great exhibition

Topics: The Great Exhibition, The Crystal Palace, British Empire Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: November 20, 2013
The Crystal Palace was filled with an astonishing amount of items, and perhaps the most amazing sights were within the huge galleries devoted to new technology. There were some 100,000 objects, displayed by over 15,000 contributors. Britain, as host, occupied half the display space inside, with exhibits from the home country and the Empire. The biggest of all was the massive hydraulic press that had lifted the metal tubes of a bridge at Bangor invented by Stevenson. Each tube weighed about 1 ton yet the press was operated by just one man. Next in size was a steam-hammer that could with equal accuracy forge the main bearing of a steamship or gently crack an egg. There were adding machines which might put bank clerks out of a job; George Jennings installed his Monkey Closets in the Retiring Rooms of The Crystal Palace. These were the first public toilets, and they caused great excitement. During the exhibition, a lot of visitors paid one penny to use them; for the penny they got a clean seat, a towel, a comb and a shoe shine. "To spend a penny" became a euphemism (now archaic) for going to the toilet. The flushing toilets were originally for the use of gentlemen, but were later also made available to ladies! In the 19th century, international expositions in London and Paris introduced fountains using new materials and technologies. The Crystal Fountain was the first of these fountains. Designed by Follett Osler, it was the world's first glass fountain, made of four tons of pure crystal glass. It was displayed in the central court of the Crystal Palace of the London Great Exhibition . William Chamberlin, exhibited what may have been the world's first voting machine, which counted votes automatically and employed an interlocking system to prevent over-voting. The Koh-i-noor, the world's biggest known diamond at the time of the Great Exhibition. Hundreds of people stood on line each day to view the diamond, hoping the sunlight streaming through the Crystal Palace...
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