Chromolithograph by the Dickinson Brothers after a painting by Joseph Nash, published in 'Comprehensive Pictures of The Great Exhibition' in 1854. Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and family are being shown through the British (or Western) Nave at the opening of the Great Exhibition on 1 May 1851. 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 designed by the landscape designer Joseph Paxton (1801-1865), and 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