Here’s a nice quote from Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure Of English
It is difficult now to realise the excitement and pride in British engineering which the Great Exhibition  brought to the country. An extract from the journal of Queen Victoria after her visit gives us a taste of it:
“Went to the machinery part, where we remained two hours, and which is excessively interesting and instructive …. What used to be done by hand and used to take months doing is now accomplished in a few instants by the most beautiful machinery.”
I wonder to what degree the powers that be today are as excited by technological innovations as Queen Victoria was in 1851.