Anglo-German Exhibition 1913.



            Between 1854 and 1936 there must have been hundreds of shows, exhibitions and events at the Sydenham Crystal Palace. Most of these are well documented either from surviving programmes, or since the late 1890’s by picture postcards. Much information can also be gained from the wealth of books that have been written about the Crystal Palace.

            Once in a while, some little tit-bit turns up that reveals yet another show, exhibition or some kindred event which has previously remained undocumented. One such event seems to be the Anglo-German Exhibition of 1913 which ran from May to October of that year. I know of just one postcard that relates to this exhibition, (see illustration). It is multi coloured, and printed by The New Fabro Printing Process Co., (1913) of 35 Shoe Lane, London, E.C. The reverse is not postmarked, but it does bear the ink inscription “We are rather disappointed with this exhibition, Madam Tetrazzini was here on Saturday, she has a lovely voice”.

            1913 was probably not a very good time to stage such an exhibition, strained feelings towards the Kaiser were already beginning to show, also the Palace itself was in somewhat of a state of flux, having just been saved from an untimely end, by being purchased for the Nation. It seems ironic that in just a few months, the Palace would be an Admiralty Training Depot, getting sailors ready to take up hostilities against those who may have been exhibiting.

In the Fabro Printing Process the red and blue colours have a velvet feel to them, the colours

stand up from the surface of the card, almost like embossing.

            Has anyone any further information on the 1913 Anglo-German Exhibition? I feel sure that with a run of six months there must have been a significant number of postcards and other ephemeral items produced, perhaps this exhibition was eclipsed by the one showing over at the White City, or just that the timing of this event by the Board of Directors of the Crystal Palace was wrong.

the end

            Yes Fred, there was one other card that I know of titled ‘The Lord Mayor Visiting Oetzmann’s Antique Court’ There is a booklet for intending exhibitors at the exhibition which was to
run from the 10th May to 27th September. The booklet states, it “should create the good feeling so much desired between the peoples of the two countries”. One of the attractions being offered by the Management during the exhibition, was the holding of the Olympic Games in the grounds. I’ll pass that one over to readers, it’s the first I’ve heard of a proposed Olympic Games in 1913.

            Getting back to the Oetzmann’s cards, these come with two different backs. One has ‘Souvenir, Anglo-German Exhibition 1913’ under POST CARD, and the other has Anglo-German Exhibition 1913 and the crossed flags of the two countries, between POST and CARD.

First type, Souvenir, Anglo-German Exhibition 1913

Second type, Crossed flags



         © Exhibition Study Group 1997