Painted glas gallery at the Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, 1851.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated plate taken from Dickinsons' 'Comprehensive Pictures of The Great Exhibition' (1854). The painted glas gallery contained stained glas exhibits from every nation. The 'Great Exhibition of the Works of the Industry of all Nations' was conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861). The Crystal Palace was purpose-built to house the exhibits. It was the first large-scale prefabricated ferrovitreous (iron and glas) structure, and was designed by Joseph Paxton (1801-1865). The prefabricated design made the construction, and later dismantling, easier and quicker.