Exit through the Gift Shop
As far as I know there wasn’t a gift shop in the original Crystal Palace, thought there may well have been one in its successor in Sydenham. But if there wasn’t a souvenir shop, there was no shortage of souvenirs. My great grandfather, who was an exhibitor, brought home a paperweight. This object, which lived for many years on my grandparents’ mantel piece, first kindled my interest in the subject of the Great Exhibition. Visitors would have bought souvenirs from vendors outside the building in Hyde Park. (Postcards were displayed in upturned umbrellas by the railings.) I don’t know if anyone has ever compiled a definitive list of the merchandise available, but I have come across commemorative trays, pomade pots, fans, medals, visiting card cases, mugs, jugs and plates. The illustration is of an item I found recently on the internet. It is a lady’s glove with a map of Hyde Park printed on the palm. Not a bad idea, now I come to think of it. I’m sure that would be a marketfor gloves with London Underground printed on them.