In his speech delivered at the opening of the Foire de Paris, President of the Provisional Government, Charles de Gaulle describes the event as a “commitment to effort and renewal”.
It is encouraging to see that the main areas are given over to industry: engineering, electricity, iron smelting and aluminium. Visitors include large numbers of former prisoners of war and deportees. They receive free admission.
The fair covers 45 hectares. Alongside heavy industry, furnishings and refrigeration industries, for the first time since the war, the event features luxury goods industries: leather goods and boots.
But the exhibit that really piques visitors’ collective curiosity is to be found in the Radio salon: 23 working television sets attract thousands of astonished onlookers.
A distinguished visitor, the President Vincent AURIOL politely advises French people: “All those who are sad and depressed should come to the Foire de Paris, their sadness will give way to optimism”. And Le Figaro, beneath a drawing by the cartoonist Piem showing the Foire bedecked with cranes and flags, proclaims: “you must go to the Foire de Paris with the same spirit as Robinson Crusoe when he went off to conquer his desert island” (May 20, 1950).
The Foire de Paris is 50! A commemorative medal is awarded to exhibitors who have participated for at least 25 years.