The Huddersfield Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition was formally opened on 7 July 1883 by the Duke of Somerset.
The exhibition "included displays relating to local and regional industry as well as nationally important works of art, examples of modern technology, historic documents and photographs" and ran for 6 months. During that time, it was visited by nearly 330,000 people.
The receipts were in excess of £13,000 and the income was used by the Huddersfield Technical School and Mechanics' Institute to help offset the costs of the newly erected Ramsden Building.
One of the more unusual exhibits was a family bible, dated 1791, that was found in the River Colne after the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.