Erkki Huhtamo - Collector

Toy and Souvenir Moving Panoramas from the Collection of Erkki Huhtamo

A small part of Erkki's Hutamo's collection. This photo shows toy moving panoramas, shadow puppet shows and magic lanterns made for children.

Erkki Huhtamo is a professor at UCLA's prestigious Deptment of Film, Television and Digital Media. He is a Media Archaeologist, Historian, exhibit curator and author of Illusions in Motion. 

Erkki is also an avid collector. His collection (numbering in the thousands) of antique magic lanterns, peep show boxes, miniature moving panoramas and related artifacts is one of the largest of its kind.  Extreme gratitude to Erkki for sharing his information with me (from the start) and supporting the crankie revival! More about his collection at his website.

In the 19th Century, moving panoramas came in all sizes. The examples below  are commercially made miniature or toy moving panoramas. The scrolls range in size from a couple inches to around 8 inches in height. 


Peep Media - Erkki's Video Series - Part 2
Three and a half minutes into the film you will see a very unusual piece - a traveling showman's, hand-cranked scrolling, peep show of landscape scenery. Thank you for making these films Erkki!
Magic Lantern History - Erkki's "Lecture" Series - Part 1
Sept., 2017 - This is the first in a series of videos from Erkki, this one focusing on magic lanterns. Stay tuned for more.
Historiscope - A Panorama and History of America
This miniature toy moving panorama was created by Milton Bradley and Co. around 1858. This excerpt shows seven of the 20 some scenes. Video by Sue Truman
A short excerpt of a 19th century miniature moving panorama entitled "World's Fair - 1592-1892". The scroll is advanced by turning the feet. This might have been sold as a souvenir. You will hear Erkki describing some scenes. Video by Sue Truman
Panorama of the Visit of Santa Claus to the Happy Children
From the collection of Erkki Huhtamo, this miniature moving panorama was made by the Milton Bradley Company, around 1866. It came with a written narrative, tiny tickets and a poster to be performed in the home. Video by Sue Truman
Made in England by the J W B Company. A toy panorama called "The Monarch" containing the moving panorama "War in South Africa." The box is made of tin, the scroll is approximately 2 " high. There are only 2 or 3 that have survived. Photo by Sue Truman
Here is a back view of the moving panorama. No video of this one - too fragile to crank! Photo by Sue Truman
Excursions on Land and Sea
Excursions on Land and Sea: The Word's Wonders. Toy panorama. Images printed on translucent paper. The scroll is advanced by means of a crank and pulley system. It is illuminated with a candle and there is a hole in the top of the box (not visable here) for smoke to go through. It's no wonder that very few of these have survived!
Erkki Huhtamo's Collection of Antique Optical Viewing Devices
A quick look at a fraction of Erkki's collection of pre-cinema artifacts. This was filmed in 2013 in his office at UCLA. He demonstrates a Zoetrope, Mutoscope, Kinetiscope and you will see glimpses of some of his moving panoramas.

Global Glimpses for Local Realities

Erkki Huhtamo with his L. J. Marcy dissolving magic lantern pair (Philadelphia, c. 1870). Photo: David Leonard.

In 2002, Erkki published the 22 page article Global Glimpses for Local Realities: The Moving Panorama, a Forgotten Mass Medium of the 19th Century.  It's a nice introduction to moving panorama history and the precursor to his EPIC book,  Illusions in Motion published in 2013.

Mareorama Resurrected: A Illustrated Lecture
Wonderful storytelling. The Maréorama was a huge multi-sensory moving panorama created by Hugo d'Alesi and his team for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris. Working from high-resolution scans of the moving panorama scroll and the original piano music composed for the Maréorama by Henri Kowalski, Huhtamo reconstructs several sequences from this simulated sea voyage on the Mediterranean. This is an hour-long presentation. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

This page was created in 2018. Sue Truman