World's Fair of 1888
   The Exposition universelle et internationale held in Brussels in 1888 was the first of the world expositions held in the city. The fair took place on the grounds of the Parc du Cinquantenaire, the same site that served as the locale for the national exposition of 1880.
   The fair was noteworthy for the novel program introduced by one of its promotors, Léon Somzée, an engineer and a deputy for Brussels in the Chamber of Representatives. A series of 3,000 questions were posed to specialists from the various participating countries in fields such as commerce, industry, and science. Responses were overseen by special commissions made up of scientists and technicians and the answers were presented in the form of drafted reports or, in practical form, through newly created machines, instruments, or devices.
   The exposition failed to fulfill expectations with disappointing attendance numbers caused largely by ongoing social disturbances. Demands for universal male suffrage and amelioration of economic grievances led to widespread riots in 1886 that were bloodily suppressed and left lingering incendiary sentiments.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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