The most repulsive aspect in which men can be viewed, is in deadly strifeone man seeking to destroy the life of anotherand yet what is history but a series of descriptions of massacres, battles, sieges, and cities laid in ashes; despots and mighty conquerors with their butchering hordes pass in glittering array from page to page. Man appears to be the most viscious of all animals in respect to the wanton destruction of his own species. Hatred and strife, because of the evils which they entail should be avoided by all wise men and all enlightened nations. In order to accomplish this object, the spirit of mutual good will should be generally cultivated. As a means of accomplishing this end, we hailed the "World's Fair" of 1851, in London, as the grand pioneer ot a series of such exhibitions, which would rotate triannually amonj all the civilized nations of the earth, and which would tend to bind them closer and closer by the fraternal cords of an enlightened self interest, and honest emulation to excel in the arts of peace. Our hopes respecting such future results are now exceedingly faint. The prospect of a World's Fair, one worthy of the name in France in 1855, in America in 1358. and so on rotating among all the enlightened nations ot the world, as we at one time anticipated, will not, and cannot, we are sure, be realized. This year there are in two different and separate countries, two Worlds' Fairs in name, but only local affairs in reality. One is now open in the city of Dublin. Ireland; the other is to be in New York City. The Irish Crystal Palace is said to be exceedingly creditable to the people of Dublin, but we have seen no illustration of it excepting that funny one in the New York Daily Times, consisting of five o's, all in a row. The New York Crystal Palace has yet to earn a good name if it can. We, however, consider that the Crystal Palace of Dublin, and especially the one in our own city, barriers to future World Fairs. We hope we may be mistaken, but it is not possible that nations can unite periodically in great industrial exhibitions alter spendingtheir strength and wealth in disjointed and extrordinary local efforts. We do not allude to annual State and county industrial fairs, as these are not attended with great expense to exhibitors, and rather serve to fit them for successlul competition among the nations; we only allude to very expensive fairs like the New York Crystal Palace which we consider anything but honorable to our country, as it blocks up the pathway to a future Worlds' Fair in America, one worthy o I its greatness, and the genius and skill of its enterprising people. Let us look calmly at the case as it stands, and see if we have not good reasons, as lovers of our country, for feeling deeply on this subject. The New York Crystal Palace is the pro perty of a joint stock company composed o j merchants, lawyers, and stock-jobbers. It was j projected by the the American Coinmissionei to the Worlds Fair of 1851. and was designec for money making objects; in fact, the projec' has been looked upon as such an excellen I speculation for paying good dividends, that i the stock has been running up and down from par to seventy per cent above it. It has been represented abroad as a World's Faira national exhibition, instead of the fair of a mercantile company, in order to make it highly successful, hence the Queen of England has appointed a Royal Commissioner tc represent her Court in the person of the Ear of Ellesmere, who has come to our shores in a line frigate appointed for that purpose, anc with a brilliant staff of joint Commissioner consisting of Charles Lyell Bart, and Profes sors Wilson, Dilke, Wallis, and Whitworth all distinguished men in the pursuits of science. These men were no doubt appointee with a perfect understanding that they were j coming to a World's Fairunder national pa tronageinstead of the Crystal Palace of a mercantile company. They no doubt ex ' pected to find a lair worthy of the spirit o our people, one that would be a Jaithful index of our country's genius and power; but instead of finding a magnificent and large structure corresponding in dimensions with our great populationtwenty six millionsthey have found only an unfinished but neatly designed building, placed so unfavorably that it is dwarfed by a neighboring water reservoir, and surrounded with dust, dirt and groggeries. We hope that when the exhibition opens, a favorable impression will be made upon those distinguished foreigners who have come here to view the handiworks of our people. At present things cannot but make a most unfavorable impression upon thembut neither our government nor our people are responsible for any disappointment in their expectations.
This article was originally published with the title "Industrial Worlds' Fairs" in Scientific American 8, 41, 325 (June 1853)