Anamorphic pictures, early 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Anamorphic pictures were common in the eighteenth century and were used with a cylindrical mirror, which, when placed over a distorted picture, revealed a recognisable image. Dr Stephen Demainbray, science lecturer and private astronomer to King George III, used anamorphic pictures to open his course on optics. Demainbray toured Britain and France between 1749 and 1754, giving public lectures on natural philosophy. In 1754, he became one of the many scientists advertising courses of lectures in London.