TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL FAIR
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF THE CITY OF NEW-YORK
REPORT OF THE MANAGERS
The Board of Managers of the twenty-seventh Annual Fair of the American Institute beg leave to
That the first meeting of the managers was held on the 31st day of May last and on the 7th of June the final organization was completed by the appointment of Mr. Edwin Smith as chairman and John W. Chambers as secretary.
The first subject of consideration was the location for the exhibition. Castle Garden, in which the fairs of the Institute had been held since the destruction of Niblo's Garden in 1846, was found to be in the hands of the Commissioners of Emigration and therefore could not be had for our exhibition; the managers regretted this on account of the many conveniences already placed there at great expense to the American Institute.
The committee to whom the selection of a location was referred, after looking over the city, found but two places suitable, viz: the premises known as the Hippodrome, situated on the 5th avenue between 23d and 24th streets and the Crystal Palace, erected by the association for the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations, on Reservoir Square; as the Hippodrome property was in the market, no arrangement could be made for its occupation.
Mr. John H. White, the receiver of the Crystal Palace, offered that building at a sum that was acceptable to the managers, with permission to make such changes and alterations as might be deemed requisite for our exhibition; this arrangement was not consummated until the beginning of July. The following circular was at once prepared and sent to manufacturers, mechanics, inventors, &c., calling their attention to this exhibition:
The Twenty- Seventh Annual Fair of the American Institute of the city of New-York, incorporated for the purpose of encouraging and promoting domestic industry in this State and the United States, by bestowing rewards and other benefits on those who excel in any of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures and the Arts.
The 27th Annual Fair of the American Institute will be opened in the city of New-York on the 3d day of October, 1855 and continue during the month.
The managers announce to the manufacturers, mechanics, inventors, artisans, farmers, gardeners and all others interested, in the United States, that they have secured the Crystal Palace, erected in 1853, for the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations, in which to hold the 27th Annual Fair of the American Institute.
This magnificent and spacious building will afford unusual facilities for the arrangement and display of the various specimens of art and productions of nature. Steam-power will be provided, to put in operation machinery of every description and the managers pledge themselves to make every exertion in their power to effect such arrangements for the accommodation of exhibitors as will secure the great ends of the exhibition.
Premiums of gold and silver medals, cups, books and diplomas, will be awarded to the exhibitors of articles deemed worthy of such distinction, by competent judges appointed for that purpose. Practical and disinterested persons, acquainted with the several branches in which they shall be appointed, will be selected for judges, to whom all articles for competition will be referred, in order to secure the same satisfaction that has heretofore been given, in the bestowal of the awards of this Institute. To insure a perfect impartiality, the by-laws of the Institute prohibit "any premium being awarded by the board of managers to any member of their board, to any of the trustees, or to any of the standing committees of the Institute, or anything in lieu thereof."
The awards will not be confined to specimens prepared expressly for exhibition, but when articles are entered as being of ordinary manufacture for general consumption, full weight will be given to that fact, as showing the actual state of the particular branch to which they belong. The managers desire strongly to impress exhibitors with the necessity of furnishing information, at an early day, of the description of articles they intend to exhibit and the space required for their proper display.
Exhibitions have been held by the American Institute, in this city, for 26 years and the importance of these annual gatherings in this metropolis, the great mart of trade and commerce, where producers resort in multitudes, cannot be too highly estimated. It enables the accurate observer to compare improvements from year to year and note the progress of art in our growing republic. The knowledge of improvements obtained by examination, inquiry and conversation, is carried home by the visitors and is thus spread over the whole country. The collection of inventors and ingenious men, their explanations, intercourse, observations and suggestions, conduce to new and useful improvements. To no class of men is our country so much indebted for those rapid improvements, which are the admiration of the world, as to the inventors and perfecters of laborsaving machinery. From the power-loom, the skillful application of steam, and the Magnetic telegraph, have proceeded immeasurable power and wealth. The faculty of accomplishing undertakings of this description forms a marked feature in our national character. New and useful inventions will receive the special attention and highest honors of the Institute. These annual fairs attract our most honored and distinguished citizens from distant States, whose presence and approbation cheer the meritorious contributors. The commendations of illustrious men have always conduced to high and noble exertions.
The exhibition being purely American, brings into action the noblest feelings of patriotism and nourishes the pride of national independence.
The coming fair will present to agriculturists a great opportunity to exhibit the productions of their farms and gardens. The arrangements contemplate the exhibition of grain, flour, fruit, flowers, vegetables and dairy productions and it is to be hoped that the fair of this year will show a marked improvement in this important department of the exhibition.....
....The Fair was opened for the reception of articles on the 27th of September and to the public on the 3d of October and continued until the 13th of November, making the time the Fair was open near three weeks longer than usual.