London World's Fair 1862

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World Exhibition London 1862
"International of 1862" or "Great London Exposition"
Exhibition palace of the world exhibition of 1862

Exhibition palace of the world exhibition of 1862

Exhibition space 9 ha
new hits Bessemerbirne calculating machine
Number of visitors 6.096.617
BIE recognition Yes
countries 36 countries + 15 colonies
Exhibitors 28,000 exhibitors
Place of issue
place London
terrain Kensington Exhibition Road Coordinates: 51 ° 30 '1.4 "  N , 0 ° 10' 33.2"  W.World icon
opening May 1, 1862
closure November 1, 1862
Chronological order
predecessor Paris 1855
successor Paris 1867

The 1862 International Exhibition ( "International of 1862" or "Great London Exposition") was a World's Fair that from 1 May 1862 to 1 November 1862 on the outskirts of the facilities of the Royal Horticultural Society in South Kensington , London , England performed where museum buildings such as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are located today .


The World Exhibition was organized by the Royal Society of Arts with the full support of the government. The declared goal was to surpass the world exhibition of 1851 by far. Foreign exhibitors and the colonies in particular should be better represented. The scope of the exhibition was enlarged thematically and ranged from art to handcraft to the latest technical achievements.

Baedeker's handbook for travelers to London from 1862 lists "4 main departments":

“1) Products of mining and smelting works, agriculture, chemical substances and those from the plant and animal kingdom, which are processed into manufactured goods.
2) Machines and wagons, objects of land and sea architecture, instruments for war (weapons and the like) and peace (precision, musical and surgical, clocks and the like).
3) Cotton, linen, silk, wool, leather in all stages of processing. Paper and books, furniture, metal, glass and pottery.
4) Objects of the modern fine arts (architecture, painting, sculpture, engraving). "

The death of Prince Albert , husband of Queen Victoria and President of the Royal Society of Arts , on December 14, 1861, had a crippling effect on the preparations for the exhibition. Nevertheless, the exhibition was able to open on May 1st, 1862 on schedule. The throne prepared for Queen Victoria remained empty, however, and the royal family did not take part in the celebrations.

The exhibition building was designed by Francis Fowke (1823-1865) and built by Charles and Thomas Lucas and Sir John Kelk at a cost of around £ 300,000. The funds came from winning the Great Exhibition in 1851. The exhibition palace comprised a main building 351 meters long, 26 meters wide and 35 meters high, behind which the actual 12.5 hectare exhibition building stretched as a glass and wood construction. The exhibition palace was crowned by two gigantic domes with a diameter of 49 meters and a height of 79 meters. Fowke had taken the dome of St. Peter's Basilica as a model for this and exceeded its dimensions.

There were over 28,000 exhibitors from 36 countries. With admission prices for the day ticket of 1  schilling , Fridays and Saturdays 2 s. 6  d as well as from 1  £ 10 s. for the season ticket, the number of visitors was around 6.1 million. With a revenue of £ 459,632 and a cost of £ 458,842, the project ended financially balanced.


Much criticism was voiced against the appearance of the World Exhibition Palace , which is why it was dismantled after the exhibition and partly used for the construction of the Alexandra Palace . The exhibition could neither financially nor atmospherically build on the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851. After the exhibition of 1862 there was no longer a major world exhibition in England.


Appendix "International Exhibition" to Baedeker's London 1862
  • The Exhibition Building of 1862 , Survey of London , volume 38: South Kensington Museums Area (1975), pp. 137-147.
  • John Hollingshead: A Concise History of the International Exhibition of 1862. Its Rise and Progress, its Building and Features and a Summary of all Former Exhibitions . London 1862.
  • Robert Hunt: Handbook of the Industrial Department of the Universal Exhibition 1862 , 2 vols., London 1862.
  • Monika Meyer-Künzel: Urban development of the world exhibitions and Olympic Games: urban development of the event locations . Dissertation Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina, Braunschweig 1998, p. 281–283 , urn : nbn: de: gbv: 084-120444 .
  • Winfried Kretschmer: History of the world exhibitions . Campus, 1999, ISBN 3-593-36273-2 .
  • Dalit Dishon: South Kensington's forgotten palace: the 1862 International Exhibition Building , PhD thesis, University of London, 2006. 3 vols.
  • The 1862 World's Fair in London ( Memento of March 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Expo2000 article
  • Science and Society Picture Library
  • Michael Tongue: Expo 1862 . Discovery Books, 2006

Web links

Commons : Expo 1862  - collection of images, videos and audio files