Folia Historica Cracoviensia, Vol 20, Pp 155-177 (2014)
Galicia, mining, metallurgy, exhibition, Lviv, 1894, political autonomy, History of the arts, NX440-632, and History (General) and history of Europe
The General Regional Exhibition of Lviv was organized in 1894, on the 100 year anniversary of the Kosciuszko Uprising of 1794. The Exhibition was meant to demonstrate Galicia’s economical and cultural progress since its gaining political autonomy and to become an opportunity for the national integration of Poles. The Exhibition displays included various thematic groups which were devoted to both spiritual and material aspects of life in Galicia and were meant to show the abundance of its crops and produce, mining and metallurgy, agriculture, forestry and hunting. The shows pictured everyday life of the inhabitants of Galicia, its folk art, so-called domestic industry and craftwork. Other sections of the Exhibition demonstrated the development of the Galician financial institutions, public administration, healthcare, communication, engineering, construction, literature, general and vocational education and the bloom of the fine arts and architecture. The article analyzes only some parts of the great legacy of the Exhibition, its scope focuses on mining and metallurgy. The text points out the dynamic development of the oil industry and the increase in the branches such as: salt production, iron smelting, and brown and hard coal extraction. The only branch of the Galicia’s economy which had not offered good perspectives and was thus soon discontinued had been the production of earthwax (ozocerite). The organization of the exhibitions of such sort was regarded at that time as one of the best ways to stimulate economy and benefit the regions. The actual development itself, especially of the oil mining, aided many positive social and cultural changes and undoubtedly increased the societal potential and might have resulted in further initiatives.