Beaumont Newhall, The Daguerreotype in America (New York,
Dover, 1976 (an excellent source for information on
"...March 8, 1839. Louis Daguerre, a French painter and
inventor, for some seventeen years had been the proprietor
of one of the most popular spectacles in Paris. It was a
theatre of illusions called the Diorama.
"No actors performed in Daguerre's Diorama theatre.
It consisted of a revolving floor that presented views of
three stages. On each stage was an enormous canvas (72'x
48') with scenes painted on both sides. Through the
clever play of light, Daguerre could make one scene
dissolve into another. Parisians were treated to the sight
of an Alpine village before and after an avalanche, or
Midnight Mass from inside and outside the cathedral,
accompanied by candles and the smell of incense."
(((This strikes me as a very early precursor to
Heilig's Sensorama machine, due to the sensory
augmentation of candles and incense. As a side note, as
Daguerre went to meet with his colleague Samuel Morse to
discuss his new device called the telegraph, the Diorama burnt to the ground. Pat Lichty)))