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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

Claude-Marie Ferrier (1811-89)

The Great Exhibition, 1851: Lathe for railway wheels by Sharp, Brothers and Co. 1851

Salted paper print | 15.4 x 20.8 cm (image) | RCIN 2800021

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Photograph of a lathe, a type of machinery that rotates an object around an axis of rotation. The lathe is capable of turning wheels of above seven feet in diameter.

This photograph is from Volume II (RCIN 2800001) of ' Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries on the Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided'. The incredibly successful Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, commonly known as the Great Exhibition, ran from May to October 1851.  At the exhibition's conclusion, over 100 copies of the four volume 'Reports by the Juries' were distributed to foreign governments and notable participants. The reports consist of the juries' comments and assessments of the works displayed in the exhibition. The idea and decision to illustrate the reports with photographs is attributed to Prince Albert (1819-61).