Crystal Palace 1851

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There is something extremely characteristic of the industrial energy of this country, and of the spirit and enterprise of the man with whose name the Exhibition of 1851 will here after be associated, in the manner in which Mr. Paxton stepped in at the eleventh hour, and accomplished the creation of the Crystal Palace…There is no one circumstance of the history of the manufacturing enterprise of the English nation which places in so strong a light as this its boundless resources in materials, to say nothing of the arithmetical skill in computing at what cost and in what time these materials could be converted to a special purpose. Two parties in London, relying on the accuracy and good faith of certain iron masters and glass workers in the provinces, and of a master carpenter in London, bound them-selves….in the course of some four months to cover eighteen acres of ground with a building more than a third of a mile long and 450 feet broad….And to show the rapidity with which the work progressed, it may be stated that eighteen thousand squares of glass containing sixty two thousand five hundred square feet, or about an acre and a half, were fixed in one week.

Observer – 1851



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