Royal Naval Exhibition 1891 at Chelsea

This is a brown-board-covered album, containing 26 photographs glued one to a page. The album relates to the Royal Naval Exhibition held at Chelsea in 1891 and is a record of the galleries, buildings and displays.

The Royal Naval Exhibition, held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, from 2 May to 24 October 1891 was a huge, and highly successful event. It was advertised all over the country and attracted 2,351,683 visitors. The organizers - the Admiralty prominent among them - used many of the same temporary buildings built for the Army Exhibition in 1890.

The Exhibition included historical galleries of marine art, artefact and record, and modern displays of engineering and weaponry by firms such as Armstrong Mitchell, the Thames Iron and Shipbuilding Co., and many smaller contractors. Sponsored 'kiosks' (pavilions) celebrated the commercial prowess of P&O, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., and other concerns. The 'Heroine', a 40-ton Yarmouth sailing trawler, was planted on the site with full-scale 'model' replicas of Douglass's new Eddystone Lighthouse and of the hull of HMS 'Victory'. A polygonal rotunda displayed a large-scale circular panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar; an 'Arctic Region' tableau filled a pavilion designed as an iceberg; a temporary lake saw mock naval encounters between large 'barbette' and 'turret' warship models (the latter winning), and field-gun and similar drill demonstrations by resident Naval and Royal Marine contingents took place in an adjacent arena.

Object Details

ID: ALB1386
Type: Photograph album
Display location: Not on display
Date made: Circa 1891
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 254 mm x 203 mm
Parts: Royal Naval Exhibition 1891 at Chelsea

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