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Fifteenth Exhibition of American Manufactures, held in the city
of Philadelphia, from the 21st of October to the 1st of November, inclusive, 1845, by the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, for the promotion of the Mechanic Arts.
ADDRESS OF JOHN WIEGAND, Esq., Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions. Delivered on an
nouncing the Premiums awarded. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:-Our business here this evening is simply to announce the awards which the Committee on Exhibitions have had the pleasure to make. We shall depart from our usual course on this occasion in not giving a detailed report of the merits of this exhibition of American manufactures.
The detailed report, from its great length, would occupy more time in reading it than we have at our command, or than this company could afford to give. We shall therefore have it published in such form as will render it accessible to all who take an interest in American industry and skill. We cannot omit to express our regret that many, and some among the most beautiful specimens of workmanship in the exhibition, were deposited too late, according to our published rules, to receive any awards.
We feel also bound on this occasion to correct an erroneous impression existing among some of the depositors, and visiters, that the Committee on Exhibitions are the exclusive judges of the merits of the articles deposited. The facts in relation to this matter are briefly these :- The articles deposited for exhibition are divided (this year) into thirty-six classes; and upon each class of goods a committee of judges is appointed by the committee on exhibitions, who are selected exclusively for their knowledge and experience in the particular branch of business committed to them; they are selected without reference to their being members of the Franklin Institute, and with the most guarded care that they are in no wise connected with any of the depositors whose articles they are called upon to examine. It is upon the reports which these judges return, that the committee on exhibitions make their awards. We wish it distinctly understood, that the committee on exhibitions reserve to themselves the right, and they always exercise it, of reviewing, and, when proper, of revising the reports of the judges. The reasons for this may be found in our published rules for governing the exhibition. We also desire to have it known, that the highest award which the Committee on Exhibitions can make, is the Silver Medal—the award of the Gold Medal can only be made by the vote of the Institute. To the Judges, and to the gentlemen of the Committee of Arrangements, the Committee on Exhibitions take this public opportunity of returning the thanks of the Institute.
Before announcing the awards, we will only add, that if any article worthy of an award has been omitted, by promptly pointing it out to the Committee, the omission will be corrected, and the award published immediately, before the delivery of the closing address to-morrow evening.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON EXHIBITIONS. In presenting their Report on the Fifteenth Exhibition of American Manufactures, held under the direction of the Franklin Institute, the Committee on Exhibitions feel that they have renewed cause for congratulating the friends of American Industry upon the result. They are truly gratified, on this occasion, to notice the steady march of improvement in almost every branch of our Home Productions. The skilful and persevering efforts of our Manufacturers, Mechanics, and Artisans have been crowned with such success as promises, very shortly, to render us independent of foreign workshops, for almost every article made for purposes of utility, convenience or luxury.
The principal object of the Institute in holding these Exhibitions, is to enlarge and continue the irnpulse already given to improvement in the Arts and Manufactures; the evidence of which is presented, from year to year, in the great number of newly invented or improved articles ;-in fabrics of finer finish and lower prices, produced by the application of new machinery or improved processes.
Industry is the true source of wealth. Capital, judiciously employed in manufacturing, creates wealth by encouraging industry and enterprise, and when money is thus invested with a view to the employment of labor, this very labor creates additional wealth. No one need then be idle, and the mechanic and the laborer, with ordinary prudence, may enjoy not only the necessaries but many of the luxu. ries of life. By the increase of manufacturing establishments, em. ployment is not only afforded to men and women, but a sure means is offered of training youth to industry, and keeping them from idleness, mischief and vice. Many parts of New England present pleas. ing examples of the comfort, morality and order, as well as the de. cency of appearance and manners, which may exist among a well regulated and intelligent manufacturing community,he more pleasing when contrasted with the vicious habits and turbulent disposition manifested by the idle and dissolute portion of the population of some of our large cities.
If, therefore, our capitalists, instead of dabbling in stocks, and encouraging wild or useless projects of speculation, would invest their money so as to encourage labor,—they would not only insure a profitable return, but would likewise enjoy the high satisfaction of promoting the real prosperity of our country by encouraging and adding to its productive industry, by giving employment to, and producing a better state of morals and conduct among, a class of society where idleness is sure to produce mischief and crime.
In the arrangement of the Exhibition, the Committee endeavored to pursue such a course as they judged best calculated to ensure gen.
eral satisfaction, and to afford the depositors the best opportunity of a favorable location, according to the kind of articles exhibited. Yet so extensive was the collection, that, notwithstanding the immense size of the rooms on both floors of the Museum Building, including the galleries, sufficient space was scarcely afforded. Almost every department of productive industry was represented. The manufactures of metal, from a steam engine down to a watch spring and a needle were there;—so also were the fabrics of the loom, the factory, the workshop, and the laboratory :-cottons, woolens, silks, glass, leather, paper--and the thousand useful preparations and modifications which art and skill produce from rough material or unconverted masses. This vast variety of useful and ornamental articles, the fruits of skill, genius, and invention, were generally of a quality and workmanship honorable to the producers, and creditable to the mechanics of our country:
In the award of premiums, it has been the desire of the Committee to adhere strictly to the rules prescribed. They are fully aware that the closest scrutiny and the most rigid impartiality are necessary in this department of their duties, and that even these will not give satisfaction to all. Disappointment will be felt, and offence taken, whatever diligence may have been used to avoid all occasion for either, and however justly and impartially the awards may have been made. In a collection of such immense extent, and comprising so vast a variety of objects, it is scarcely possible that some should not be overlooked, or otherwise fail to receive the requisite attention.
Competent and disinterested persons were selected as judges on each separate class of goods deposited-from whose reports the following detailed abstract of awards, observations and notices is chiefly compiled.
1.- Cotton Goods. The Committee of Judges on Cotton Goods, in their report, state that they have been guided solely by their desire to do justice to all parties, and to further, as far as in them lay, the progress of the Industrial Arts in the extension of the manufacture of the many articles of daily use to which their attention has been directed. Believing, as they do, that the prosperity of our whole country depends, to a very great extent, on the employment and increase of Home Labor in the production of the various commodities of taste, as well as of necessity, that make up the larger amount of the business transactions of the country, they are always gratified at any exhibition of American skill tending to this result.
They regret that the Exhibition of the present season does not offer a greater variety of articles for competition, which they can scarcely account for but by the supposition that a disinclination exists among many manufacturers to make too public their improvements in design, or their novelties in invention; fearing, perhaps, that a too early publication of them might interfere with that full compensation for their skill and enterprise to which they, no doubt, feel themselves entitled. Another reason may, perhaps, be found in the fact that the
Vol. X, 3RD SERIES.No. 6.- DECEMBER, 1845.
manufacture of a large portion of the cotton fabrics of the country is in an unusually flourishing condition, allowing little time to any thing but the pressing demands of the business. The committee hope that the future exhibitions of this branch of American Industry will be more commensurate with its importance than they have hitherto been
No. 3, cambric long cloth, manufactured at James' steam mil, Newburyport, Mass., deposited by C. W. Churchman, is a beautifu article, and the finest of the kind we have ever seen of American fabric. It is remarkable for the delicacy and softness of the finish, as well as for the fineness of the thread and its even texture. More of that firmness and body, so requisite in long cloths, would be, however, desirable. To this specimen is awarded the First Premium.
Cambric muslins, from the same factory, are superior in fineness to any American cambrics that we have seen ; but have too hard a finish, and would have been decidedly better had they been made more pliant. They are, however, worthy of the Second Premium.
Nos. 38 and 39, printed cottons from the American print works, Fall River, Mass., deposited by David S. Brown & Co., are noticed for great beauty in the designs, richness and agreeable effect in the combinations, and a delicacy and exactness in the execution that decidedly take the lead this season. The First Premium.
No. 72, long cloth shirting, (extra) from the New York mills, deposited by John W. Downing, is a very superior article, highly creditable to the manufacturers, Messrs. Marshall & Wolcott. It is recommended for its beauty and softness of finish, evenness of thread. and the firmness and solidity of its texture. The First Premium.
No. 105, mousselines de laine, printed by J. Dunnell & Co., deposited by Fales, Lothrop & Co., have a very satisfactory effect in their combinations, and are noticed for a cominendable skill in the execution. This is an important article, as a large amount is annually imported from abroad. We award the First Premium.
No. 36, striped chintzes by I. P. Wendell & Co., Philadelphia county, are remarkable for the pleasing effect produced by the novelty and skill of the combinations: at a short distance, they much resemble a striped silk. The committee notice that these goods are printed on the first cloths made at the Washington factory, Gloucester, N. J., and it gives us pleasure to bear witness to their superiority. For the printing, we award the Second Premium.
No. 74, corded skirts, by Marshall & Wolcott, New York Mills, deposited by John W. Downing & Co., are an improved article in style and finish, and deserve the Second Premium.
Nos. 113 and 114, ginghams and checks made by Wm. Smith, Philadelphia, deposited by Temple, Barker & Evans, are superior goods in their line, and deserve the Second Premium.
No. 136, colored cambrics, by Jones, Hoppin & Co., Philadelphia. These goods show considerable improvement in style and finish, as well as in the brilliancy and purity of the colors. Second Premium.
No. 2, cotton fringe, by C. Link, Philadelphia, deposited by W. P. Hollingsworth. This article is of good texture and style. It is not
extensively made in this country, and is imported to a considerable amount. The maker deserves the Third Premium.
No. 40, furniture prints, from the American Print Works, Fall River, Mass., deposited by D. S. Brown & Co., are an improvement as regards boldness of design and a happy effect of color. They merit the Third Premium.
No. 75, cotton cassimeres, by Marshall & Wolcott, New York Mills, deposited by John W. Downing, of neat fabric and very pleasing style, are considered worthy of the Third Premium.
No. 154, cotton prints, deposited by Dunbar & Welling, were brought too late for competition; the judges' lists having been closed at 10 o'clock on Tuesday.
The Committee remark that several lots of goods are deposited in the names of the persons having them on sale; but who do not appear to be the agents of the manufacturers. This seems to be much like an advertisement, and not in accordance with the objects of the Institute.
11.-Woolen Goods. The display of Woolens, from its extent, variety of style, and geceral excellence, is highly interesting,—showing the rapid progress of our enterprising manufacturers in this important branch of our home industry. American citizens need be no longer dependent upon foreign looms for suits of elegant and substantial clothing. The judges of this branch of the exhibition make the following awards:
No. 4, 6-4 tufied, plaid, and striped cloak linings, made by Gilbert & Stevens, of Ware, Mass., deposited by Stone, Slade & Farnham, of superior style and make, are deemed worthy of the First Premium.
No. 23 to 28, super fancy cassimeres, manufactured by W. & D. D. Farnum, Waterford, Mass., deposited by David S. Brown & Co. These cassimeres the judges consider very superior, and the best exhibited. The material appears to be of the best quality, and the workmanship of a high and tasteful order. They award the First Premium;-but the Committee on Exhibitions, upon review and further consideration, have resolved to recommend to the Institute to award to these goods a Gold medal of such description and character as may be determined by the Institute.
Nos. 31 and 120, wool black cloths, by W. & D. D. Farnum, Waterford, Mass., deposited by David S. Brown & Co., and by Ellison & Peters. These cloths the judges consider as the best exhibited. The superior quality of the wool, and the beautiful color and finish, give evidence of great perfection and reflect credit upon the manufacturers and the country. They eminently merit the First Premium.
No. 88, fancy cassimeres by Edward Harris, Woonsocket, R. I., deposited by W. R. Hanson & Brother. The superior style and perfect make of these cassimeres the judges consider deserving of the First Premium.
No. 90, fancy colored cloths, manufactured by Samuel Slater & Sons, deposited by W. R. Hanson & Brother. The superior finish and perfect color of these cloths justly entitle the makers to the First Premium.