这次展览的主要功劳通常归于维多利亚女王的丈夫阿尔伯特亲王，但还有一个人在整个活动背后做出了杰出的贡献(Purbrick, 2008)。亨利·科尔曾在公共档案室担任助理记录员，但他也有许多与艺术和工业有关的其他兴趣。他在《设计杂志》(journal of Design)上发表了自己对这两种艺术的热情，并鼓励艺术家将自己的艺术运用到日常用品中，这些日用品可以批量生产，卖给那些脏兮兮的人。1844年法国举办的“工业博览会”给亨利留下了深刻的印象，他找到阿尔伯特亲王，请求支持英国举办类似的活动。最初，政府对这个概念的兴趣很低，但是prince和Henry都开始开发这个想法(Mayhew, 2010)。他们都想组织一场展览，展示行业内使用的大量艺术品，最重要的是，这场展览将是自费的。由于来自公众的巨大压力，英国政府成立了一个委员会来审查这一思想。当这个概念被清楚地解释后，热情立刻被悲观所取代(Purbrick, 2008)。显然，这次展览是为了证明法国人从来没有举办过这样的盛会，但后来得到了展览的许可。举办比赛是为了选出一家公司，它将设计一个巨大的建筑结构，它不仅将是我的巨大，而且也将是辉煌的房子展览。水晶宫里陈列着维多利亚时代的每一件物品，包括家具、铁器、陶器、瓷器、钢琴、香水、织物、枪支、液压机、蒸汽锤和许多其他分散的物品，这些物品集艺术和工业于一体(Mayhew, 2010)。
展览的主要的和独特的目的是举办一个公平的全球地位,将庆祝艺术行业内的使用万国的好处,但在实际实际上展示了不同的英国制造的产品,超过100 000件展品来自英国(笛福,2005;Purbrick, 2008)。因此，1851年的“万国工业博览会”(Great Exhibition of 1851)被证明是英国工业革命中巨大的创新和创造力的体现。新建成的铁路系统帮助大量游客见证了持续了大约6个月的事件。
“The Great Exhibition” or “The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations” is also famous in the history as “Crystal Palace Exhibition”. The Great Exhibition was organized inside a temporary structure and took place in Hyde Park, London from 1st May to 11th October 1851 (Purbrick, 2008; Mayhew, 2010). Organized by Charles Dilke, Francis Henry, Prince Albert, Henry Cole and several other members of the “Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce” in order to celebrate contemporary designs and technologies used in industries (Defoe, 2005). It was debatably considered as a response to the extremely victorious French industrial demonstration of 1844. Indeed, it is stated by many that the Exhibition of 1851 had the motive to establish the fact that Great Britain is the world industrial leader (Purbrick, 2008). So the main purpose of the essay is to understand the facts behind The Great Exhibition and debates lying behind it. Also to study the temporary structure that was made for the exhibition and the exhibits displayed within it.
The main credit for the exhibition was generally bestowed upon Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, but there was another person Henry Cole who had remarkable contribution behind the entire event (Purbrick, 2008). Henry Cole used to work as an assistant record keeper at the Public Record Office, but had many other interests associated with art and industry. He combined his passion for both in journal named Journal of Design and encouraged artists to make use of their of their arts into everyday goods, which can be mass produced and sold to the grubby. Henry got highly impressed by the “Industrial Exposition” in the year 1844 by the French and approached Prince Albert to support such a similar affair in England. Initially government paid very low amount of interests about the concept, but both prince and Henry started developing the idea (Mayhew, 2010). They both wanted to organize an event that will display massive collection of art used within industry and, most prominently the event will be self-financed. Due to huge pressure from the public, the British government established a commission to examine the thought. The enthusiasm got immediately replaced by pessimism, when the concept was clearly explained (Purbrick, 2008). It was clearly understood that the exhibition was meant to prove that the French cannot organize such a gala event ever, but later got permission for the exhibition. Competitions were held in order to select a company who is going to design a gigantic building structure that will not only me massive, but will also be splendour to house the exhibition. The Crystal Palace housed every spectacle of the Victorian era which included furniture, iron works, pottery, porcelain, pianos, perfumes, fabrics, firearms, hydraulic presses, steam hammers and many other discrete items that have both art and industry in combination (Mayhew, 2010).
The main and the unique aim of the exhibition was to held a fair of global status that will celebrate the utilization of art within industry for the benefits of all the nations, but in practical it actually showcased different British manufactured products, more than 100, 000 exhibits were from Britain (Defoe, 2005; Purbrick, 2008). Thus, the Great Exhibition of 1851 turned out to be an event that reflected enormous innovation and creativity of the British Industrial Revolution. The newly established railway system helped a large number of visitors to witness the event that lasted for approximately 6 months.