The 8" x 5" x 2" cardboard box with an open back and a viewing window cut into the front panel [like an Elizabethan
stage] decorated with brightly colored lithograph paper depicting a patriotic bunting, theater curtains, musicians and
two royal figures watching from the sides. It was suggested that a candle our lantern be used behind the box during
the show…likely the reason that so few of these are extant!
The box contains a roll of paper on which are printed, and brightly water colored, approximately twenty Civil War
battle scenes. The paper is mounted on two rollers having wooden knobs that are turned by hand, causing the
panorama to pass across the proscenium displaying selected events from the Civil War.
The first scene displayed is the firing on Fort Sumter by General Anderson and his men; the myriopticon ends with
a view of the burning and evacuation of Richmond by Confederate troops. Other images included the battle between
the Ironclads U.S. S. Monitor and C. S. S. Virginia, camp life, freed slaves and a sharpshooter among others.
Milton Bradley began manufacturing his myriopticon around 1866; pictures were copied from the pages of Harper’s
Weekly. The toy likely included admission tickets and perhaps a poster, advertising the performance, and a script.
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