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The French " Royal " Show.

18th March 1909, Page 2
18th March 1909
Page 2
Page 2, 18th March 1909 — The French " Royal " Show.
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From a Special Correspondent.

In England, there are two main agricultural shows the " Royal," and the " Smithfield." In France, there is only one great show, and this is held in Paris in the early Spring, under the direction of the Minister of Agriculture. This year, the show was open from the Sth to loth March, at the Galerie des Machines, in the Champs de Mars. ',Mere could not be a more suitable building, whilst the position is most central, but the present show is the last to be held in the building, which is larger than Olympia, as it has been sold for scrap iron; the purchaser will soon begin to tear it down. The show, being under Government auspices, suffers from officialism, as may be expected, and the management seems bad. The hall is a dreary waste, with the cattle pens so wide apart that the building looks half empty, giving an unsuccessful appearance to the whole affair. One would think that the entries had fallen off,

but that is not so. To compensate, however, for the liberal treatment accorded to the beasts, the section devoted to machinery is set outdoors, in a yard at the back of the main hall, and everything is crowded and jumbled together so closely as to present a picture of chaos. TO add to the discomfort of the exhibitors, the present week has been cold and rainy. The yard was badly cut up by the vehicles that brought the machinery, and, after four days' rain with occasional snow, the gangways were impassable except in " waders." As the authorities took no interest in making the roads passable, some of the exhibitors fetched a few loads of clinker, which arrived unbroken. This was shot down in the middle of some of the gangways, but at this point further enterprise failed, so the heaps were left where they were shot. It is a literal fact that one could not approach half of the stands without getting into liquid mud well over the ankles, and thousands of visitors were compelled to be content with viewing the beasts in the hall, and to leave the machinery section unvisited. The opinions of the exhibitors can he imagined.

Instructions from headquarters to the writer were to send full particulars of the " commercial vehicles " exhibited, including photographs of the most interesting and novel machines. Inasmuch as your correspondent has a lack of imagination. it appears to be desirable to store these articles away in the archives of the nation, along with Professor Blank's treatise on " Snakes in Ireland," as the class of mac-hine in which " THE COMMERCIAL Moiox " is interested was represented by one machine only. This was a Standard tractor, bearing a plate stating that it had been built in the factory of A. Laffig, of Boulogne. It would be difficult to believe that the machine was of French construction, and its general appearance makes one think that Rochester had been its birthplace. On account of the nearly continuous rain, the tractor was under a waterproof cover most of the time; the stand, being set on an island protected by a moat of liquid mud, was left to look after itself. It is extraordinary that no other self-propelled motor, steam or spirit, was on show. Naturally, one does not class self-moving portable engines, or standard traction engines, of which there were a few examples by the leading English firms, such as Clayton and Shuttleworth, Ruston, Proctor and Co., and Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies. Messrs. Wm. Foster were well represented by a magnificent set of threshing tackle, the threshing machine being finished without paint. The polished timber gave the idea that the thresher was intended for a drawingroom ornament, rather than for hard and dirty work. No l‘'ellington tractor was mounted on the stand, but it was interesting to learn that Mons. Oscar Joerrisen has sold one for immediate delivery into the Pyrenees, and that another was to go next month to Trois Pal

titiers, in Morocco. Two " approaches " to cointriercialism are illustrated on page 33.—ED.1 The only novelty in the show yard was an alleged tractor, built by the American International Harvester Company. it consists of a horizontal slow-speed oil engine, with a single cylinder, set on a channel-iron frame. The cooling of the jacket water is effected by pumping the water over a wire screen. The travelling wheels are extremely light, and the machine is not sprung. Though it is called " a tractor of ish.p., capable of travelling at from 3 to s kilometres per hour with a load of 2,000 to 7,500 kilos.," one cannot consider the machine seriously : it is cheaply built, in American " gas-fitting style."

No steam or explosion-engined vehicles of the wagon type were exhibited, and one is therefore persuaded that French makers do not look to the agriculturist class for prosiwtive business, or, perhaps, they catch the better class of customer at the automobile shows. The weather has certainly spoilt the present show. Next year, one hopes that things will be better, as the date will be set in May or June. St. Cloud will be the site.


Locations: Rochester, Paris

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