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Successful, however, as was the exhibition of 1874, it was eclipsed in brilliancy, and in value from the educational and technical standpoint, by that of 1884, which will ever be memorable in the annals of The Franklin Institute. This was the Electrical Exhibition, held in the autumn of that year, under the direction of the Institute, and which by Act of Congress, approved February 26, 1883, was made international in character. It was the first exhibition in America devoted exclusively to the electrical arts.
In 1885 the Novelties Exhibition was held in the building erected for the electrical exhibition.
No further exhibitions have been held since that time, though the Institute co-operated with the Commercial Museum of Philadelphia in the management of the National Export Exposition of 1899.
SOME INSTANCES OF THE INSTITUTE'S WORK
1824. It held the first Exhibition of American Manufactures in Carpenters' Hall on October 18, 19, 20. Silver medals were awarded for steel, domestic carpetings, straw and grass bonnets, etc.
Classes were established in Chemistry, Mechanics, Natural History, Architecture, Mathematics, and Drawing.
The first course of lectures commenced April 28 and was held in the Academy Building, Fourth Street near Arch.
1826. In January the first number of The Franklin Journal was issued under the editorial management of Dr. Thomas P. Jones, who two years later became Superintendent of the United States Patent Office.
It extended its educational efforts by establishing on April 6th a High School, in which Mathematics, Drawing, Geography, History, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and German were taught. Three hundred and four pupils were in attendance in October.
Thirty-four thousand visitors attended the Institute's Third Industrial Exhibition during its four days' progress.
1827. Select Committee on Dry Docks made a lengthy illustrated report, giving costs, methods of operation, etc.
1829. Committee appointed to investigate the efficiency of moving water as a motive power (water wheel experiments).
1830. Committee appointed to inquire into causes of the explosion of steam boilers.
1831. Joint Committee of The Franklin Institute and American Philosophical Society first began systematic meteorological observations in aid of agricultural and other interests.
1832. Commission appointed to examine into the resources, including agricultural, of Pennsylvania, an action which led to a Geological Survey of the State.
Notable paper in JOURNAL OF THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE by Professor Walter R. Johnson on “The Strength of Steam Boilers."
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States requested a further extension of the Institute's inquiry into the causes of the explosion of steam boilers to include the prevention of steam boiler explosions.
Committee appointed to investigate the strength of materials. This committee devised apparatus of various forms for the testing of metals, steam boilers, building materials, etc.
The Institute was requested by the State Legislature to examine and report upon the then existing system of weights and measures.
1834. The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania presented the thanks of the State for the report on weights and measures received from the Institute.
1837. The general interest created by the Institute's work gave rise to a movement for the establishment of a school of arts. The project failed at that time, but resulted later in the founding of the Department of Science of the University of Pennsylvania.
1838. The report of the Committee on Uniformity of Weights and Measures was printed. (The present laws of the State are based on this report.)
1839. November JOURNAL contained full translation of Daguerre's original communication to the French Academy describing his discoveries in photography (the Daguerreotype).
1840. Professor A. D. Bache's report on education in Europe appeared in the JOURNAL. (This report was made for use in connection with the organization of Girard College.)
1843. The Pennsylvania Legislature appropriated $4000 to be devoted to the purchase of instruments for the equipment of stations throughout the State for the systematic observation and collection of meteorological facts; the expenditure being left in the hands of the Institute.
This is the earliest instance on record of the appropriation, in any country, of public funds for the collection of facts relating to the weather.
1850. The School of Design for Women was founded by the Institute, Mrs. Sarah Peters, first Directress.
1863. Monthly reports of Meteorological Phenomena at Philadelphia were published in the JOURNAL. (These were continued to 1869.)
1864. The shape and proportion of screw threads used in machine construction were investigated by a special committee. The report of this committee was presented in 1865 and recommended for adoption by machine builders throughout the United States a uniform and simplified system of screw threads.
A few years later this was officially adopted by the Government, and under the designation of the “ U. S.” or “ Franklin Institute Standard” is now in universal use.
1869. Resolutions passed by the meeting in August and addressed to Congress suggested an exhibition to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the United States and resulted in the holding of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876.
Solar Eclipse Expedition to Iowa in August, Dr. Henry Morton, Director. The services of the observers were gratuitous, the instruments were borrowed and the transportation for the party and equipment was furnished by the railroads.
1872. Committee on the mode of determining the horsepower of steam boilers published its report.
1873. The Institute approved Professor Lesley's recommendation of a more thorough Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, and asked the Legislature
to give prompt and full effect to the same. (The beginning of the Second Geological Survey.)
Committee on Conflagrations and Deaths from Petroleum Used in Lamps. A full report. Resolutions were sent to the Governor and Legislature, requesting the appointment of a commission to investigate the subject, determine tests, and to make laws relating to the burning of oils in lamps.
1874. Fritieth anniversary. Held great industrial exhibition at Thirteenth and Market Streets—the site of the Wanamaker store.
1875. City Councils appropriated money for the expenses of an expert commission to be nominated by The Franklin Institute and to act in conjunction with the Chief Engineer of the Water Department. To this commission was referred the subject of the present and future water supply of Philadelphia.
1876. The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art housed and fostered by the Institute.
1882. Report of the Special Committee on the pollution of the Schuylkill River presented its report suggesting the construction of an intercepting sewer along the Eastern banks of the Schuylkill from Manayunk, with an outlet below the densely populated portions of the city.
1883. Special Committee on the prevention of fires in theatres presented an exhaustive report which contained thirty-eight recommendations intended to make places of amusement more safe.
1884. Without Federal or State aid the Institute held the first great international Electrical Exhibition.
The first International Conference of Electricians was held during the progress of the exhibition.
During and immediately after the exhibition the most complete and extended series of tests attempted to that time were made to determine the characteristics of all the more important types of electrical apparatus and appliances then commercially used.
The organization of The American Institute of Electrical Engineers this year resulted from the holding of the Electrical Exhibition and the International Conference of Electricians held under the auspices of the Institute.
1885. Novelties exhibition held in the buildings erected for use of the electrical exhibition.
1887. The Institute organized the Pennsylvania State Weather Service. Voluntary observers made regular reports on the weather conditions of the State. An appropriation was made by the State to cover cost of clerical services and printing. The service was in operation until 1891, when the State discontinued the appropriation.
1890. Joseph M. Wilson's voluminous report on schools, with particular reference to trade schools, appeared in the JOURNAL OF THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE during the year. (This report served as a basis for the organization of the Drexel Institute.)
1894. Germantown Junction branch of the drawing school established.
1897. A communication from the Board of Health of the City of Philadelphia requested the Institute to appoint a committee to confer with the Board of Health with a view of taking action to abate or modify the smoke nuisance. A full report appeared in the JOURNAL.
1899. National Export Exposition held in conjunction with the Commercial Museum of Philadelphia.
1901. Resolutions passed to promote commerce by the improvement of waterways and approving the creation of the Department of Commerce.
1902. The metric system fully discussed at the monthly meetings. Resolutions passed petitioning the national government to enact such laws as will ensure its proper use.
1906. Resolutions passed urging the improvement of national waterways, particularly the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
1914. Conducted meeting in Philadelphia celebrating thirtieth anniversary of the International Electrical Exhibition.
1915. First awards of The Franklin Medal.
1917. Established and maintained a recruiting and examination station for applicants for admission to the aviation service of the United States Army.
Established School of Navigation for the United States Shipping Board.
1920. Published “The Physics of the Air" by W. J. Humphreys, C.E., Ph.D.
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