Cosmorama, The, Regent Street ... Admission 1s.
The Cosmorama, Regent Street, presents correct delineations of the celebrated remains of antiquity, and of the most remarkable cities and edifices in every part of the globe. The subjects are changed every two or three months; it is, altogether, a very beautiful exhibition.
Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844
COSMORAMA (THE), Nos. 207 and 209, REGENT STREET. Intended primarily for exhibiting views of remarkable scenes in different parts of the world, but chiefly used as ordinary exhibition rooms.
Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850
COSMORAMA (Exhibition) in Regent Street. displaying views of several objects worthy of the scientific and curious. There are two galleries, in which there are convex lenses for vicuna the several objects.
London Exhibited in 1852
THE COSMORAMA, though named from the Greek (Kosmos, world; and orama,
view, because of the great variety of views), is but an enlargement of the
street peep-show; the difference not being in the construction of the apparatus,
but in the quality of the pictures exhibited. In the common shows, coarsely-coloured
prints are sufficiently good; in the Cosmorama a moderately good oil-painting is
employed. The pictures are placed beyond what appear like common windows, but of
which the panes are really large convex lenses, fitted to correct the errors of
appearance which the nearness of the pictures would else produce. The optical
part of the exhibition is thus complete; but as the frame of the picture would
be seen, and thus the illusion be destroyed, it is necessary to place between
the lens and the view a square wooden frame, which, being painted black,
prevents the rays of light passing beyond a certain line, according to its
distance from the eye: on looking through the lens, the picture is seen as if
through an opening, which adds very much to the effect. Upon the top of the
frame is a lamp, which illuminates the picture, while all extraneous light is
carefully excluded by the lamp being in a box, open in front and top.
John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867