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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
29th January 1996 6,138th performance of Cats is held in London, surpassing record of Broadway's longest-running musical, A Chorus Line
29th January 1944 285 German bombers attack London
29th January 1850 Born today: Ebenezer Howard, London, pioneer of garden cities
29th January 1798 Born today: Henry Neele, London, poet
29th January 1728 John Gays' Beggar's Opera, premieres in London [NS=Feb 9]
The Crystal Palace
This is where the Crystal Palace was erected.
Location: Hyde Park
Description: The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Designed by Joseph Paxton, the building was 1,851 feet long, with an interior height of 128 feet. The cast plate glass method had been invented in 1848, it was at the time the largest amount of glass ever seen in a building and astonished visitors with its clear walls and ceilings that didn't require interior lights, thus becoming the Crystal Palace.
The Great Exhibition saw more than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gather to display examples of the latest technology developed in the Industrial Revolution.
The scale was immense - full-size, living elm trees were enclosed within the central exhibition hall beside a 27-foot tall Crystal Fountain.
Sparrows became a nuisance; and Queen Victoria mentioned this problem to the Duke of Wellington, who offered the famous solution, Sparrowhawks, Ma'am.
The Crystal Palace had the first major installation of public toilets, called the Retiring Rooms, in which sanitary engineer George Jennings installed his Monkey Closet flushing lavatory (just for men at first). During the exhibition, 827,280 visitors paid one penny each to use them.
After the exhibition, the building was moved here to a new park in Penge Common next to an affluent area of London called Sydenham Hill, a suburb full of large villas.
Robert Baden-Powell first noticed the interest of girls in Scouting while attending a Boy Scout meeting at Crystal Palace in 1909.
The Crystal Palace was enlarged and stood in the area from 1854 to 1936, when it was destroyed by fire.