Pantechnicon was the name for a large complex of warehouses, wine vaults, and storage rooms which opened in the Belgravia section of London, on Motcomb Street, in 1830. It comes from the Greek roots Pan- (all) and tekhnikon (artistic), and was a bazaar for objets d'art. Although it was built to be fireproof, it burnt down in 1874. Pantechnicon is sometimes still used to mean a bazaar where art is sold.

It was next used as a furniture warehouse, and thus pantechnicon is (very rarely) used to mean a furniture warehouse. But the word was more often used to refer to the large pantechnicon vans that carried furniture to and from the warehouse -- and so in Britain, a pantechnicon is a moving van (removal van) or other large truck. These days it seems that 'pantechnicon' can be applied to anything from a (full sized) van to a semi.

Pan*tech"ni*con (?), n. [NL. See Pan-, and Technic.]

A depository or place where all sorts of manufactured articles are collected for sale.

 

© Webster 1913.

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