This partially printed, 208-page volume contains notes kept by Charles Staples, Jr., while serving as a judge of exhibits at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1876. Staples assessed products in classes 280-284 within the manufactures section, which included items such as files, razors, cutlery, nails, lumberjack tools, and safes.
Charles Staples, Jr., a native of Portland, Maine, attended the Centennial Exhibition sometime between May and November 1876. He served as an exhibit judge for Department II (Manufactures), Group XV, classes 280-284, and recorded his notes in a pre-printed "International Exhibition 1876 Judges' note book." For each exhibit, Staples provided the manufacturers' names, the items' class numbers, the items' places of origin, and his observations. He noted which exhibits won awards, and often mentioned manufacturers who offered low prices. Staples assessed goods from the United States and from a number of foreign countries, which included Germany, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Egypt, Jamaica, Norway, Brazil, the Netherlands, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, and Italy. Many types of items were associated with a particular country; Canada, for example, displayed a large number of axes and other tools used in the lumber industry. Staples also viewed files, scissors and shears, cutlery, axles, nails, hunting and cooking knives, rivets, coffin fittings, locks, and hinges. The final pages hold more extensive notes on safes, many of which were asserted to be "burglar-proof." A brief partial index appears on the last page of the volume.