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February 19, 2006

Mareorama (and Suchlike)

Mareorama_crop a

My dear Citizens of the Republic of Tinselman, you are by now hopefully aware of the great, the astounding, cyclorama (see previous posts 1 & 2). You are amazed... as well you should be.

With only slight exaggeration, I can most assuredly state that the cyclorama was the single greatest invention of the 1700s. Though ridiculously simple in design, it was still able to completely envelop spectators in events and times far beyond their hum-drum lives. Perhaps an historic battle. Perhaps an exotic city. Hey... this was just really good stuff...

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Just not good enough. Ergo, the Mareorama: a simulated sea voyage from Nice to Constantinople (via Venice) on an elaborate steamer. The Guide to the Paris Expo (1900) explained how it all worked:

"Immense canvases unroll slowly, steadily, and noiselessly before their eyes, and the rise and fall of the boat, together with the shifting scenes, complete the illusion that one is really on board a steamer, cruising in front of some well-known seaport cities of the Mediterranean."

The mareoramas, the cycloramas, all the "ramas": they have now almost all vanished. Their technology is, I guess, obsolete. Oh well. Whatever the case, I would have loved to have taken a voyage on that ingenious steamship-contraption!


Cyclorama, Cineorama, Mareorama and Myrioama
Previous Post 2Cyclorama in Distress
Previous Post 1Cyclorama Reality (QTVR of Cycloramas)

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(click images or names below to enlarge)

a. Mareorama – Scientific American, 1900
. Visitor's booklet – Gettysburg Cyclorama
c. Foldout panorama – Shiloh Cyclorama
d. Shiloh Cyclorama (could be reinterpreted as a cake?)
e. Tower cyclorama in London

February 19, 2006 | Permalink


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» Virtual sea cruise from 1900 Paris Expo from Boing Boing
Tinselman has an interesting post about an early 19th Century sea cruise simulator called the Mareorama. The Guide to the Paris Expo (1900) explained how it all worked: "Immense canvases unroll slowly, steadily, and noiselessly before their eyes, and t... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 19, 2006 9:24:01 PM

» t a l k: Mareorama (and Suchlike) from Simulation
Customers of the Mareorama at the 1900 Paris Exhibition were advised that, although the motion was realistic, they were not likely to get seasick. "Few visitors to the Exhibition will [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 20, 2006 8:43:46 AM

» Mareorama from Steam Geek
Tinselman briefly explains the history of the Mareorama, a simulated sea journey from Nice to Constantinople via Venice. [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 20, 2006 12:55:00 PM


sigh...They just don't make 'um like they used to. We should build one.

Posted by: Alli | Feb 19, 2006 5:37:03 PM

Yes, Allison! We should build thousands of them. An entire army at our command! Wait...well, at Robyn's command. Though I would at least hope he'd give me command of a legion or so... I mean, I am a minister after all. (Also, Presleytarians are scary) So uh...yeah Alli... uh, you should email me some time... (Wow, I'm not subtle at all)

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 19, 2006 5:52:54 PM

An army of cylindrical buildings?

Posted by: Alli | Feb 19, 2006 5:59:04 PM

Only in the sense that when you get high numbers of anything it becomes a fleet, legion, troop, etc... I mean, I'm not sure what a group of buildings would be called... gaggle is for geese... I dunno...I'm a moron... Robyn really should block me from these posts somehow.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 19, 2006 6:00:56 PM

A bloggle of buildings, perhaps?
And hey, everybody's a moron at some point or other- it's just the smart(er) people have learned how to hide it better.

Posted by: Alli | Feb 19, 2006 6:10:03 PM

A bloggle of buildings? Hmmm... That's good. Then of course, there's always those classification groups that are nothing like their animal designation. A "murder of crows" springs to mind. Maybe it could be something odd like a "case of buildings" etc. Wow, I'm sure Robyn had no idea the posts would go here when he put this one out. Truly this is why I was one of his first (if not the first) named ministers...!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 19, 2006 6:14:34 PM

There is still, in fact, an operating Cyclorama still operating in Atlanta, Georgia still operating to this day. I saw it a number of years ago. Also still in existence is a sort of Inside-Out-Cyclorama that has also still in operation to this day Walt Disney's "Carousel of Progress" which is based on his World's Fair show of the same name which is what seeded the idea for Disney and all of it's susequent audio-mechanical masterpieces.

Posted by: C. Richardson | Feb 19, 2006 10:36:49 PM

Boing Boing described this as early 19th century, but it's actually early 20th century (1900). will they EVER get it right?

Posted by: hen | Feb 20, 2006 2:37:07 AM

adam wilmer wrote:
"I'm not sure what a group of buildings would be called... "

a group of buildings is what folks down south call "a city".

thanks y'all!

Posted by: king volcano | Feb 20, 2006 6:48:33 AM

...I just don't know anymore...I just don't know...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 20, 2006 6:56:48 AM

Come to think of it, we do.

Posted by: Alli | Feb 20, 2006 7:14:28 AM

We do what? Apparently I have a case of the dumbs today.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 20, 2006 7:46:20 AM

Wasn't it Robert Heinlein who wrote a short story about one of these rolls? It was more detailed than any other one known, and was of the banks of the Mississippi before any human inhabitants lived along it. There were fragments here and there, including one section used as floor covering (that didn't show any signs of wear after 50 years). It was examined by scientists (yeah, must have been Heinlein) and they found that it wasn't a painting, but a photograph. Ah, those days when giants roamed the face of the earth.

Posted by: Darrin Siegfried | Feb 20, 2006 10:36:55 AM

I have no response for that...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 20, 2006 11:01:47 AM

Yes, the Atlanta cyclorama is also the world's largest oil painting, which blends seamlessly into life-sized models in front of it. The seats turn as you are shown parts of the battle of ATL. Couldn't find an official site, but here's a link:

Posted by: peachgeek | Feb 20, 2006 11:29:48 AM

Adam Wilmer said: "We do what?"

(In the South- normally, I can't speak for all)We call a large group of buildings a city.
Where in Atlanta is this cyclorama?

Posted by: Alli | Feb 20, 2006 12:30:36 PM

Maybe I'm just imagining this, but don't these buildings go back way farther than the early 20th century?

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 20, 2006 12:37:50 PM

Yeah, didn't Robyn say they were first built in the 1700's?

Posted by: Alli | Feb 20, 2006 12:40:10 PM

You are correct. He did... Wow, for as much as I come here, I really need to read this post a little bit better.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Feb 20, 2006 12:47:52 PM

I think the plural form of _buildings_ should be _buildingses_.

(Or a block. A block of buildings works. That it will be confused inevitably with _building blocks_ only makes it perfect.)

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Feb 21, 2006 7:19:19 PM

Hi! It's very interesting! But what with your links on big images? It's all dead *( I wish to look for it! Thanx for the text! *) Please, answer in my post http://verover.livejournal.com/247083.html about Russian (SSSR) "Krugorama".

Posted by: verover | Apr 26, 2012 2:43:37 AM

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