[Rebus. Polopticomorama.] “The Polopticomorama or battle pictures of Little Round Top [July 2, 1863] turn up the workmanship unparalleled the battle of the ironclads is wonderful of course but time[s] afternoon and Night, every day this week.” An extraordinary contemporaneous American Civil War palm-card rebus announcement for Clapp, Stanley & Co.’s POLOPTICOMORAMA OF THE WAR, . Horizontal image 2 ¾ in x 3 ½ in. The name of Charles E. Berry is written in pencil at the bottom of the rebus. Originally printed on diaphanous paper, this very rare surviving ephemeral announcement, of a theatrical re-enactment of recent battles while the American Civil War still raged, has been cleaned, flattened and backed with mulberry paper. Matted.
Clapp, Stanley & Co.’s POLOPTICOMORAMA OF THE WAR aimed to bring the Civil War to life by using a moving panorama painted on canvas and moved in front of a stationary audience. A hugely popular experience, the re-enactments described on this rebus, like the Battle of the Ironclads, were entirely new and immersed the viewing audience in the event. These moving panoramas presaged the yet-to-be-invented motion picture camera, which would capture and enable visual recreation of live action events.