1867 PARIS

The Paris exposition of 1867 is the second universal exhibition which took place in Paris after 1855, decision made once again this time by the Emperor Napoleon III, marking the peak of the Empire II.  
The main idea of this exhibition was the better understanding between nations and the bringing peace through this Exchange.

This exhibition was not given as a goal to bring produce from foreign countries and expose them but also to make their way of life known to the French public and to allow a better interaction between different cultures through the pavilions. The invention of the concept of pavilions is the most important innovation of this exhibition. This concept was taken up at all shows after 1867.

Very innovative products appeared at this exhibition as for example the new diver to swim under water, but also one that resists fire, hydraulic elevator, reinforced concrete, machinery manufacturing soft drinks and many others. It is on the occasion of the exhibition in 1867 that the “bateaux-mouches” as a means of tourist transport made their first appearance on the Seine.

As no other World Exposition before it, the Exposition Universelle 1867 attracted the regents of the whole world. For the first time, even a Turkish sultan left his country to take part in the meeting of nations´ representatives. This unbroken parade of princely visits went on for six months, a parade which was popularly known as the "Nations´ Ballet". And even the rulers of the three continental powers who had fought against Napoleon I up until the year 1814 returned for the first time to Paris: the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, the Prussian King Wilhelm I with his chancellor Bismarck and the Russian Tsar Alexander II. 

The Promenade, the park with its rest rooms, restaurants of different nations, pavilions and different designs ranging from chapels to the lighthouse, passing by the Egyptian Palace and the Russian village also constituted a set of new giving to this exhibition look worthy of a world's fair size and diversity.

1855 PARIS

The exhibition of Agriculture, industry, and the Fine Arts of Paris 1855 was born from the Decree of March 8, 1853, of Napoleon III, who inspired by the first Universal Exhibition held in London in 1851 had decided to organize a similar event in Paris. First an exhibition relating to the industry and agricultural products was created but later an exhibition of fine arts became part of the first one residing in a separate building.
This exhibition was very important at the diplomatic level because of the visit of the Queen Victoria of England. She recognized the rise of Napoleon III to power, showing solidarity between the monarchs and established a very close relationship with him that lasted until the death of Napoleon III.

During the exhibition a big number of machines made their first appearance before a large audience. Indeed the visitors discovered for the first time the lawn mower, washing machine of Moore, sewing machine 'Singer', the speaking doll, the six-shooter (revolver) and one of the first vehicles running on oil. The Saint-Gobain factory exposed the biggest mirror in the world with a surface of 18,4 sq. m.


The First World Exhibition came in response to the demand for creating new economic links between nations in face of the triumph of free trade policy. As a result of the efforts of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, and the inventor Henry Cole it was successfully organised in London, the capital of the State that was at the head of the technological transformation and leader of the mid-nineteenth century economic boom.

A special commission headed by Prince Albert designated the famous Hyde Park as the exposition site and announced a competition for the best project for the building to house the exhibits. More than 250 projects were submitted and the preference was given to the project of Joseph Paxton, later called the Crystal Palace. It became the architectural masterpiece of the epoch and even now its dimensions are impressive: length - 563 metres, width - 124 metres,

floor area – 7,18 ha, height of the main nave - 19,5 metres
, height of the cross nave - 41 metres. (Some time after the exposition closed, the construction was transferred to Sydenham Park; right up to 1936, when it burnt down, the building was the site of exhibitions, sporting events and musical festivals).

“I’m not saying there’s nothing to see, but that there’s too much to see,” – Charles Dickens said after visiting the exhibition. The most impressive section was the machinery section, notable for the railroad equipment from UK and Germany, steam engines and American farm equipment, which was almost unknown in Europe. Stereo photographs by the Scottish physicist David Brewster, vulcanized rubber by the American inventor Charles Goodyear, the so called “Viennese chairs” by the Hungarian furniture-maker Tonet, the 1,720-kilogram ingot of crucible steel produced by the Krupp’s plant and many other new products attracted nearly 6 millions visitors and allowed to the organizers of the exhibition to generate an impressive profit – about 186,000 pound sterling. This money was used to found a number of enlightening and educational institutions such as Geological Museum, Museum of Science and Natural History, Museum of Manufactures (known now as Victoria and Albert Museum) and Imperial College of Science.
As a whole, the First World Exhibition summed up the achievements of the industrial revolution and promoted the accelerated propagation of its results.