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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 12, no. 302: December 27, 1873

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EAL tLSTATE KECO AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XIL NEW YORK, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2^, 1873. No. 302 Published Weekly by THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS. One year, in advance...........S8 00 -^11 communicationa should be addreased to C TV". S-W3EET, A\''uiTiNG BuiLniNG, 343 ANn 'M7 Broadavat. REPORTS BY ENGLISH WORKMEN ON THE VIENNA EXHIBITION. In April, 1873, the counsel of the Society for the Promotion of Scientific Industry cle- lermiued to send out a number of selected ar- tizaus lo report upon the International Exhi¬ bition, theu about to be held at Vienna. Tlie men left Londou on the 2d of July, reaching the Austrian capital on the 6th. They \vere well received, and their work, generally speak¬ ing, was well done. Care has beeu taken in editing the reports to preserve the character¬ istic features of each, and to leave them pretty much as thoy left the hands of the writers, the counsel entertaining the sensible opinion that tlie individual expressions aud opinions of the men, whether right or wrong, are of more value left untouched than if much altered iu correction. We can, of course, only notice here the re¬ ports on those trades immediately connected with the arts of construction and design. Mr. Frederick Smith, the manager of the Union Land and Building Society of Man¬ chester, Avas chosen as the reporter on wood¬ work and joinery. His opinion is that the ex¬ hibition of English wood-woiiiing machines was not fairly to be taken as a test of this country's strength in that direction. Of what were tliere he speaks well, remarking that English makers seem generally to strive to obtain such a form of machine as will enable them to cast tlie frame in a single piece, and to secure solidity, accurate fitting, and ugli¬ ness. The machines are all characterized by tlie same everlasting lead color, the same stiff¬ ness of outline, and the same accuracy and strength. The American machines are praised by Mr. Smith as superior to the English in general design aud decoration, thougii no bet¬ ter for practical utility, and in point of solidity and strength scarcely so good. One or two French machines came in for a word of praise, but none from any other country called for special remark. In the manufacture of tools England is adjudged foremost, the grinding of them being especially mentioned as superior to that (of anything of Continental manufac¬ ture. In house joiliiery England and America showed nothing. Some praise is given to a collection of mouldings and otlier articles ex- liibited by a Gothenburg firm, but " the panels were all jointed, and tlie wood badly matched in grain and color." A pulpit by' Goyers Brothers, of Louvain, is well spoken of, but of the rest of the Belgian joinery Mr. Smith has evidently a very poor opinion. In par¬ quetry Belgium retrieves her character, Eng¬ land being here a long way behind, the judi¬ cious choice of color striking the eye of the English visitor as something to which he is not accustomed. In examining the specimens of German cabinet work the wide difference in the quality of the workmanship was much noticed; the designs were generally excellent. The Italian and Austrian exhibits are fairly spoken of, aud the Austrian workman pro¬ nounced in advance of his Continental breth¬ ren. Two cabinets, designed by Owen Jones and exhibited by Jackson & Graham, helped well to maintaih tlie honor of England. Mr. Smith's report does not strike us as being a very exhaustive one, nor do we gather from it that he possessed much more than a super¬ ficial knowledge of his subject. The report on design iu wood, metal, and stone is by Mr. Richard A. Bastow. A Gothic pulpit, exhibited by Austria, of very fair de¬ sign, but made in cement, is taken as a text for a dissertation on the use of that much- abused materitil. To its more general and more sensible employment in Dresden and Vienna, Mr. Bastow attributes the substantial, cheerful, and respectable aspect of the streets. Ninety-niue out of every hundred houses are stuccoed, but there are no cracks visible, no large brown mouldy patches, no corners knocked off, and no lines drawn across the face of the plaster to make believe that the building is of large solid square stones. Tlie Austrian wrought-iron work is consid¬ ered scarcely worthy of mention. In this in¬ dustry Englaud, as far as workmanship goes, is pre-eminent; but in design, behind Con¬ tinental workmen. The cause, Mr. Bastow thinks, is tliat in all our workshops the general design for a job and every little detail belong¬ ing to it is drawn by arcliitects tmd tlieir drauglitsmen " who, practically, know nothing of a building or of a piece of furniture ;" and should an intelligent workman see liow an improvement could be made he dare not men¬ tion it, for if lie did he would instantly be told to " mind his own business aud work to the drawing." A pair of wrought-iron gates, ex¬ hibited by Barnard, Bisliop & Barnards, of Norwich, are mentioned as exceeding an_ything in the building as a specimen of workmanship and minute well-finished detail in wrought iron. A grand entrance, exhibited by tlie Coalbrookdale Company, must have had an admirable effect. The perforated panels be¬ tween the two bottom bars, one of which is illustrated, were designed by Mr. B. J. Talbert, and well illustrate what can be done in cast iron. Every leaf, flower, and tendril is uuder- cut, though each panel is solid and cast in one piece. The patent twisted metal used for the bars of the gate is quite a new feature. A simple bar of ordinary section iron is twisted by powerful machinery while cold until it assumes a most telling.undercut effect of twist. It is somewhat encouraging to find the English furniture noticed as having " one fea¬ ture in common—that is, ornamented flat sur¬ faces, the designs of wdiich point to a refined taste in our midst, and artistic talent which will, if cared for, and not confined to one par¬ ticular rut, soon elevate us above the level of our neighboring nations." We wish w^e felt quite so sure of this as Mr. Bastow seems to be. The general character of French design is declared to be animated by a love of display. No other nation decorates so mucli and so extravagantly; if they cannot combine utility with beauty ihey will have the latter at the expense of the former. German design dis- ■ plays much more real taste. Some good spec¬ imens of cast-iron work are specially noticed, and an illustration given of a garden-table, with ferns forming the centre, and ivy running round for a rim on the top. Of the artistic ability of the Italians there can, Mr. Bastow thinks, be but one opinion; the "general up¬ shot of his ideas" is that Italy is the native hotbed of European art, and that if not an Englishman he would be an Italian. They are very nice sentiments, but we should have preferred a more detailed notice of the Italian exhibits. Some Belgian cabinets and a Swed¬ ish octagonal pavilion tire well spoken of, and so are the Hungarian aud Swiss collections. Spain, as far as design goes, is said " to pitch pearls to swine with a vengeance." A cottage piano is instanced, Avhich, if viewed at the distance of three yards, looks like a packing- case with brown paper pasted over it. On closer inspection it is found to be carved most elaborately in Geometrical arabesque, Russia appears to have made a poor show, and the Turkish attempts at imitation of European furniture, judgiug from the illustration given, are, to say the least, amusing. The difference in design shown in the works of the ancient and modern Egyptians is commented on, and with cause. The dome, the minaret, the cres¬ cent, and the ungcientific arch and colored embellishments of the Mussulman have alto¬ gether taken the place of the monolithic style of the Pharaohs. One large Egyptian build¬ ing was a fine specimen of Moorish architect¬ ure. Roumauia, Persia, China, aud Japan sent collections, but little was to be learnt, in an art point of view, from any of them. Under the heading of " Machinery in gen¬ eral," Mr. F. N. Millington reports on " Wood Working Machinery;" and a very well written and practical report it is. He praises the American and English machines, and especi¬ ally notices those exhibited by Messrs. Robin¬ son & Son, of Rochdale, and 'Messrs. A. Ran- some & Co., of Loudon. Considering the im¬ mense amount of woodwork done in Austria, Mr. Millington was surprised to find the native display such a poor one. Taking a general survey of the wood-working machinery exhibited, he is of opinion that, with the exception of. one-or two special machines iu the American section, most of the improve¬ ments consist in matters of detail, which are common among all the best makers. In log frames the tendency seems to bo to do away with the heavy carriage fed forward with rack underneath and to substitute in its place two light trucks running on rails to carry the log, while the feed motion consisted ot two grooved rollers, one before, the other behind—the standards of the saw; the log was allowed to rest on the rollers until the pressure was suf¬ ficient to cause them to bite; the rollers were driven by the ordinary silent feed. Mr. Millington fears that this system will hardly answer very well for the crooked oak timber grown in England. Most makers of band saws are doing away with the flange ou the pulleys, alleging that it causes a deal of useless friction, and that it is too flxr removed from the table to give an efficient support to the saw when sawmg. The saw is prevented from leaving the pulley by a small plate of steel, or a roller in some cases, which is attached to the guide, and prevents the saw from \m(Mmg.—London Building Neics. The Chicago Inter Ocean comes to us replete with general information. It is one of the foremost of Western pap.ers, of wide circula¬ tion, and is the leading Republican paper in