In 1864, Napoleon III had decreed that this international exposition should be held in Paris in 1867. Under the leadership of Prince Jerome Napoleon, preliminary work was begun to transform the Champ de Mars, the great military parade ground of Paris, and the island of Billancourt, into a perfect location.
The focal point of the fairgrounds was a 1608’x1247′ rectangular-shaped building with rounded ends. The center was a 545’x184′ domed pavilion surrounded by a garden. The exhibition gallery halls were located around the perimeters of the garden. There were nearly a hundred other smaller buildings on the grounds also.
The exhibition had 9,238,967 visitors, including 50,226 exhibitors.
One of the major exhibits displayed the work of renowned clockmaker E. Farcot and sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Be Belleuse. This exhibit consisted of several elaborate, monumental “conical pendulum” large-scale mystery clocks. The pendulum on each of these clocks silently traces a conical trajectory in space instead of swinging side to side as conventional clock pendulums do….that’s why they’re called “conical pendulum.”
The total number of these clocks made is actually unknown…so far only seven have been found….but taking into account that these clocks they were extremely expensive, probably no more than twenty were ever made.
Of those clocks that have been found, three are displayed in museums…
- Cliffe Castle Museum
- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY
- National Watch and Clock Museum, PA
One of these clocks is up for auction at Rau Antiques……price given at $475,000…
Two of these clocks were purchased soon after the fair for an average of $8,000…and are on display at…
The seventh clock is featured at The Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel This ten foot tall clock consists of a solid onyx marble base featuring the clock’s face and inner mechanical movements, a bronze sculpture depicting a robed female figure holding a scepter that rotates soundlessly from her hand and provides the consistent motion needed to keep the clock running.
But at a smaller exhibit a smaller product was being introduced that would soon change coffee-drinking culture for goof—biscotti…
In 1858, Antonio Mattei had just opened his biscuit factory and store at Via Ricasoli 22 in Prato, Tuscany.
He had invented and perfected a recipe for a dry almond “biscuit” or cookie—the original biscotti recipe—that would become a culinary classic with a cult-like following.
This exhibit received a special mention at this International Exposition of Paris in 1867, but has become a staple item at Starbucks and other coffee houses around the world.
Today his bakery at Via Ricasoli 22 in Prato, Tuscany…commonly referred to as the “Mattonella” bakery is still operating in Prato at the same location and the recipe that he first created is now accepted as the traditional recipe for biscotti.
Biscotti di Prato
- 3 1⁄2 cups flour
- 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 1 cup shelled almonds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put flour into mixing bowl.
- Add sugar, 2 eggs, one egg yolk, baking powder, salt, and water.
- Cream ingredients together until stiff dough forms.
- Add almonds.
- Divide dough into fourths.
- Roll each quarter into a 1 1⁄2″ x 10″ log.
- Arrange on prepared baking sheet 2″ apart.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush onto dough.
- Bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.
- Use a long metal spatula to transfer dough logs to a cutting board.
- Carefully cut logs crosswise with a serrated knife (logs will be a bit fragile) into 1⁄2″-thick cookies.
- Return cookies to a baking sheet.
- Arrange, cut side up, in a single layer.
- Bake cookies until pale brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Set cookies aside to cool completely before serving.
- (Cookies will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight container.)
Since 1867, biscotti has become a culinary cookie with a cult-like following that has been dunked into cups of coffee at coffee shops around the world…and has evolved from that one original recipe. here are s few varieties that you might try. 1. Anise Biscotti…(Source…Williams Sonoma)
2. Chai Biscotti…(Source…Oregon Chai)