The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October 1851.
It was the first in a series of World's Fair exhibitions of culture and industry that were to become a popular 19th-century feature. The Great Exhibition was organized by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, the spouse of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria.
- Albert, Prince Consort
- Henry Cole
- George Wallis
- Charles Dilke
- Queen Victoria
- Joseph Paxton, architect
- Charles Fox, structural engineer
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Overseeing Committee member
Exhibits came, not only from throughout Britain, but also its expanding imperial colonies, such as Australia, India and New Zealand, and foreign countries, such as Denmark, France and Switzerland. Numbering 13,000 in total, they included a Jacquard loom, an envelope machine, kitchen appliances, steel-making displays and a reaping machine that was sent from the United States.
- The Koh-i-noor, the world's biggest known diamond at the time of the Great Exhibition.
- The early 8th-century Tara Brooch, discovered only in 1850, the finest Irish penannular brooch, was exhibited by the Dublin jeweller George Waterhouse along with a display of his fashionable Celtic Revival jewellery.
- Alfred Charles Hobbs used the exhibition to demonstrate the inadequacy of several respected locks of the day.
- Frederick Bakewell, English physicist, demonstrated a precursor to today's fax machine.
- Mathew Brady was awarded a medal for his daguerreotypes.
- William Chamberlin, Jr. of Sussex exhibited what may have been the world's first voting machine, which counted votes automatically and employed an interlocking system to prevent over-voting.
- Samuel Colt, American firearms manufacturer, demonstrated his prototype for the 1851 Colt Navy and also his older Walker and Dragoon revolvers.
- The Tempest Prognosticator, a barometer using leeches, was demonstrated at the Great Exhibition.
- The America's Cup yachting event began with a race held in conjunction with the Great Exhibition.
- George Jennings designed the first public conveniences in the Retiring Rooms of the Crystal Palace, for which he charged one penny.
- Gold ornaments and silver enameled handicrafts fabricated by the Khudabadi Sindhi Swarankar from Sindh.
- C.C. Hornung, Danish piano manufacturer, demonstrated his single-cast ironframe for a piano, the first made in Europe.