In 1851 Whitby jet was exhibited at The Great Exhibition, which was held in a purpose built building called Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton and situated in London’s Hyde Park. The global event gave a new impetus into the artistic design of Whitby jet jewellery.
With the event, came a great amount of worldwide exposure, and to make the most of this, all manner of objects were demonstrated. This was, after all, somewhat of an international debut for Whitby jet, and in the years that followed, international exports, particularly to America increased rapidly. By 1856 the export figure for the Whitby jet trade was at £20,000 and by 1874 had risen to an incredible £100,000, the equivalent of millions today. Such international fame and demand was largely due to the success of the Great Exhibition.
After the triumph of such an event, competitions and exhibitions became a regular occurrence within the jet trade. Some were held locally and others much further afield. Prizes and awards of merit were presented at the great international fine art and industrial exhibitions including those in London, Paris and Philadelphia.