The Polyorama view of The Thames is printed on thin paper stretched over a frame with a second view pasted behind.

When placed in a special viewer with the lid closed, The Thames view is seen; when the lid is raised and light enters the box, the front image disappears, revealing the hidden image behind. In the Spooner Protean View presented by the Art Fund the tunnel ‘transforms’ into Queen Victoria’s coronation procession, but the Polyorama View works in reverse and the view of the Thames ‘transforms’ into the Thames Tunnel at night, with the tunnel arches peopled and the gas-lamps in the Tunnel lit.


Private collection; Marlborough Rare Books.

The Brunel Museum

Brunel Engine House, Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4LF
020 7231 3840

Opening times

Sun – Sat, 10am – 5pm Closed 24 – 31 Dec

Roof top Cocktails & Heritage Tours 5pm-10.30pm every Saturday and every Friday from May to end September

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