit the Expo. The executive committee negotiated with major railway companies to provide members who participated in the railway travel club with cheap train tickets to visit the exhibition. Many factories and companies also encourage workers to visit the exhibition in different ways: some pay to buy tickets, some give employees a holiday with certain subsidies, and some give reimbursement for visiting expenses.
  In February 1851, the first batch of exhibits began to move into the Crystal Palace, and foreign exhibits entered the customs one after another and were directly transported to the Crystal Palace for customs inspection. In terms of the layout of the exhibits, many foreign exhibits were received only before the opening ceremony, so there was no time to sort them. Therefore, the organizing committee divided the exhibits into two parts-the western end of the nave displays exhibits from the United Kingdom and its territories, which are displayed according to raw materials, machinery, industrial products, and sculptures; foreign exhibits are displayed at the eastern end of the nave according to different countries. All the latest machines at home and abroad are concentrated near the power source in the northwest corner of the palace.
  At 9 o’clock on May 1, 1851, the Crystal Palace officially opened its doors to accept visitors to the opening ceremony. As the host, the United Kingdom hopes to reflect the image of the British as “civilized, honest, hardworking, responsible and respected” through exhibits. At the entrance of the Crystal Palace is a huge equestrian statue of Richard Cold Leon. Entering the Crystal Palace, the audience marveled at the description of the Battle of Hastings on the gold enamel and gem vases and the reliefs of many famous figures such as Nelson, Wellington, Shakespeare, and Newton, as well as Alfred the Great, Elizabeth I, and Welling Statues of the Duke of Dunton, Cromwell and others, and sculptures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert riding side by side.
  In the exhibition hall, various machines, handicrafts, and artistic sculptures are dazzling. Important industrial exhibits include printing presses, steam engines, locomotives, harvesters, truss bridges, jacquard machines, sewing machines, and vulcanized rubber. In the northwest corner of the exhibition hall, the steam produced by a specially built boiler room drives various machines, such as coinage machines, wire drawing machines, spinning machines, slotting machines, and water pumps, to rotate together, making visitors amazed by the magical magic of mechanization . Inventions such as knitting machines, sewing machines, washing machines, and ironing machines embodied the material needs of the middle class who care about family comfort. At that time, a businessman once said: “This is the real and living encyclopedia of industry.”
  At 5 pm on October 11, 1851, the fair closed its doors to the public. In 1852, the Crystal Palace was demolished and moved to the south bank of the Thames to rebuild Sidham in southeast London. “Its reputation in music, art and entertainment has made it famous all over the world.” On the evening of November 30, 1936, the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire, marking the “end of an era”.

  This expo has achieved unprecedented success. In more than 5 months, it attracted more than 6 million visitors, including Charles Darwin, Samuel Colt, Charlotte Browning, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, etc. Celebrities; nearly 14,000 domestic and foreign exhibitors provided more than 100,000 exhibits; the exhibition jury awarded 2918 medals to the exhibitors; after all fees were removed, the profit of the exhibition was as high as 186,436 pounds.
  Through this exhibition, the United Kingdom showed the world the fruits of its industrialization, enhanced its image as a world factory, and accelerated the process of free trade, so that even a famous trade protectionist like Disraeli had to Acknowledge that after this expo, trade restrictions are no longer feasible. It also put an end to the “contempt of merchants and craftsmen” in British society to some extent, and helped ease the tensions in class relations that had been brewing since the 1840s. Henry Mayhew, a social reformer and sociologist at the time, wrote: “Manual workers are now recognized and respected in society.”
  At the same time, the Expo also gave the British a “wonderful lesson”, “Learning To a lot of things that I didn’t know before.” The British have to admit that other European countries outperformed themselves in terms of product quality and exquisite design, which stimulated British inventions, improved British aesthetics, and reshaped British people’s art, science, and education. And leisure attitude, and to a certain extent opened an era of consumerism. In August 1851, Albert made it clear that this exhibition should not be a “temporary event”, but a new central educational institution to inspire a lasting legacy. To this end, the Royal Commission purchased an 87-acre estate in South Kensington and created a complex of educational institutions, namely Albert City.
  As the first truly international exhibition, the 1851 Fair successfully set off a wave of holding large-scale fairs internationally, and provided a template for various domestic and international exhibitions to be held in the UK

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