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  Crystal Palace Exhibits of 1853

Scientific American.
Volume 8, Issue 49, August 20, 1853


General Remarks - The progress of Improvements in the Palace, during the past week, has been quite rapid and visible from day to day; in many quarters of the building the permanent arrangement of the articles is made; especially the Agricultural Department has an air of completeness. The Machine Arcade and Fine Art Gallery will be ready for the reception of their treasures in a few days.

The Exhibition will realize all the reasonable anticipations that have been formed of it. It will be a tolerable exposition of the industrial resources of the world. If the Palace and its contents could be buried out of sight, till some Layard and Champollion of the three thousandth century should dig it up, our descendants of that late day would find enough in the fossil display to satisfy their most eager curiosity about the olden time. There is a great deal at the Palace to be seen, and much worthy of careful study;- less than a whole day's visit should not be thought of. Upon the whole the Exhibition is quite a creditable affair, especially in view of its being an extemporaneous and private speculation. In an enterprise so large, lapses and imperfections that cannot easily be anticipated will of course occur. Constant vigilance of managers is expected and required, and it if abuses are not speedily corrected, censures and complaints must come. We desire to speak as we have hitherto,- whether in praise or reproach, plainly, freely, and impartiality.

DAGUERREOTYPES - It is generally understood that the best daguerreotypes are produced in the United States: The fame of our operators is world-wide. Orders for American apparatus and American processes are received from all parts of the globe. Even in Paris, the birth-place of the Art, the most ex-tensive and splendid establishment is called "The American Photographic Salon”. The competition on daguerreotypes at the Palace is, entirely among our own artists. The number of exhibitors is about forty- all Americans, we believe. The collection of pictures is very extensive, embracing specimens of all the various processes - such so crayon, illuminated, colored, &c. Probably the best daguerreotypes in the world may be found here; and there are many pictures which verify all the extravagancies of those who first described the Daguerrean Art. The beauty and reality of many of these pictures leave nothing more to be desired. Hillotype, even if there wore no " stick in the yellow," will be in little demand if operators generally can learn to color with the exquisite taste and skill displayed in the pictures of Gurney and others. There an good pictures by all the exhibitors, but the palm will be borne away by our New York artists. Some of the country gentlemen, evidently did not know the men they were to contend with. One of the creditable specimens, worthy of attention, is a panoramic view of Cincinnati, Ohio, from Newport, by A. Bisbee, of Dayton, Ohio, on six extra large plates. Mr. Bisbee has well met the difficulties of the bold experiment, but he should have been more careful in the mercurialization. It is extremely difficult but not impossible to mercurialize a large plate evenly. The top of the bath should always be considerably larger than the plate. But if the large plates be carefully moved about on the top of the bath during the bringing-out process, we should think the edge might be coated the same as the center portions.

PHOTOGRAPHS - Everard Blanquart, of Lille, exhibits “Photographic Illustrations of Various Subjects," in the French Department., These we have not seen, but they are highly spoken of. In the American Department, Whipple, of Boston, exhibits “Crystallotypes;” M. A, Root. of Philadelphia, “Talbotypes;" and Hawkins, of Cincinnati, Solo-graphs." These pictures are produced by substantially, the same process. Ample instructions, in the art have been published in the Scientific American during the last four or five years. We are surprised that so little attention has been paid to this beautiful art in the United States. On the Continent of Europe Photographs are preferred to Daguerreotypes, and in some cities of Germany Da-guerreotypes are almost obsolete. The chief advantages of Photographs are, that they may, be easily and cheaply copied, and that there is no disagreeable metallic reflection as in Daguerreotypes. The cost of a single picture is greater than for a Daguerreotype, but when many copies are wanted, they may be afforded at a comparatively small sum. The Pictures are bolder and more distinct than Daguerreotypes and may be viewed in any fight. Being on paper they may be colored with great facility.
The pictures on exhibition are not the best specimens of the art; some of those we observed are spotted and uneven in tone. But the exhibitors will have the credit of being pioneers of Photography in America. They will introduce it favorably to thousands who have never heard of such a thing. The Messrs. Langenheim, of Philadelphia were the first to make it a business; their pictures are called “Hyalotypes," and have been exhibited in many parts of' the Union in Magic Lantern Exhibitions. Bommer & Rolle, 247 Broadway, are exclusively engaged in the business of Photography, and are preparing some pictures for the Crystal Palace, which will excel anything now on exhibition.

For info on the exhibition of the Crystal palace in London from the BBC websiteCLICK HERE

For more information on Gurney CLICK HERE

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2004-12-18 00:00:00

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