Illustrated plate taken from Dickinsons' 'Comprehensive Pictures of The Great Exhibition' (1854), showing visitors admiring the equipment made by the fire engine company, Shand and Mason. The Crystal Palace was built to house the 'Great Exhibition of the Works of the Industry of all Nations', an idea conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861). The building, designed by Joseph Paxton (1801-1865), was the first large-scale prefabricated ferrovitreous (iron and glas) structure. The prefabricated design made the construction, and later dismantling, easier and quicker.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library