Original walnut and glass case housing two separate mechanical moving scrolls, each one 30 ft. in length and printed with a continuously joined chromolithographic panorama of the coastline from Providence to Block Island, RI and back again. The first one presenting the Eastern Shore starting at Fox Point in Providence and continuing south past Squantum Point, Silver Spring, Pomham Rocks Light, Riverside, Sabin Point Light, Annawanscut, Nayatt Point Light, Warren, Hog Island, and Bristol, then north into Mount Hope Bay, past Fall River, MA, and again southward to Newport, ending with a view of Benton Reef and the Atlantic. The second starting at Block Island Southeast Light and moving back north along the shore from New Shorham to Clay Head, Black Hill, and Grace's Point, and into open ocean toward Conanicut Island, passing Rose Island, Gould's Island and then circling around to the Island's western shore, heading south past the Dutch Island and Beaver Tail, then on to Point Judith and north again by the Narragansett Pier, Bonnet Point, South Ferry, Wickford, Quonsett Point, East Greenwich, Buttonwood, Warwick Lighthouse, Rocky Point, Conimicut Point Lighthouse, and Pawtuxet, ending back in Providence at Sassafras Point Lighthouse. Underside of base with replacement screws, some minor scratches to wooden case, all original parts intact, with no visible loss of material. Hand-crank mechanisms and scrolls housed in wooden box (ca. 5 x 13.5 x 5.5 in.) with plate glass viewing windows (ca. 3.5 x 8.75 in.) on each side and a label affixed to the bottom listing shoreline places and views. Brass and wood cranks function smoothly. Providence, RI (Excursion View Co.) 1878.
Printed in bright chromolithographic colors, this exquisite item demonstrates a novel - and patented - attempt to satisfy a desire for "moving pictures" in the days before cinema. Its scrolling panoramic vistas present the viewer with a detailed and historically accurate image of the leading shoreline hotels, private residences, light houses and industries of Rhode Island and Massachusetts shoreline in the late 19th century. A wide variety of sea going vessels, including paddle steamers are also shown. Extremely rare. Book ID: 47371