M13023 | Crystal Palace, London, 1850

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Crystal Palace, London, 1850
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1850, 19th century
Coloured ink on paper
27.2 x 50.2 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , building (531) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

This colour lithograph shows the structure that was built in London's Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, known more fully as The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. Designed by Joseph Paxton, this light and airy building with its innovative glass and steel structure was dubbed the "Crystal Palace."

A veritable triumph of English technique, the Crystal Palace embodied the essence of modernity and progress. While impressive enough in itself, what it contained was, for people of that era, simply breathtaking. Every major country was represented in it.

Construction of the building began in late July 1850 and ended in January of 1851. From May 1 to October of that year, people could visit the building and the exhibitions that were held there. The Great Exhibition was intended to celebrate the new industrial era. Six million people took the opportunity to visit it. The structure was taken down in 1852.