Crystal Palace on fire, 30 November 1936.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
Water being pumped onto the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, London. In the centre is one of the two water towers designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. After housing the Great Exhibition in 1851 the Crystal Palace was dismantled and rebuilt on a site at Sydenham, south east London. It reopened in June 1854. The 'Palace of the People' as it became known, was a huge success. It was the world's first theme park for mass entertainment. However, in the twentieth century Crystal Palace's popularity declined, failing to compete with newer forms of entertainment and recreation.