OTTMAR MERGENTHALER

O REVOLUCIONADOR DA COMPOSIÇÃO TIPOGRÁFICA

O LINOTIPO

 

Não seria justo, inaugurarmos o Almanaque Virtual, sem uma homenagem, ainda que singela, a este fabuloso homem de ciência que revolucionou as técnicas, até certo modo inoperantes, aplicadas naquela época, com a invenção do linotipo.

Falar de Mergenthaler é tarefa difícil, principalmente para nós neófitos na arte da composição tipográfica, mas não insensíveis ao fato de avaliarmos o que tal invento representou para a humanidade.

Nasceu, na aldeia de Ensingen, Alemanha, em 11 de maio de 1854, pelo calendário gregoriano, uma quinta feira, morreu em 28 de outubro de 1899, um sábado.

Cada livro, revista ou jornal de hoje, mesmo com as técnicas modernas da produção gráfica, editoração eletrônica, ilustrações, impressão digital, fotolitos, bureau, etc, representa um imorredouro tributo a este homem, cujo invento, inaugurou uma nova era na história da composição tipográfica, possibilitando publicações sofisticadas.

Segundo os historiadores, já com a idade de dez anos, seu gênio para a mecânica assustou seu pai, que não podia aceitar tal fato, uma vez que seu sonho era torná-lo um ilustre professor, entrando assim para uma casta de poucos privilegiados, na qual o pai se incluía.

Como curiosidade, transcrevemos o seguinte trecho:

O RAPAZ E O RELÓGIO
Em uma tarde fresca de 1867, a pequena e sonolenta aldeia de Ensingen, na Alemanha vibrava de excitação. Mais de cinqüenta aldeões reuniam-se em frente à vetusta Igreja Luterana olhando para cima, em direção à torre do relógio.

- Eles se moveram, estou dizendo a vocês - declarou em tom de pasmo um velho fazendeiro grisalho. - Os ponteiros do relógio se moveram.

- Bobagem- retrucou o padeiro da aldeia com clareza, acima do murmúrio da multidão. - o relógio não funciona há cinco anos. O relojoeiro de Stuttgart não disse que não podia ser consertado ?

- Pode ser que sim, mas vi com meus próprios olhos - insistiu o fazendeiro. - Talvez seja um milagre.

Alguns aldeões riram da ingenuidade do velho; porém os supersticiosos de mexeram desconfortavelmente. Talvez estivesse certo e fosse um milagre! Se ao menos o pastor estivesse por ali - sem dúvida poderia dar uma explicação. Mas estava ausente da cidade; e também o prefeito.

De repente, como para corroborar as palavras do fazendeiro, os ponteiros do enorme relógio começaram a mover-se. Vagarosamente, com deliberação, giraram em sua órbita, parando finalmente às três horas e três minutos. A multidão abriu a boca com espanto. Alguém olhou um relógio de bolso e anunciou que os ponteiros tinham parado na hora e minuto exatos do dia!

- Mandem chamar Herr Mergenthaler, o mestre-escola- gritou o padeiro.- Ele saberá o que fazer.

Mandaram um garoto ao chalé dos Mergenthaler. Quando voltou com o sábio professor ( que usava óculos ) a multidão estava nervosa. Johann Mergenthaler tomou conhecimento da situação com rapidez, e tranqüilizou os aldeões. - Sem dúvida há uma explicação perfeitamente lógica - disse-lhes. - Vou investigar.

 Com surpreendente agilidade subiu correndo os degraus da igreja. A tensão aumentava enquanto todos os olhos se fixavam na porta; o silencio tomou conta da multidão.

Alguns minutos depois a porta se abriu, e Herr Mergenthaler surgiu, caminhando a passos largos, acompanhado por um jovem delgado, de cerca de treze anos de idade, olhos azuis e cujo rosto e mãos estavam sujos de fuligem e graxa. Quando deparou com a população da cidade, os olhos do rapaz se arregalaram com surpresa e culpa, mas depois sua expressão se transformou em um riso acanhado.

- Ora, é apenas o pequeno Ottmar, filho do próprio Herr Mergenthaler - falou uma senhora com alívio. A tensão se dissipou. Todo mundo começou a rir, mas o mestre-escola franziu as sobrancelhas com raiva. - Você sabe que é proibido subir na torre da igreja sem permissão - admoestou ao rapaz.

- Sei que desobedeci ao regulamento, meu pai, mas não o fiz por mal - Ottmar respondeu, defendendo-se.- Minha intenção era consertar o relógio- e o fiz.

A turma riu alto achando graça da arrogância do rapaz. Até Herr Mergenthaler não pode conter um sorriso furtivo. - Você pensou que podia consertar o mecanismo, apesar de um relojoeiro profissional de Stuttgart ter dito que não podia ser consertado ? - observou com desaprovação.

- Sim, meu Pai, Veja, está marcando as horas -. O rapaz apontou para a torre da igreja, e os olhos dos aldeões se voltaram para o enorme mostrador do relógio, que então marcava três horas e quatorze minutos. Vários deles sacaram o relógio do bolso.

- O rapaz está dizendo a verdade - exclamou o corpulento padeiro. - Os ponteiros estão marcando as horas com perfeição! 

Um sussurro de excitação percorreu a multidão, e alguns dos jovens aplaudiram. Muitos dos homens e mulheres presentes deram pancadinhas de admiração na cabeça de Ottmar.

Quando Herr Mergenthaler e o filho voltaram ao chalé da família, o rapaz tinha assumido a estatura de um herói conquistador.

Ottmar então repetiu sua história para a madastra e os irmãos e irmã. Explicou como teve a idéia de consertar o relógio ao estudar as ilustrações de um livro sobre relógios que lhe fora enviado pelo irmão de sua madrasta, Louis Hahl, que era relojoeiro na vizinha cidade de Bietigheim. - Senti que se pudesse examinar o relógio da igreja e compará-lo com os mecanismos no livro que tio Louis me deu, podia ser capas de consertá-lo - disse com simplicidade.

- Mas por que não foi pedir permissão ao pastor ? - quis saber sua madrasta, uma mulher bonita, de feições suaves, na casa dos trinta.

O rapaz hesitou um momento, então respondeu solenemente:

- Porque tive medo que o povo risse de mim, pois sou apenas um garoto.

Caroline Mergenthaler olhou para o marido e piscou os olhos. Ottmar contou com detalhe como conseguiu subir furtivamente até a torre deserta, todas as tardes, enquanto o pastor se ausentava da cidade. Tinha desmontado todo o mecanismo do relógio antes de finalmente descobrir o problema- um pino quebrado. Substituiu o pino, tirou a ferrugem e a sujeira das engrenagens e molas antes de montar as peças, outra vez, e lubrificou o relógio para que ele funcionasse com maciez e exatidão.

Herr Mergenthaler pigarreou e disse - Embora tenha prazer pela honestidade de sua intenção, isso não justifica que você a realizasse de maneira desonesta. Por não ter obtido permissão para visitar a torre, irá para a cama sem jantar. Compreende que fez algo errado? - O rapaz balançou a cabeça afirmativamente, em silêncio.

Naquela noite Ottmar ficou deitado em seu diminuto quarto no sótão

...

 

Fonte:- Biblioteca de Cultura Geral -Editora Lidador Ltda.

O FABULOSO HOMEM DA IMPRESSÃO

I.E.LEVINE

Tradução de J.Ribeiro de Mendonça

Primeira Edição Brasileira: julho de 1965.

Traduzida de "Miracle Man of Printing"

Julian Messner, Inc. N.Y

Copyright 1963 by I.E.LEVINE

Ottmar queria ser engenheiro, mas o salário de um mestre-escola mal podia cobrir o custo do aprendizado em uma universidade, razão pela qual foi ser aprendiz de relojoeiro, e com a idade de quatorze anos, já era um perito na profissão. Teria completado os quatro anos de aprendizado, não fosse a inquietação política da Alemanha em 1871, logo após a guerra Franco-Prussiana.

Sabendo que dentro de um ano seria convocado para o serviço militar, e como tinha pouca inclinação para o militarismo, pediu permissão e viajou para a América, mais precisamente para Washington D.C, em 26 de outubro de 1872, um sábado, onde um primo seu, Augut Hahl, que também havia financiado a sua viagem,  possuía uma loja que manufaturava instrumento de precisão e, aos dezessete anos Mergenthaler tornou-se seus assistente.

August chegou aos Estados Unidos por volta de 1864, época em que a terrível guerra civil ainda assolava o país; por mais paradoxal que pareça, por exemplo, no norte havia uma enorme demanda pelos produtos industrializados, e August, pela sua grande capacidade técnica, empregou-se em uma fábrica que produzia equipamento telegráfico e demais aparelhos sinalizadores.

Trabalhando arduamente, gastando somente o necessário para o seu sustento e da família, conseguiu abrir uma empresa "The Hahn Company Machine Shop", logo depois do fim da guerra civil; como tudo corria harmoniosamente bem, a carteira de encomendas aumentando, o passo seguinte foi ampliar o próspero negocio, abrindo novas lojas.

Praticamente no centro do poder, tudo era progresso, principalmente no científico e tecnológico; dos teoricamente simples relógios pessoais, amplia-se a procura por aparelhos mais sofisticados, principalmente elétricos. Sendo August, principalmente nos meios governamentais, conhecido como capaz e de extrema confiança, foi convidado a construir, para o Serviço de meteorologia dos Estados Unidos, órgão recentemente inaugurado, instrumentos dos mais diversos e sofisticados.

Com tal desenvolvimento, oportunidades fantásticas para os empreendedores foram criadas, e não poderia ser diferente, além de August, um grande número de inventores, com milhares de projetos, simples esquemas ou mesmo idéias,  se instalaram em Washington, com o objetivo de se transformarem em notoriedades da noite para o dia, sendo que muitos deles, não tinham a menor idéia de como construir tais modelos.

Com as leis reguladoras já existentes nos Estados Unidos, sobre as patentes, uma exigência fundamental era, ao solicitar uma patente, que o pleiteante submetesse um modelo do seu invento ao Departamento de Patentes; perfeitamente natural que as oficinas de August ficassem repletas de novos e especiais clientes.

Tornou-se assim, principalmente em Washington, um excelente e rentável negocio industrializar modelos para futuras patentes, passando do simples papel, ou mesmo da cabeça do inventor, para uma realidade concreta e manuseável. 

Como ilustração, vejamos um trecho que o Pridie Kalendas selecionou:

An additional factor that contributed to the increase of patent applications was the periods of the U.S. Civil War and the following Reconstruction Era. In response to a greater need for technological improvements, many patents were issued in specialized areas. For example, many patents were related to military applications - Gatling's machine gun patent (U.S. Patent No. 36,836, 1862) and Nobel's dynamite patent (U.S. Patent No. 78,317, 1868). Additionally, the periods including and following the Civil War saw rapid increases in the number of patent applications and issuances. In 1861, 4,643 applications were filed - by 1865 the number of applications grew to 10,664 and to 20,445 in 1868.

A History of the United States Patent Office

By: Jason O. Watson
April 17, 2001

Dessa forma, Ottmar Mergenthaler, na época assistente do primo August, ficava extasiado com o que via. A oficina que tinha pouco mais de doze artesãos, especializados na industria relojoeira, mantinha, se muito, dois ou três empregados, cuidando especificamente da fabricação dos produtos que conheciam muito bem; os demais, concentravam-se nas mais estapafúrdias peripécias, das quais, grande parte, não tinham a menor possibilidade de serem sequer industrializadas, menos ainda de serem úteis para a sociedade.

Ottmar, pelos conhecimentos técnicos,  pela sua capacidade organizacional, digamos até, pelo tino comercial e a sua indiscutível e franqueza honestidade, passou a gerir esses interesses da promissora oficina do primo August.

Quando um projeto não tinha a menos chance, mesmo para os mais exaltados e geniosos, procurava com toda a delicadeza que lhe era peculiar, explicar com detalhes a impossibilidade do empreendimento, pois para muitos, era um fim melancólico de noites mal dormidas, aplicações de economias, tempo, enfim, sob o ponto de vista humanista, uma lastima.

Nesse ambiente profissional que convivia Ottmar, independentemente do tipicamente fabril, para melhor compreendermos aqueles momentos, de uma forma simplista, classificamos em quatro grandes tipos de clientes que circulavam pelas dependências da oficina:

Clientes, como já vimos, com possibilidades praticamente nulas de levarem a diante os seus projetos; se, não valesse os conselhos, e houvesse muita insistência do cliente, o pedido era aceito com totais restrições, e sem nenhuma responsabilidade da empresa.
Clientes com idéia boas, porém sem recursos financeiros. Selecionados de modo muito criterioso, pois era um investimento de risco, ajustava-se a construção dos protótipos, com clausulas de compartilhamento nos eventuais direitos que futuramente o inventor pudesse ter.

(Consta que esse tipo de serviço não deu lucro algum, pois apenas um ou dois projetos foram efetivamente lucrativos)

Clientes com recursos que podiam pagar as suas encomendas.
Clientes com projetos ou não, dispostos a financiar empreendimentos que pudessem retornar lucros desses investimentos.

Neste momento da nossa reportagem, conclamamos aos estimados leitores do "Pridie Kalendas" que leiam com muita atenção ao que vamos relatar; são momentos preciosos e impulsionadores da carreira de Ottmar Mergenthaler e, porque não dizer, do refinamento moral e ético desse grande inventor. Percebam como é importante o estudo, mesmo que a primeira vista possa parecer inócuo, ou sem importância para aquele determinado momento; Ottmar, na sua aldeia em Ensingen, estudou desenho mecânico,perspectiva isométrica,  leitura de projetos e eletricidade elementar, abrangendo praticamente todos os princípios, as leis fundamentais da eletricidade, dominando com desenvoltura as fórmulas matemáticas importantes para os cálculos da voltagem (tensão), corrente (intensidade) e resistências.

Com pouco mais de seis meses nos Estados Unidos (quando chegou não sabia nenhuma palavra do inglês), com a ajuda da mulher de August, Gerda, nascida em Baden, Alemanha, que estava no país desde criança, e evidentemente com os seus esforços pessoais, passou a dominar muito bem o idioma, e com o desempenho irrepreensível na empresa, como ser humano e como técnico, passou de um simples e rotineiro consertador de relógios, para coordenar projetos especiais, com ênfase no Serviço de Transmissões do exército dos Estados Unidos, cujas encomendas especiais previam o desenvolvimento e o aperfeiçoamento onde fosse necessário.

Sendo basicamente o único que realmente conhecia eletricidade na oficina, contrapondo-se com o próprio August e alguns técnicos que conheciam apenas na prática, fundamental foi a sua incorporação pessoal ao mega projeto do exercito; posteriormente, mesmo tendo somente 18 anos, fez questão de dar aulas ao interessados da oficina, em regra, com idade bem mais avançada do que a dele.

Com o projeto já em fase bem avançada, Ottmar respondia totalmente pelo mesmo, não só no que dizia respeito aos aspectos técnicos, más também aos preceitos contratuais que envolviam sutilezas de natureza comercial e jurídica, culminando com um rigoroso cronograma de entrega; em síntese, tinha diretamente ao seu comando direto, nada menos do que 12 especialistas técnicos,  contratados pela empresa.

Acompanhando pormenorizadamente a montagem, sendo provavelmente um dos pioneiros na aplicação efetiva do controle de qualidade, submetia cada circuito, com seus componentes mecânicos ou elétricos, rigorosamente comparados com os desenhos originais, sempre visando as possibilidades de efetivas melhorias, no momento, ou mesmo para o futuro.

Durante os vários meses que foram gastos nesses projetos governamentais, Ottmar teve a oportunidade de conhecer muita gente: políticos, graduados nas patentes do exercito, engenheiros, e também inventores avulsos, parecidos com os nossos Prestadores de Serviços, sem maiores vínculos com o exercito ou mesmo com a empresa contratada.

Desse convívio diário, fortaleceu-se o respeito conceitual e institucional da empresa, e particularmente, o respeito pelas qualidades exponenciais, tanto técnicas, como de reputação ilibada que foi um marco nos primórdios da carreira de Ottmar.

Especificamente no que diz respeito aos engenheiros do governo, houve uma reciprocidade sem precedentes, pois Ottmar pode melhorar sensivelmente os seus conhecimentos na teoria da eletricidade, e, como retribuição, como técnico eminentemente prático que era, podia, com certa habitualidade, contribuir com sugestões e reformulações do projeto original, não pensados na origem das pranchetas daqueles engenheiros graduados, portadores de conhecimentos teóricos transcendentais.

Na opinião de biógrafos, e também na nossa, desse intercambio de idéias, o convívio amplo com personalidades divinamente inspiradas, acreditando também, muito mais agora no seu potencial, floresce mais do que nunca em Ottmar, a chama do inventor, despertando lá dos primórdios da sua infância, a chama do inusitado, da pratica do humanismo, enfim do bem servir, marcas que ficaram indeléveis no nosso homenageado, até o seu desenlace do mundo dos vivos.

A GRANDE CRISE ECONÔMICA DE 1873 

Embora houvesse ligeiros vestígios, principalmente na chamada imprensa especializada, August, por ser um inveterado otimista e Ottmar, por estar enfronhado até a alma em seus projetos, não conseguiam acreditar que aquele imenso país que tão bem os acolhera, até então numa crescente prosperidade, podia, de alguma forma ser abalado por uma crise econômica.

Boatos, noticias constantes e intermitentes,gananciosos especuladores,  faziam da Bôlsa de Valores, bancos de renome,  presas fáceis, fazendo com que cotações caíssem, poupanças fossem retiradas em volumes alarmantes, restringindo de maneira brutal as linhas de créditos para todos.

Colaborando sensivelmente para o descontrole econômico, mediante investigação pelo Congresso, apurou-se grandes irregularidades na então poderosa Union Pacific Railroad, acusada de inúmeras fraudes em suas transações, cujos envolvidos eram do alto escalão governamental, com a lamentável participação do vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos.

Finalmente, no final de setembro de 1873, a casa ruiu! Como por encanto, da noite para o dia, grandes empresas faliram, comerciantes de renome tiveram que encerrar as suas atividades; o desemprego em proporções alarmantes,  causaram verdadeiros estragos na vida cotidiana da nação.

Com praticamente tudo paralisado, contratos cancelados sem aviso prévio, redução drástica de novos clientes, custos fixos relativamente altos,pelo aluguel do imóvel, financiamento de máquinas,  pela manutenção de aproximadamente uma dúzia de empregados, o fantasma fatídico de uma eminente falência chegou  rapidamente ao negocio de August.

Embora com o coração partido, com lagrimas nos olhos, August teve que despedir quase todos os seus fieis colaboradores, ficando com apenas dois deles; até Ottmar se ofereceu para ser dispensado, procedimento que embora compreendido, foi desconsiderado.

No final de 1873, com um quadro nada promissor, depois de um balanço superficial, August, em uma decisão pessoal, resolve transferir a empresa para Baltimore, com visível descontentamento da esposa, e do conselhos insistentes de Ottmar, dando a entender que uma locomoção para uma outra cidade, que não uma capital, poderia complicar ainda mais os já combalidos negócios.

Todavia, nada fez com que August desistisse; no inicio de 1874, com prejuízos visíveis, vendeu grande parte do chamado equipamento pesado, locomovendo o restante, para uma pequeno e acanhado deposito em Baltimore.

Embora convidados, os seus dois empregados, alegando grandes dificuldades na transferência deles e da família, resolveram permanecer na capital do país.

Analisando mais friamente, com Ottmar morando ainda com os Hahl, e dispensado o salário em troca da sua divida com o primo,  mesmo com a mesma economia precária da capital, Baltimore apresentava uma vantagem, os alugueres, tanto da casa como do depósito, foram significamente reduzidos, ocasionando sensível corte nos gastos.

Quando tudo parecia irremediavelmente caminhando para a bancarrota, eis que, um velho cliente e amigo de August, da Filadélfia, solicitava o seu comparecimento imediato na cidade, pois havia uma grande probabilidade de sair um bom negocio; sem pestanejar, apenas com a roupa do corpo e mais algumas mudas na bagagem, rumou para lá.

A conversa girou em torno da Exposição do Centenário da cidade de Filadélfia, que ocorreria no verão de 1876, cujo contrato abrangia principalmente a fabricação de vários instrumentos; entusiasmado, August fechou o acordo, e, depois de alguns dias, voltava para Baltimore.

Philadelphia Public Ledger

May 11, 1876

PARTICIPAÇÃO DO BRASIL

 
  THE CENTENNIAL OPENING DAY  THE INAUGURAL CEREMONIES 

 The Scene - The Decorations - The Services The Crowds - The Music - The General Joy  THE MILITARY PARADE  The Exhibition Opened by the Grandest Ceremony Ever Witnessed in America 
 

Yesterday the Centennial International Exhibition was formally opened at Fairmount Park by the President of the United States. This great event, which was accompanied by an imposing public demonstration upon the grounds, and heralded by salvos of artillery, has put into practical operation the vast enterprise to which Philadelphia has bent her energies for so long a time. It has been more than five years since this Exhibition received the sanction of law. Upon March 3, 1871, Congress passed the act creating the United Sates Centennial Commission, under whose supervisory control the gigantic Exhibition has been planned and gradually unfolded to its present vast dimensions. Upon June 1, 1872, the act was passed which created the Centennial Board of Finance, thus calling into being the organization which raised the money necessary for the undertaking, and without whose energetic agency it might probably have been the merest vision. John Welsh and his coadjutors have held the magician's wand that has conjured up Aladdin's Palace in the Park. Upon July 3d, 1873, the President proclaimed the contemplated Exhibition, and two days afterwards the Secretary of State sent notification of this proclamation to every foreign nation with which we hold diplomatic intercourse. In January, 1874, the participation of the various Executive Departments was ordered; and on June 5th, 1874, Congress authorized the President to extend, in the name of the United States, a respectful and cordial invitation to the governments of the world to be represented and take part in the International Exhibition. Every one of the thirty-nine nations to which this invitation was extended not only accepted it, but sent goods to such profusion that many have exceeded all their former efforts at international displays; and they made preparations with such energy that they excelled our own people in the speed with which their exhibits were got ready. Foreign gems and fabrics make up three-fifths of the display in the Main Building; probably four-fifths in the Art Department, and a large proportion in every other; and the foreign representation at yesterday's ceremonial far exceeded anything of the kind ever before seen in this country.

It was upon July 4, 1873, that the Fairmount Park Commission formally transferred to the Centennial Commission the Exhibition grounds at Lansdowne, this event taking place in the presence of three Cabinet Ministers, who represented the President, and of the Governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It was upon July 4, 1874, that ground was first broken upon Lansdowne plateau for the Main and Memorial Buildings. The little sod then dug by the Mayor, and now, with its pretty flowers, preserved as a memento in his office, was the signal, barely twenty-two months ago, for beginning the great work that has covered the Exhibition enclosure with its myriads of buildings. Since then the watching of the daily rise of the vast structures in the Park has been a pleasant occupation of our people. They saw first the modest cottage built that contained the builders' offices, and which when finished, was the only edifice to be seen on the grand plateau, but which now is dwarfed by so many commanding structures. Then the Art Gallery slowly rose - at first stark walls of brick, then faced with granite - both the earliest and the latest of the buildings. They watched the Main and Machinery Halls grow acre by acre, and the Horticultural Hall, nestling among the trees, with its bright-colored walls and its pretty design. Then the magic wand called into being the Government and Agricultural buildings almost in a night, as it were, and with mushroom rapidity sent up a hundred or more structures of all shapes, styles and sizes, in all parts of the grounds, designed to represent all architectures, and to satisfy, if not delight, all tastes. And then the occupancy came, and the flags of all nations began to float over them, showing that England, Spain, Brazil, France, and in fact all peoples had got at last an actual home in the new world. To-day, the work still goes on, with much yet unfinished, for the Centennial city can never be completely built. When a town or country ceases growth, its mission is in danger of being ended.

But we must not linger on this theme. What had been done before was overshadowed by the event of yesterday. For months Philadelphia has been anticipating the 10th of May in the Centennial year. The day dawned in an outburst of patriotic ardor. The busy labor of the flag and decoration makers, public and private, saw the light yesterday. They city was literally enveloped in bunting - enwrapped in the flags of all nations. The stars and stripes found the English jack, the French and German tri-colors, the Austrian and Hessian eagles, the elephant of Siam, the Chinese dragon, the sun of Japan, and the emblems of all the world aiding it in celebrating the Centenary.

From pole and halyard, in festoons and clusters, they were flung to the Centennial breeze. How many square miles of silk and bunting waved in and over, around and through Philadelphia yesterday, it will be difficult to calculate. Everybody gave vent to joy with a flag, and the universality and remarkable character of this patriotic outburst in bunting, silk and decorative art, is attested in the full description elsewhere given. The preparations for the display began on Tuesday, and, despite the lowering weather, the decorations fulfilled their part thoroughly. No feast or carnival of Europe or the Orient ever showed brighter decorations than yesterday in Philadelphia.

The day opened with clouds and rain. It was a sore disappointment, but could not be helped. "Old Probabilities" had done his best for the previous twenty-four hours in predicting clear weather, but the elements would not obey. Patriotism, however, after having been wrought up to the pitch displayed in Philadelphia, is not to be dampened by rain. At sunrise - or rather at the time when sunrise ought to have been - the bell on Independence Hall sounded the alarm that the great day had come. The peal continued a half hour, being taken up and spread over the city by all the bells and chimes, waking up the people who had not already begun the flag decorations. This was the formal announcement of the beginning of the Centennial Holiday, and, to add to the display, the shipping in the harbor also ran up flags at sunrise. Thus opened the day.


  A PEEP OF SUNSHINE

Shortly after 7 A.M., the wind veered in the southwest, and in a few minutes, after a smart bu brief rain falling, the clouds began to break away. Glimpses of blue sky could be seen to the westward, and at last the elements appeared to be propitiated. Before eight o'clock it became evident that this would not interfere with the grand display, and there were hopes of sunshine. The streets were wet and muddy, however, but the public were too glad at the anticipation of a fine day to permit this to interfere with their enjoyment. Philadelphians always take a hopeful view. A ride through the streets in the early morning, showed the flag decorators briskly at work on the fronts of the buildings, whilst soldiers, both on foot and on horseback, were hurrying to the rendezvous at Broad and Walnut streets. The sidewalks also were filled with people, and the street cars on the lines leading to the Park were, at that early hour, heavily laden. The street railways had made every arrangement to carry as many passengers as possible, by running every car on quick time. It only needed a glimpse of blue sky to start almost the entire population out of doors.


  THE SCENE AT MR. CHILDS' RESIDENCE 

A vast throng filled up Walnut and Twenty-Second streets, around the residence of Mr. George W. Childs, the host of the President. Here had assembled the Cabinet officers and their wives. A full force of police under Captain Wood guarded the house, keeping the sidewalks clear of people. About 8:25 A.M., Governor Hartranft, accompanied by Adjutant General Latta, Col. North and other officers, rode up to the door, being warmly cheered. At 8:30 the head of the military procession reached the house. President Grant appeared at the front door with Mr. Childs, the Cabinet also appearing, and as the President stepped out under the doorway the people loudly cheered him, handkerchiefs being waved by the ladies who filled the opposite windows. The military column then moved, the troops numbering about 2800 men. As the different detachments passed they were heartily greeted. The sailors from the frigate Congress were particularly noticeable and were loudly cheered.

Capt. Ryan's company, the State Fencibles, as usual attracted attention by their precision of drill, and were warmly commended by their distinguished spectators.

Finally the City Troop, the President's immediate escort, appeared and formed in line on the north side of the street, facing the house. As they made this maneuvre they were cheered, the distinguished visitors on the steps also applauding them.

The Presidential party then got into the carriages that were to take them out to the grounds. In the first carriage were President Grant, Secretary Fish, Governor Hartranft and George W. Childs. In the second carriage Secretaries Bristow, Robeson and Chandler and Postmaster General Jewell. In the third carriage, Secretary Taft and Attorney General Pierrepont. The ladies did not go out with the procession, but were handed into carriages on Twenty-second street, Col. Frederick D. Grant escorting Mrs. Grant and Ex-Secretary Borie Mrs. Fish.

The procession then moved, and the different detachments were cheered by the crowd as they passed the house. The greeting of the First Regiment Gray Reserves was quite a warm one. As the parade was passing the sun came out, and every evidence was given of a fine day. The throng soon broke up and, like the rest of the population, proceeded en masse to the grounds.


  A GRAND HOLIDAY 

It needed only the proof of a fine day, such as was made sure by 9 o'clock, to devote the entire city to holiday-making. The people went almost en masse out to the Centennial grounds, and the rural districts poured in their thousands to swell the throng. For weeks the public, for many miles around, had been preparing for the tenth of May. Every railway, steamboat, stage, turnpike and highway leading to Philadelphia yesterday morning brought in its populace, who were added to the vast aggregate moving in grand mass upon the Centennial. After setting up decorations and getting ready for the journey to the Park, the people started, thronging the streets, some tarrying to see the military escort for this President, but all pouring over the bridges that led across the Schuykill, each one bent upon the same goal. Cars, carriages, cabs and vehicles of all sorts were loaded down and still vast numbers went on foot. It looked as if a great army was moving in vast divisions to capture the Centennial. Probably the largest number passed over Girard avenue bridge. But the Market, Chestnut, South and Callowhill street bridges all had their moving armies, and the masses finally came together, when the Lancaster and Girard avenue currents were all turned into Belmont and Elm avenues. Few places have ever seen such a mass of humanity as crowded the streets bordering the southern limits of the Exhibition during yesterday morning.

The cars were overladen, the sidewalks overflowed into the streets, and when the gates into the ground were opened the pressure began to be relieved, and steady streams of people poured through as fast as the guards permitted, the march of men, women and children continuing for a long while. The throng outside the grounds; the smaller buildings with ambitious names, wherein liquor was dispensed to the thirsty and excited throngs; the waving bunting, the animated mass of humanity, all lit up by the glad sunlight of a fair May morning; made a scene never to be forgotten. An American can only see one Centennial, therefore each made the most of it.


  THE VICINITY OF THE GROUNDS 

Seven o'clock has come - the gates are opened, and the laboring men, exhibitors and holders of special passes are admitted. The sound of hammering and other carpenter work comes from within the grounds, and dirty carts drawn by lazy horses begin to make their appearance at the exit gates carrying the last remnants of the rubbish and old material that has accumulated inside the grounds within the last few months. Then, spruce guards with bright buttons, dark blue uniforms and white cotton gloves begin to mingle with the throng outside the gates, and endeavor to get something like order out of the chaos that is around and about. The new arrivals by cars and foot continue to pour towards the gates, which still relentlessly remain closed to the great public. The benches which have been left by some kind mortals in front of the Board of Finance Building have scores of occupants, all of them with an anxious and expectant air awaiting the hour of opening of the gates. Finally the strange crowd, composed of many nationalities, speaking a variety of tongues, and showing in their faces and actions the peculiarities of all the types of mankind, becomes more composed.

Added to the people who ceaselessly pour form the cars, the decorations of the hotels and restaurants around the concourse make the latter play a still more brilliant part. The Trans-Continental, with its sober coat of drab, is brightened up by numbers of flags, which hang from its many windows and flutter in the breeze which has at last sprung up, whilst the great Globe Hotel, with its many wings, is handsomely decorated with the National colors. And the restaurants and smaller hotels in the vicinity are not behind in the matter of patriotism, and fly banners and flags in profusion, adding further brilliancy to the scene. And then the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot has its flags, too. Flying in the breeze, and its locomotives, with their hoarse, clanging bells, furnish the music for the occasion. The fastly running trains dash across the river at rapid intervals and unload in the huge depot their scores of passengers, who are sent on their way towards the grounds laden with bag and baggage by innumerable officials, who wave hands covered with white cotton gloves.

As the day advanced and the sun came out in full splendor, the throngs increased rapidly. Couples, private carriages and vehicles of all descriptions, apparently innumerable, went dashing here and there, depositing their living freights at various points, while the cars, running on half minute time, in unending strings, added their quota to the throngs. Thousands, unable to obtain conveyance in the cars, approached the grounds on foot, forming a continuous stream of humanity that pours to the gates and made the approaches to the grounds brilliant and beautiful with the variety of costume.

The police arrangements were in charge of Captains Heins and Curry. The former, with Sergeants Miller, Warnock and Simpson and 105 men, had charge of Elm avenue, from Forty-first street to the entrance of the Main Building in the East, and the latter, with Lieutenants Wilkins, Mickle, Ferguson, Baldwin and Davidson, with 390 men, took charge of Fortieth street, from the bridge to Elm avenue, and thence to the entrance of the Main Building on the east. And though the numbers passing over these thoroughfares were immense, the strictest order possible was maintained by the officers' efforts, aided by the Park Guard, Captain Lewis M. Chasteau commanding, and the people's good nature. As the parade approached, the streets and avenues were cleared of persons and vehicles, and the procession passed without delay or obstruction of any moment, and entered the enclosure by Lansdowne drive.


  INSIDE THE GROUNDS 

Passing through the gates the thousands of visitors began to scatter themselves over the vast area embraced within the grounds. Some go at once toward the Main Building and Memorial Hall, where the ceremonies are to take place, whilst others visit the State and minor buildings, and still others amuse themselves by visits to the lakes and fountains, all of which latter were merrily playing, sending streams of pure water into the air.

At half-past nine the plaza between the Main Building and Memorial Hall is well filled with people, whilst the large open space between the first named and Machinery Hall is beginning to fill up. The steady tramp of arriving visitors continues, and the stream pours ceaselessly on. At about ten o'clock the President and party arrive, and passing through Memorial Hall advance to the grand stand.

The military have in the meanwhile entered at another gate, and are beginning to the Plaza, between the Main Building and Machinery Hall, where they form in line preparatory to receiving the President on his march through the grounds. Around and about them the crowd begins to press, and it is with difficulty that the passage way destined for the Presidential party can be kept open.

The wire fences and th gates at the crossings fail in their purpose of preventing people from walking or crossing the tracks, for the roadway of the railroad is as well filled with pedestrians as the other paths. At the restaurants a lively business is being done, and the Department of Public Comfort has plenty to keep its attendants busy in taking care of the bags, bundles, overcoats and umbrellas brought out by visitors from a distance and entrusted to it for safekeeping.

The ceremonies have begun at the grand stand, yet even their attractiveness seems to make no impression on the people in front of Machinery Hall, nor does it appear to diminish the throngs in the other portions of the grounds.

At the headquarters of the Centennial Guard, in the Commission Building on Elm avenue, a busy scene is presented. Colonel Clay and his Adjutant, Capt. Hoyt, were both actively engaged from early morning in the policing of the grounds. The Guard, which is under the command of Colonel Clay, numbers one thousand men, six hundred of whom were yesterday on duty in uniform, whilst the balance, ununiformed, were distributed over the grounds where required.

In addition to these a force of twenty-six detectives, under Captain Tully, of New York, was scattered over the ground on the lookout for suspicious characters; and District Attorney Sheppard had two of his detectives on hand for similar duty.

Company F, Third Regiment, Col. Ballier commanding, was also on the grounds early, awaiting orders form the headquarters, being fora long time stationed on the plaza in the rear of the Commissioners building.


  THE CEREMONIES 

The space reserved for holding the formal opening ceremonies was the large area bounded by the Main Building on the south and by Memorial Hall on the north. Memorial Hall stands upon a broad terrace, the front portion of which is paved with flagstones. Along the front of the hall and covering part of this pavement was erected a platform capable of accommodating four thousand people. That portion of the platform in front of the centre of the hall was square in shape, with a semi-circular stand projecting from the front, and placed directly across the avenue leading from the Main building to Memorial Hall. This stand was erected for the accommodation of the emperor and the Empress of Brazil and their suite, the President of the United States and Cabinet, and those persons most immediately concerned in the conduct of the ceremonies.

From the ends of the pavilions, on the eastern and western corners of the building, the platform diverged from the east and west line in a southwesterly and southeasterly direction, thus giving it the general appearance of a parallelogram with square projections at the corners. The seats on this platform all looked toward the south, facing the northern side of the Main Building, and with their backs toward Memorial Hall. The front of the central stand was covered with a large United States flag, across which was draped, in honor of the presence of the Emperor of Brazil, the green and yellow folds of the Brazilian standard. At the two corners of the entrance to the stands were displayed the flags of Great Britain and the United States, and to the right and left of the stands, respectively, the standards of France and Germany. In front of the balustrade, extending above the cornice of Memorial Hall, were placed handsome vases filled with a profusion of rare and beautiful plants. Immediately in front of the central stand were placed seats for the representatives of the press, of whom there were a great number.

Over against the grand platform, and facing it was erected an inclined platform, capable of accommodating one thousand persons. It adjoined the north line of the Main Building, and was occupied by the grand orchestra and chorus. This platform was arranged with tiers of seats, one above another, and was raised sufficiently above the ground to permit the passage of persons under it. A footway of asphalt was constructed under this platform, leading from the north centre door of the Main Building to Memorial Hall. The invited guests came in at three entrances; one at the eastern end of the Main Building, another opposite the south centre door, and another near the extreme southwestern corner of the building. They passed up the grand central nave, or through the centre aisle to the north centre door and out; passing underneath the music platform to the grand stand in front of Memorial Hall.

The platform for the musicians was decorated with a rich display of bunting. On the right of the centre was the American flag, and on the left the standard of the Netherlands. On the extreme right was the standard of Switzerland, and on the extreme left the Italian flag. Over the passageway leading under the building were hangings of white and blue bunting on which were wreaths of gilt leaves enclosing the letters "76;" above these were the words, in yellow letters on blue ground, "Main Building," and draped above these were the standards of Great Britain and France. The decorations of both the music stand and platform for guests, although not elaborate, were, as a whole, rich, striking and in thorough keeping with the character of the occasion.

At eight o'clock a number of invited guests had arrived, and by nine o'clock there was a very general sprinkling of people over the space between the Main Building and Memorial Hall. At ten o'clock the stands and open space between them were thronged with people, and in a few minutes after ten the assemblage hall became so dense that it was practically impossible to make one's way from point to point without the assistance of the police. All the available space on the platform and terrace was soon occupied to its utmost capacity, and people began to climb up to all points in the vicinity from which views of the scene could be obtained. Groups of men and boys were perched upon the bronze statues representing "Pegasus led by the Muses," standing on either side of the approach to Memorial Hall, and every inch of space on the statues and on the backs of the horses was eagerly grasped for. Indeed, so great was the eagerness to obtain a place that two men seated themselves one between the ears of each of the horses. Groups of people were also congregated on the roofs of the Main Building, Memorial Hall, Photographic Hall, the north annex to the Main Building, Machinery Hall, and every other accessible elevation in the vicinity.
 
 [TRANSCRIPTION IN PROGRESS - for those who need it, here is the later section of this article that deals with the start-up of the Corliss Engine]
 

Entering the main eastern door of Machinery Hall amid the chiming of bells and the plaudits of the people, the procession moved slowly, without stopping, up the main aisle and halted at the large Corliss engine. President Grant and wife, the Emperor and Empress of Brazil, Col. Fred. Grant, Gen. Hawley, Director General Goshorn and John Welsh, Esq., then advanced and ascended to the platform surrounding the engine. All being in readiness, President Grant and the Emperor, Dom Pedro, grasped the handles of the acting valves, and at a concerted moment turned them. There was a slight hissing of steam audible and then the huge walking beam was seen to slowly move, and, gathering momentum, was soon in full play.

At the first visible movement of the powerful and ponderous machinery a cheer was given, and for a brief space the eyes of all were fastened upon the engine. They had enjoyed the scene but a little while when Gen. Hawley announced that the reception by the President, in the judges' hall, would be omitted. After leaving the great engine the procession moved straight down the main avenue in a westerly direction, passing on its way the several foreign departments. Meanwhile all the machinery in the vast building had begun running, and the din and clatter of the hundreds of machines united with the music of the bands without , and the ringing of the chimes within, made it a confusion of sounds to be remembered.
 
 

The Railroads and the Centennial Exhibition of 1876

Apesar de não atingir a grande fase de Washington, com o cumprimento do contrato original de Filadélfia, outros surgindo, inclusive com encomendas da própria cidade de Baltimore, e de antigos clientes da capital, principalmente por indicação de funcionário do Departamento de Patente,  havia por parte do primo e de Ottmar, uma grande esperança,  que o país finalmente saísse de vez da tão nefasta crise.

(Continua em 2012 - Prazo indeterminado0)


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