The exhibition was a great success; and some optimistic people at the time prophesied that it marked the beginning of an era of international peace, for they could not believe that the nations who joined in promoting so grand a project could ever quarrel again.
These rosy hopes, however, were soon dashed to the ground; for three years after the Exhibition, England, France and Turkey were engaged in the Crimean War against Russia; and ten years after that came the war between Germany and Austria, which was followed four years later by the Franco-German War. Many great exhibitions have been held since then, in London, Paris, Vienna, Glasgow, Chicago, and other places, culminating in 1924 in the Great Empire Exhibition at Wimble. Although exhibitions evidently cannot prevent war, they do undoubtedly help to promote a friendly feeling among the nations. Exhibits are sent from all countries, and visitors come from all parts of the world; and men of different nations cannot work and organise together and meet in friendly intercourse, as they do at such times, without getting more knowledge of and sympathy with each other’s customs and ways of thought. Perhaps the chief object and use of such exhibitions is the promotion of manufactures, and the encouragements of new inventions and improved methods.
Not only can manufacturers from all over the world see at an exhibition all the latest machines, methods and processes, but the prizes offered for the best commodities of different kinds stimulate invention, and create a healthy rivalry in excellence of workmanship. In the same way these exhibitions do a great deal of good to commerce, by bringing to one centre samples of the produce of different countries, from which merchants can learn where they can buy and sell to the best advantage. They also have a great education value; for, besides exhibits of the products of all countries, an exhibition contains fine collections of works of art of all nations, curiosities of all kinds, and model villages and streets representing the life and customs of many different nationalities.