Plinths ready for the 'Colosi of Abu Simbel', replicas of Ancient Egyptian sculptures. The Crystal Palace was built to house the 'Great Exhibition of the Works of the Industry of all Nations', conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861) and held at Hyde Park, London in 1851. It was the first large-scale prefabricated ferrovitreous (iron and glas) structure and was designed by landscape designer Joseph Paxton (1801-1865). The prefabricated design made the construction, and later dismantling, easier and quicker. The structure was re-erected at Sydenham, South East London in 1854. It burned down on 30 November 1936. Illustration from 'The Crystal Palace, Sydenham: to be sold by auction...on Tuesday 28th day of November 1911', published in London by Knight, Frank & Rutley, 1911.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library