Images of Lost European Camera Obscuras in Our Collection
Most of the images we have collected show camera obscuras in the United States or the United Kingdom with a small number located in Europe and Australia. On this page we will share two of the European examples.

The cabinet card on the right pictures an extraordinary camera obscura We are aware that many of the international exposition and world fairs of the late 19th and early 20th century included a camera obscura although with this exception we have had no luck finding them pictured. This bizarre little, Eastern influence building Is clearly labeled at least three times as a camera obscura. The text on the side announces in German, "CAMERA OBSCURA Most beautiful panorama of the exhibition"

The card is marked with the publishing company and Berlin 1896. The internet has confirmed a 1896 trade fair in Berlin but no mention of a camera obscura.


The wonderful little building above seems is a bit of a puzzle. Were was the lens located? If the turret was above the center dome wouldn't the two taller towers block the view? Perhaps it did not rotate 360° but in a smaller arc as does the Greenwich camera obscura.


The stereo card below which shows a bridge over a river and a multi-story building would not have been of much interest to us if it were not for the sign on the side of the building reading "..... Restaurant (?) and Camera obscura." and the label on the back which is shown below. The card appears to date from the 1870s or 80s and is not identified by maker. The best we can do with internet translation services is "No. 220_Falls on the Rhine from the Hotel with Camera Obscura, Lauffen, Switzerland".

In the close up on the right the sign can be read and the roof shows a metal object that might be a turret.

Magic Mirror of Life Home Page and Site Map

What is a camera obscura?

Why we created this site

Frequently Asked Questions about the Camera Obscura (please check this page before sending email questions)

Links and a Bibliography about the camera obscura

Map and illustrated diary of
our visits to
US camera obscuras

Map and illustrated diary of
our 1996 trip to
Great Britain camera obscuras

Images of camera obscuras from our collection.

Some Images from our collection
The Camera Obscura at War
Advertising flyer for a Camera Obscura
Trade Cards with Camera Obscuras
Lost UK Seaside Camera Obscuras
Other Lost UK Camera Obscuras
Lost US Seaside Camera Obscura
Lost US Park Camera Obscuras
Melville Garden Camera Obscura
Other Lost US Camera Obscuras
Lost European Camera Obscuras < You are here
No, it's not a camera obscura

Portable and box camera obscuras from our collection.
Wooden Camera Obscuras
Metal Camera Obscuras
Camera Obscuras with the Lens at the Top
Cardboard Camera Obscuras
A French Artist's Camera with supplies
Vermeer's Camera, a 1934 teaching camera
Camera Obscura Publications

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Modified 11/2004