GREAT BRITAIN: Joyful for a Season

On May Day, 1851, in a glistening palace of glass and iron the like of which the world had never seen before, Queen Victoria opened London's Great Exhibition, in the hope that its example might "unite the industry of all the nations of the earth." Britannia rode the crest of the wave. As cannons roared a royal salute, thousands of visitors thronged the Crystal Palace to gape at its wonders—the industrial triumphs of the steam age, as well as a champagne made from rhubarb, a knife with 300 blades, and the original Turkish towel (which so pleased Britain's Queen that...

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