Smith, Walter (ed.) / The Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition illustrated: industrial art
The lesson of the exhibition., pp. 497-521 ff.
THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, ,876. countries, but these have a well-defined po- sition entirely apart from what we have referred to as the fur- niture of a house. It is questionable whether we could find in any other country so general a fashion as that which prevails here, of furnishing the best houses, from for- eign sources, with all objects implying in their design and manu- facture the highest taste and the most ex- perienced skill in exe- cution. Such a condition of things as this is neither creditable to the enter- prise of manufacturers nor profitable to so- ciety from a purely economical point of view. If with a severe protective tariff main- tained for the purpose of excluding foreign manufactures, it is still to be found that they are here, competing Swedish Ornamental Iron Door. more than successfully with native products in industrial art, and prac- tically monopolizing the vast sums annually ex- pended on objects of use and ornament by the ever-increasing wealthy classes, there must be some radical deficiency either in our manufactures or our education which per- mits so remarkable a circumstance. The simplest ex- planation of this may be found in the ab- sence of opportunities for the development of skilled labor in America. Whilst other countries have been establishing schools and institutions for secondary education, thereby ensuring for their industries and manufactures the po- tent influence of skill and knowledge in art and science, we have been content to go on inventing labor-saving 498
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