Illuminated fountain, Royal Panopticon, Leicester Square, London, 1854.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. The Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, opened in 1854, was intended to rival the Royal Polytechnic, serving as an institute for scientific exhibitions and promoting discoveries in the arts and manufacturing. The entrance price was one shilling, which included scientific lectures and demonstrations of electricity as well as the illuminated fountain. The Panopticon had a frontage of 104 feet with an unusual Moorish style. The financial succes of the institution was limited and it was sold in 1857 for conversion to the Alhambra Music Hall.