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Picturing a World

World's Fair (II): Prince of Wales

The use of plate glass for such things as ceilings and display windows was an innovation of the 19th Century. The way that glass is both transparent and a barrier between inside and out was, furthermore, something that people noticed. Outside, the Great Exhibition Hall reflected the sky in ever-changing movements of color and light. Inside, on bright days, the brilliance of the natural sunlight it transmitted had to be controlled by movable screens.

Effie is enchanted by the treasures in glass cases and a pavilion housing treasures brought back from India by the Prince of Wales. Her likening it to the story of Aladdin and the den of thieves gives Jeanette and Edward a moment of shared amusement. "Wrong country," says Jeanette. "Den of thieves is right," Edward says.
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