"crystal palace"
Crystal Palace, 1851
Public DomainCrystal Palace, 1851 - Credit: Paul Furst

The Crystal Palace was an iron and glass building set up in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The latest technological marvels of the Industrial Revolution and colonial exploration were displayed there, such as the Koh-i-noor diamond and the world's first automatic voting machine. The exhibition was visited by the likes of Charles Darwin, Charlotte Brontë, Lewis Carroll, as well as 6 million other members of the public.

The exhibition, though highly popular, attracted controversy among those who feared the mass attendance could breed revolution, as well as those who saw it as representing the worst excesses of capitalism.

The building was moved to Sydenham in 1854, where it stood until 1936 when it was destroyed by a fire.