General view of the exterior of Crystal Palace, London, 1851.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated plate taken from Dickinsons' 'Comprehensive Pictures of The Great Exhibition', published in 1854. 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). It was the first large-scale prefabricated ferrovitreous (iron and glas) structure and was designed by the landscape designer Joseph Paxton (1801-1865). The prefabricated design made the construction, and later dismantling, easier and quicker.