Paxton, Sir Joseph, 1803–65, English architect, noted for his use of glass and iron in a proto-modern manner. Beginning his career as a gardener and estate manager, he then built two greenhouses at Chatsworth, Derbyshire, for the duke of Devonshire. The first was the great conservatory (1836–40); the second was a smaller building, designed to protect the Victoria Regia water lily. This work served as a model for the Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was knighted for the success of this design.
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