Castle Garden, New York
Castle Garden, New York








The Trustees of the American Institute present herewith a report of their proceedings in the department of agriculture, manufactures and the mechanic arts, for the year 1853....

... For the purpose of encouraging, improving and sustaining American genius, American art, American manufactures and American labor, the Institute, for the last twenty-six years, has held its annual fair in the city of New-York. The receipts for admissions to these fairs, have but little more than defrayed the current expenses of them, including the awards to meritorious exhibitors. The Institute therefore has been maintained by the voluntary aid and labor of patriotic citizens. It has extended its friendship to all the citizens of the United States who have sought it. We claim that these efforts have given a very decided impetus to the improvements in the mechanic arts and manufactures, by which their progress in the United States has been particularly distinguished. In 1819 there was not a lathe in our country capable of producing an iron surface fourteen inches square. Look now at our machine shops and tell us where they are surpassed ? From the smallest cambric needle to the most ponderous steam ships, we yield to no nation. Such are our mineral resources, that any interruption to intercourse with other nations, cannot abridge our ability for production in any of the varied pursuits requiring mechanical skill. The progress of the mechanic arts in our country is unparalleled. But a few years ago we were dependents on Europe for almost every manufactured article. Now, we can enumerate a long list of articles, of indispensable necessity, made by our mechanics and artisans at home, of better quality than those obtained abroad and as cheap. The importation of many of them has ceased altogether and they are all rapidly diminishing. Of these we may enumerate cast and wrought iron, in an almost endless variety of forms for ornament and utility; boots and shoes, hats, edge tools, carpenters' tools, spades and shovels, chains of various kinds, clocks, gold and silver ware, carriages, wagons and sleighs, agricultural implements, cabinet furniture, musical instruments, paper, nails and brads, wood screws, saddlery and harness, saddlery hardware, needles, pins, hooks and eyes, mathematical instruments, glass, India rubber goods, glass fixtures, ready made clothing, ladies' hats, steel-yards and scales, saws of all kinds and a multitude of other articles which enter into our every day wants. Of cotton and woolen fabrics, we possess the ability to supply the demands of our country, whenever circumstances call it into action.

The fostering care of the American Institute has been closely directed to these productions for the last twenty-six years and it is gratifying to know that the spirit which has thus far sustained the Institution, still predominates among its members.  


The Board of Managers of the Twenty-sixth Annual Fair of the American Institute, beg leave to


That the annual election for Managers of the Fair was held on the 12th day of May and on the 14th the Board organized by the appointment of Mr. John A. Bunting as Chairman and John W. Chambers as Secretary. Circulars were at once issued and advertisements calling attention to the exhibition were inserted in a number of prominent papers throughout the country, stating that the exhibition would open on the 6th day of October 1853, but in consequence of the delay on the part of exhibitors in bringing forward their contributions, the day of opening was postponed until Monday, the 10th. It is proper to observe that the crystal palace (1853-4 New Yorkopened in July last and the novelty of this exhibition, purporting to exhibit the products of all nations, drew a large number of exhibitors who were in the habit of attending the Fairs of the Institute. We shall not attempt to disguise the fact, however, that our own exhibition from this cause suffered very material loss; our visitors, on whom we rely for support, were very naturally attracted by the greater novelty. The last exhibition of the Institute, contrary to our anticipations, has proved more disastrous in a pecuniary point of view than any held since its formation. Our charter confines us to such objects and pursuits as are calculated to encourage and promote domestic industry in this State and the United States in agriculture, commerce, manufactures and the arts. For the purpose of promoting and improving these, all our means have stood pledged and our entire efforts have been directed, for a period of twenty-six years. The 27th section of the by-laws of the Institute makes it obligatory on the Board of Managers to hold a Fair in the city of New York in the autumn of each year; so that it's not optional with the Board of Managers whether to hold a Fair or not, as has been supposed by many of our members. The total receipts at Castle Garden amounted to only $3.974, while the receipts of 1852 were $23.610, showing a difference of receipts of near $20.000. We are encouraged to believe, however, that the manufacturers, mechanics, artists and inventors of our country will by no means find it their interest, on any inducement, to abandon an institution which has devoted nearly all its means for twenty-six years exclusively in promoting their advancement.


Sewing Machine Awarded

at the 26th Annual Fair - New York 1853



Grover, Baker & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, for the best sewing machine