An engraving from Scientific American, 1848, of John Banvard's moving panorama apparatus.
In the 19th Century, moving panoramas ranged in size from very small to enormous!
MINIATURE: The very small ones, with scrolls a few inches high, might have been created as a child's toy such as an Ombro
Cinema. Or, small moving panoramas were given as souvenirs at large moving panorama performances. Look at the collection of Erkki Huhtamo.
"CRANKIE-SIZED" There were mid-sized moving panoramas, roughly the size as many of the crankies of today, having scrolls around 18 inches high. Those were sometimes called "parlor panoramas"
and were used for smaller performances in the home or on the street. You will find examples of these moving panoramas at these pages:Panorama of a Whaling Voyage
Carmontelle's Landscape Transparencies
London to Hong Kong in Two Hours,
From London to Paris
Pyasetsky's Great Siberian Railway Moving Panorama
ENORMOUS! Finally, there
were the large moving panoramas, big enough to fill a whole stage. The scrolls were 8 or more feet high and hundreds or over a thousand feet long.
They were painted on canvas or muslin in the 19th Century. Only 20 or so of these large scrolls have survived to this day. The surviving scrolls are much too fragile to crank, but some brave souls have recreated the large moving panoramas so that we
can experience the magic and awe of a huge canvas being hand-cranked. You will find examples on these pages: The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress, The Grand Moving Mirror of California and the Moving
Panoramas of the Mississippi River.
Purrington and Russell's Whaling Voyage Around the World (this page is a work in progress, coming soon!)