During the late 1800s, Great Britain flourished. It was a time of innovation and progress, directed by the leadership of Queen Victoria. Her limited political power allowed Victoria to have a tremendous positive effect on the British Empire. She helped spread and popularize new technology by using it herself and supporting it financially. She used her limited power to avoid conflicts and wars and was seen as a relatable figure due to her middle class values.
Queen Victoria had her first encounter with new technology during February 1837 while visiting her uncle. She became fascinated by the newly invented railway trains that were powered by steam. In 1840, her husband, Prince Albert, had a carriage constructed for Victoria and the two travelled from Windsor to London in it. 1 Seeing their monarchs travel the railway trains reassured people of their safety and caused many people to try them out of curiosity.
Prince Albert was fascinated by technology, which influenced Victoria greatly. In the late 1840s, he dreamed of creating a place where new technology and arts from around the world could be displayed. Soon after, Albert and Victoria began contributing personal funds to establish such a place and finally on May 1st, 1851, their dream was achieved. The Crystal Palace was located in Hyde Park, London and drew nearly six million visitors 2 to see the 100, 000 objects that were displayed from the British colonies as well as foreign countries. Both Victoria and Albert were frequent visitors, and like the public they were charmed and inspired by the inventions at the Crystal Palace. 3 Without Victoria and Albert's interest and financial contributions it is highly unlikely that the Crystal Palace would have been built. Many of the inventions displayed their would not have gained popularity and other inventors may not have created their inventions due to lack of inspiration.
Victoria and Albert were also intrigued by the newly invented camera and had many photos taken of each other and their children. These photographs were popular with British...