London 1908, Machinery Hall
This image represents the entrance to Machinery Hall of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition in London. The original is one in a series of 3.5 x 5.5-inch postcards, printed by Valentine & Sons Ltd. The Machinery Hall covered 125,000 square yards. In this image it looks very elaborate, garish, and reminiscent of Gothic architecture. The flags seen on the top of the building are French and British. There are decorations looking like lanterns around the perimeter of the building. Within the context of the fair, the pavilion was vast yet not imposing.
The London 1908 Exposition was located on an area of agricultural land in Shepherd's Bush, West London, which provided 140 acres of land, close to excellent transportation facilities. Two stations were built on the Underground to serve the exhibition. The Machinery Halls were located in the White City, that was laid out in a cross shape comprising distinct areas for the arts, inventions, entertainment, sports, the Court of Honour, and the central gardens. The nickname related to the light, alabaster shade of the pavilions. In addition the visitors thought the buildings looked like wedding cakes.
In the Machinery Halls, heavy industry was represented by displays on mining, iron and steelwork, armaments manufacture, shipbuilding, pumping and motive power machinery, electricity generation, as well as textile and printing machinery. Many displayed objects were "instruments of war" such as a gun carried on the backs of three dummy men. Warship firms displayed models of their scouts, destroyers, armed cruisers and torpedo boats. War relics included an astrolabe of 1578, the barge of the great Napoleon, the flat-bottomed boats which the French used when they captured Algiers, and some of the small cannons used on the gunwales of eighteenth century warships.
Numerous modern inventions were also featured. The steel and iron industry displayed flywheels, and suction producers, while railway companies made a model of a...