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Joining the train at Ostend
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Arrival at the Hotel des Empereurs, Marseilles

London to Hong Kong in two hours measures 53.35 metres x 0.375 metres. Though quite bulky, it is much smaller than many contemporary moving panoramas which were shown to large audiences. They were the precursors of the cinema in Victorian times.


The panorama, partly unrolled, at the Museum of London

Painted in watercolour on paper and mounted on fabric, it is designed to be wound between two spools, mounted in a specially constructed proscenium which allows just a small section of the painting to be visible.  The moving journey is described to the audience by a narrator or cicerone. It was regularly shown to my family at Christmas time by my grandfather, Edgar Lamb.

Special effects

During the crossing of Sinai desert, we see a mirage. The backing fabric was cut away so that the mirage painted on the back of the panorama could be seen when illuminated from behind.


The effect of moonlight on the sea and a rainbow following a storm was achieved by similar means.


Website © David Brill 2017                  Photographs © David and Assia Brill, Museum of London 2017