Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Day In History

Built of cast iron and glass, the Crystal Palace was erected in London in 1851 for the Great Exposition, planned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as the first World's Fair. After the Exposition, the Crystal Palace was moved to tony Syndenham Hill, an enclave of Victorian mansions, where it stood from 1854 to 1936, when it was destroyed by fire.

In 1852 the owners of the Crystal Palace commissioned artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins to design and sculpt 33 life size dinosaur statues. He was assisted by Sir Richard Owen. On this day in 1854, the world's first dinosaur sculpture was unveiled and twenty men dined grandly inside the iguanodon, pictured above. The picture below shows the Crystal Palace as it appeared at the Grand Exposition.


High Desert Diva said...

I've read of the Crystal Palace before, but never about the life size dinosaur statues....very interesting.

Barbara Kerley said...

Great to see your mention of Waterhouse's fantastical dinner party!

There are two books about Waterhouse Hawkins and his amazing dinosaur creations. One is for children, called THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS.

The other is for adults, called ALL IN THE BONES.


Barbara Kerley