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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Chinchilla lanigera .
ORIGIN OF THE ANIMAL PRODUCTS
At the close of the Great Exhibition of 1851, many of the articles there displayed were presented to Her Majesty's Commissioners by various Foreign Governments, and numerous individual exhibitors, to form the nucleus of a permanent Trade Collection. It was considered that such a Collection would not only be interesting as constituting a lasting memorial of the Exhibition and a record of the state of Industry in 1851, but that it might be rendered of great practical benefit to the Manufacturing and Mercantile communities if systematically arranged for purposes of reference, with a view both to technical instruction and to the ever-changing and increasing wants of trade in this great commercial country. The Collection thus presented to the Commissioners contained many and valuable specimens in the three great kingdoms of Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral products. Great progress had been made in the development of two important National Collections illustrative of the Vegetable and Mineral kingdoms respectively, viz., the Museum of Economic Botany at Kew, and the Museum of Practical Geology in Jermyn Street, and to these the vegetable and mineral products were respectively consigned.
No corresponding Collection for the Animal Kingdom had, however, previously existed. The Royal Commissioners, there. fore, thought it desirable to endeavour to supply this deficiency
ITS LOCALITY AND DEVELOPMENT.
by the formation of a Collection of Animal Products, the articles of that class, presented to them in 1851, serving as an appropriate nucleus for such a Collection. The Society of Arts, being equally impressed with the importance of this object, co-operated with the Commissioners towards its attainment, and joined in securing the services of Professor Solly for a period of two years, ending in 1855, to superintend the formation of the Collection; Dr. Lyon Playfair, M.P., the then scientific referee of the Department of Science and Art, giving valuable assistance in the development and arrangement of the articles, a work in which the author of these pages also took a not inconsiderable part. The Collection was first exhibited to the public in 1857; and in 1858 the whole of the Collection of Animal Products, as it then existed, was presented by Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851 to the Science and Art Department of the Committee of Council on Education. It was then exhibited as part of the South Kensington Museum, where it remained for several years, but was subsequently removed to the Branch Museum of the Department at Bethnal Green, where it is now arranged in the Lower Gallery on the South Side of the Building.
As the Food Products from Animals, and the Economic relations of Insects to man, are dealt with in separate Handbooks or Guides to those Collections by other writers, the various products of the Mammalia alone are proposed to be touched upon in this Manual, which will be devoted chiefly to those used for Manufactures, without following in strict order the natural history classification; but tracing the Collection as nearly as possible in the methodical manner in which it has been arranged, and adding to the text such illustrations of animals and their products, as may serve to render it interesting and useful, and help to make it more generally understood.
THE CLASSIFICATION (beginning at the East end of the Gallery) adopted originally in the arrangement of the COLLECTION of ANIMAL PRODUCTS is as follows:
CLASSIFICATION OF THE COLLECTION.
CLASS I.-Animal Substances employed for Textile Manufactures and Clothing.
II. Hair, Bristles, and Whalebone.
V. Feathers, Down, and Quills.
VI. Gelatin, Skins, and Leathers.
II. Horns and Hoofs.
CLASS III.—Pigments and Dyes yielded by Animals.
II. Lac and its applications.
IV. Sepia, Tyrian Purple, Purree, &c.
II. Cantharides, Leeches, &c.
II. Albumen, Casein, &c.
Bones, Fish Manures, &c.
The special object of this Collection is not merely the formation of a Museum showing the various Animal Products entering into British and Foreign Commerce, but, at the same time, to instruct and inform the visitor as to the magnitude of the trade, the varieties, peculiar characteristics and suitability for various purposes, of different substances. While, therefore, the mere visitor for pleasure will be gratified by a passing glance at such a general collection of useful and ornamental products, the more thoughtful and inquiring will here find ample opportunities presented to them of studying quietly, systematically, and in pro
IMPORTANCE OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS.
gressive detail, the principal Arts and Manufactures arising out of Animal substances which result in such individual benefit, and contribute so greatly to our national wealth and extensive commerce.
The objects exhibited are arranged into classes, groups, and subdivisions, which proceed step by step from the raw material, through the various stages of manufacture, up to the finished product.
The Food Products of Animal origin are illustrated in the Food Collection arranged in the opposite gallery.
Descriptive general, and special, framed labels are hung about the galleries; every case, article, and particular manufacture is fully described, and cheap catalogues are also on sale, so that the visitor will have little difficulty in gleaning useful information as he proceeds.
The extent and importance of the trade in Animal Products generally is probably little understood. It would be indeed difficult to form a precise estimate of its magnitude even as regards the trade, industry, and money value for the United Kingdom alone, but there are some few data from which an approximate account of the raw materials and manufactures derived from the Animal Kingdom may be formed. We have tolerably correct agricultural statistics of our domestic Live Stock, and also official records made annually by the Board of Trade, of the value of the Imports and Exports. If we take, therefore, the data from these for the year 1875 (which, it may be incidentally remarked, was not a very prosperous trade year), we shall arrive at some idea of the enormous figures and the large interests involved.
Value of the Imports of Animal origin brought into the United Kingdom in 1875. Live Animals
. £8,466, 226 Food Products: Bacon and Hams
6,982,470 Pork, salted and fresh
590,356 Beef, salted
357,201 fresh or preserved .