Punch, 42 (1862), 209–10.
Industrial Handbook for the International Exhibition
Introduction, Drollery; Reportage, Spoof
Exhibitions, Engineers, Invention, Industry, Government, Politics, Charlatanry, Progress, Military Technology, Steamships, Nutrition, Analytical Chemistry, Human Development, Sanitation
Lancet—Analytical Sanitary Commission
Following the success of Palgrave 1862, announces the publication of a spoof companion volume, a Handbook to the Industrial Department. Notes the difficulties encountered by the exhibition commissioners in finding judges who can be as harsh on exhibits as those in the fine art department. However, proceeds to describe some of the judges who, as it is later ironically pointed out, have been appointed because they have the 'most unbiassed and best-informed opinion on the various classes of the Exhibition, accompanied by that healthy and high-minded criticism, which will at once serve as a lesson to exhibitors'. The judges include 'an ex-analyst of the Lancet' to judge the 'Substances used in Food', William G Armstrong and Joseph Whitworth to judge each other's inventions in gunnery, and a Morison pill vendor to judge 'Pharmaceutical Substances and processes'. Goes on to present a specimen of the judges' comments on nautical inventions, foodstuffs, candles, and soaps. These are either ecstatically praiseworthy or downright hostile. For example, the Admiralty's exhibit of 'Sixteen models representing the progress of Naval Architecture from the first ship of the Royal Navy, 1499, to the present time', is attacked as representing the 'crass stupidity and brutal indifference to the suggestions of inventors which has always marked the Admiralty' and as showing the superiority of the naval architecture of 1488 to that of the present day, which shows 'human baseness', and the 'ignorance of the principles of flotation, equilibrium, and hydrostatic force'. In contrast, the 'Model of S. De C. F.'s Unsinkable Ship, submitted by the Inventor without effect to successive Board of Admiralty, from 1820 to 1862' prompts such praiseworthy comments as 'the inventor [...] has shown the profoundest knowledge of the great and officially unknown laws which govern floating bodies' and 'Mark the thoughtful humanity of the apparatus for instantly annihilating the enemy'. (209)
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