1851 The Great Exhibition

The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London.

The event that started it all? Certainly there had been exhibitions before, there had been industrial and agricultural shows, however there had never been anything on this scale. The ambition to bring together twenty five nations, thousands of exhibits and over six million visitors for an exhibition of ‘The Works of Industry of All Nations’ make this one of the defining events of the Victorian era.

Exhibitions around the world soon copied the model, Dublin and New York in 1853 and Paris in 1855 setting in motion a fascinating history Great Exhibitions, World’s Fairs and Expos that continues to this day. I offer a talk on the history of these exhibitions with special reference to Great Britain’s contribution. Click here for a summary of this talk.

There is lots of information on this website about exhibition history and I run an instagram page which covers this subject. Take a look at this instagram feed. If you have any exhibition related artefacts it would be great to hear from you. Contact me.

A recent Blog post considered the marvellous Prize medals by William Wyon. If you have a medal like this it is very easy to find out more about the exhibitor and their exhibits.

Click here to see this post.