Panoramas, Dress Circles and Tubes
In 1787 Robert Barker put a patent on a way of seeing: ‘panorama’. It is said that he came upon the term when surveying the city of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill. Moving to London, Barker reconstructed 360 degree views in a Leicester Square art gallery; an initiative mimicked by his son on the Strand in 1801. In 1830 the Strand panorama became a dissenting chapel; in 1832 an unpatented theatre – audiences were admitted free provided that they bought sweets from local shops: rose lozenges for the stalls and peppermint drops for the pit. From circles to tubes: Aldwych underground station, built in 1905, now stands on the site of the demolished theatre and gallery.Thanks to arthurlloyd.co.uk for some of these details; also to the linked site on the history of London’s underground.