Although such exhibitions were popular in France from the seventeeth century onwards, the first truly international exhibition to be held in Britain was the 1851 event held at the custom-built Crystal Palace in London. Proving to be massively popular with the public, its success resulted in a craze for further large - and increasingly grander - exhibitions.
The first great universal exhibition held in Glasgow occurred in 1888. This was a roaring success and its profits went towards funding a new and permanant Art Gallery and Museum, to be situated in Kelvingrove Park. Its foundation stone was laid in 1897 and the second exhibition of 1901 was conceived to inaugurate the new building. This was the biggest UK event to be organised so far in the new century, although the 1900 Paris exposition universelle must be given the accolade for being the very first exhibition of the twentieth century.
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