**Update A preliminary page on our 2006 tour of Great Britain camera obscuras is posted. Expanded pages on this trip are coming soon.
Map of Camera Obscuras visited in 1996

On May 23, 1996 we flew from the US to Great Britain on a mission to visit as many working camera obscura rooms as we could in seventeen days. Our preliminary research on the internet, from books, and through contacts we had made on earlier trips identified at least nine or ten that were standing and we hoped still functioning. We sat down with a calendar, a map of Britain, and a rail guide and worked out an itinerary that would make it possible, if everything went like clock work, for us to visit seven or eight camera obscuras and three or four of our favorite museums of photographic history. This schedule was made possible by a BRITRAIL Flexipass that allowed us to travel anywhere British Rail ran on any fifteen days in a month. Unknown to us we picked a time period when all sorts of things could have ruined our travel and lodging schedule. The Friday we arrived was the start of a Bank Holiday, we arrived in Bristol during a festival of ships, on the Isle of Man in the thick of the TT motorcycle races, and in London during the European soccer matches! In our innocence we set off hoping for the best and in the seventeen days we were on the British Isles we traveled on fifteen days, visited seven camera obscuras and three museums. We had amazing luck with the schedule and only missed one train connection, had to pass up one camera obscura we had hoped to visit and cut one museum from our original wish list. Ironically we were in the cities where both were located but not at the correct time to visit.

Click on a location in the list below to learn more about the camera obscuras we visited in Great Britain in the summer of 1996.


Brighton/Hove, England


Lacock, England (future page)
Talbot Museum and Lacock Abbey


Bristol, England


Aberystwyth, Wales


Douglas, Isle of Man


Dumfries, Scotland


Edinburgh, Scotland


Bradford, England (future page)
Museum of Photography, Film, and Television


London, England (future page)
Museum of the Moving Image


Greenwich, England

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 < You are here

Images of camera obscuras from our collection.

Some Images from our collection
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
Other Lost US Camera Obscuras
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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