Google Doodle Celebrates 160th Anniversary of the First World’s Fair

Geek Culture

Prince Albert was very proud of his Crystal Palace, built explicitly to house The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations (or just The Great Exhibition for short) in 1851. Today, Google celebrates this anniversary with another beautiful interactive doodle. Use your mouse to zoom in on different parts of the doodle, and watch parts of the exhibit move. The click on the doodle to learn more about this important event in history.

The Great Exhibition wasn’t technically the first World’s Fair, but it is usually considered as such. Some of these fairs aren’t well-remembered, but some brought us such things as the Ferris Wheel, electricity, and the It’s a Small World ride that’s now at Disneyland. Unfortunately, most of the early fairs also had some less forward-thinking exhibits, but on the whole they are remembered for significant advances and demonstrations of futuristic inventions and ideas.

Since The Great Exhibition in 1851, the World’s Fairs have gone through some changes. At the beginning, they focused on demonstrating and showing off advances in industrialization. From World War II to the late 1980s, they focused on cultural exchange, sharing ideas more than inventions. And from the late 1980s to the present, the fairs are more about each participating country showing off what defines them. Still, going to a World’s Fair today should be an enlightening experience. Have you ever been to one? If so, what was it like? Let us know in the comments.

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