The erection itself was a representation of modern architecture and modern industry that was developing with the Industrial Revolution. It has been suggested that the name of the building resulted from a piece penned by the playwright Douglas Jerrold, referring to a “palace of very crystal”.
The Crystal Palace was a cast iron and plate glass structure, originally built in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Designed by Joseph Paxton, the Great Exhibition building was 565 meters long, with an interior height of 39 meters.
The introduction of the sheet glass method into Britain by Chance Brothers in 1832 made possible the production of large sheets of cheap but strong glass, and its use in the Crystal Palace created a structure with the greatest area of glass ever seen in a building. It astonished visitors with its clear walls and ceilings that did not require interior lights.
After the exhibition, the Palace was relocated to an area of South London known as Penge Common. It was rebuilt at the top of Penge Peak next to Sydenham Hill. It stood there from June 1854 until its destruction by fire in November 1936. The nearby residential area was renamed Crystal Palace after the landmark.