Publisher Information: Paris: Imprimerie de la Republique, 1798.
Exposition publique des produits de l’industrie française. Catalogue des produits industriels qui ont été exposés au Champ-de-Mars pendant les trois derniers jours complémentaires de l’an VI . . . 25pp. Paris: Imprimerie de la République, Vendémiaire an VII . 199 x 129 mm. Original plain blue-gray wrappers, lower corner of front wrapper lightly creased; boxed. Minor foxing but fine otherwise.
First Edition of the catalogue of the First Official Public National Industrial Exposition, the forerunner of all subsequent “World’s Fairs” and international expositions. In 1797 the Marquis d’Avèze, an official of the French Republican government, visited the factories of Sèvres (china), Gobelins (tapestries) and Savonnerie (carpets), and was appalled to find the factory workshops deserted, their artisans starving and their warehouses filled with luxury goods that had no commercial outlet. “It then occurred to the marquis that if these and other objects of industry of the national manufactures could be collected together in one large exhibition, a stimulus might be given to the native industry, and thus relief be afforded to the suffering workmen. The plan was approved by M. François de Neufchâteau, the Minister of the Interior” (Tomlinson, p. ii). Due to political difficulties the exhibition was not held until the following year. After a highly successful preliminary showing at the Maison d’Orsay the French government built a “Temple of Industry” on the Champ de Mars, surrounded by 60 arcades filled with useful and decorative objects by French manufacturers. “The Exhibition remained open only during the last three complimentary days of the year VI, of the Republic; but it excited the greatest enthusiasm throughout the country. The merits of the several exhibitors were entrusted to the decision of a jury composed of nine men, distinguished in science and in art; and this plan was found to work so well, that it was continued in subsequent Expositions” (Tomlinson, p. iii). Rare—OCLC cites only three copies, all in French libraries. A second issue of the catalogue, expanded to 30 pages, was issued at Grenoble in the same year. Tomlinson, Cyclopaedia of Useful Arts (1852), I, pp. ii-iii.Book Id: 43772