DUBLIN, IRELAND 1865
International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures
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Quick List Info
Dates Open - May 9 to November 10, 1865. Open 159 days and 51 evenings. The London Times stated that the closing day was November 9.
Attendance - 932, 662. Other sources list 0.956 million paid attendance.
International Participants - 21 foreign countries participated plus 22 British colonies.
Total Cost - L55,000 ($422,950 at $7.69 to L in 1865). 10,074L profit.
Site Acreage - 17 acres.
Sanction and Type - Prior to the Bureau of International Expositions. Would be considered a (Recognized) Expo today like those on the 2-3 or 7-8 years of the decade.
Ticket Cost - Day ticket 5s. 1/2 price to those living over 20 miles away. Season tickets cost 2 guineas.
Photo top center: Exhibition Building from 1865 Dublin fair, 1865. Courtesy Pinterest. Column Top: Another view of the main exhibition building. Courtesy Pinterest. Column Bottom: Dublin Exhibition Building, 1865. Courtesy Pinterest via Archiseek.com.
It was to be a private venture meant to build a structure like that at Syndenham, London and host recurring exhibitions. To inaugurate it, they would hold the first international exhibition in Dublin since the 1853 fair. This time, Benjamin L. Guiness, of the Brewer family, owned the land of Coburg Gardens, sold it to the private company, and financed the exhibition. The building began construction in 1863, eventually the Queen gave her support and urged authorities in the colonies and foreign governments to attend. There would be half of the exhibition space given to Great Britain and half to foreign participants. The agriculture exhibits would be held at the Royal Dublin Society.
The Winter Garden and Exhibition buildings would be constructed of iron and glass with the main building containing three floors and 5,700 square yards of space. A large concert hall, still there as the National Concert Hall, would accommodate 2,400 patrons. A smaller concert hall would hold 1,200. The Fine Arts exhibit was even larger than that in 1853 with 2,072 works of art. The exhibits in total took over 4,781 display cases, half for the British Isles and half for foreign nations, cities, and colonies. In all, the estimated value of exhibits was 700,000L.
On May 9, 1865, the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VII, opened the exhibition before a crowd of ten thousand. The Prince came back two days later to look the exhibition over.
Above photo. Interior Drawing 1865 World's Fair building, 1865. Courtesy Pinterest via Archiseek.com. Bottom: Half of a stereoscopic photo of an exhibit at the 1865 exhibition, 1865, likely London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company. Courtesy Pinterest.
The exhibition benefitted from an exceptional summer with splendid weather, but somehow still drew slightly less than the 1853 edition. A small profit was made, predominantly because the Winter Garden building was rented by the expo authority, not built by it, and had a purpose past the exposition season.
Sources: New York Times; London Times; Louisville Courier; Dublin International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures, 1865 - Official Catalogue; Dublin Historical Record, Volume XLVII, No. 2, Autumn 1994, "Dublin International Exhibition, 1865" by Nellie O'Cleirigh; Wikipedia Commons; Story of Exhibitions; Historical Dictionary of World's Fairs; Archiseek.com; Record: Irish International Exhibition 1907.
Prior to BIE
International Participants Nations and Colonies
Great Britain, Ireland, Mauritius, Natal, Newfoundland, New South Wales, Nova Scotia, Jamaica, Canada, British India, Canada East, Vancouver Island, the Bahamas, Dominica, Trinidad, Ceylon, Malta, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Gold Coast, Mt. Helena, Sierra Leone, Lagos, Falkland Islands, and Spain (Fine Arts) plus Scandinavia (Fine Arts) . The official catalogue also lists New Zealand and Tasmania.
Foreign section listed - West Africa, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Netherlands, Rome, Russia, Siam, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Zollverein (Prussia), Other States of the Zollverein (Bavaria, Saxony, Baden, Hesse Darmstadt, Wurtenburg).
Note: It is sometimes difficult to tell whether certain nations actually participated in a significant way. The London Times stated at the end of the exhibition season that 21 colonies, excluding India, and 21 countries had participated. Take the above as a guide, not gospel.
No rent was charged for exhibition space.
At the 1865 exhibition, just like in 1853, I.M. Singer and Company exhibited their sewing machines.
The exhibition helped the entirety of Ireland economically, with hotels and railways gaining nearly triple their regular receipts.
The National Concert Hall remains as well as the smaller venue, which now houses a Medical Library. After the fair the Winter Garden building was used for eighteen years, then moved opposite Battersea Park, London where it was used as the Albert Palace of Science and Art for nine years, before it was demolished. Today what was known as Coburg Gardens has been renamed Iveagh Gardens. In the gardens are also the remains of the Yew Maze, Rosarium, and the Cascade Fountain from the 1865 fair.
Those in Charge
Building designer was Alfred Jones. Directors included Lord Talbot and Benjamin Lee Guiness. The Exhibition Committee included Lord Chancellor, Duke of Leinster, with Executive Committee members William Dargan, Sir Richard Griffith, Sir Robert Kane, and J. Lentaigne.
Photo column top: Picture Gallery at Dublin 1865, 1865, London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company. Middle: Graphic of the layout of the 1865 fair, 2016. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.
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