*New* A vintage image of the Dumfries Camera Obscura from our collection were added to this page 8/2004 .
Dumfries Camera Obscura, The Observatory, Dumfries, Scotland
Our visit on June 3, 1996
The camera obscura in the Observatory in Dumfries, Scotland is on the top level of an old windmill that was converted in 1836 by Dumfries & Maxelltown Astronomical Society

The dished plaster table and lens in a wooden revolving turret are original. We were told that the only change has been to resilver the mirror surface. The tower is now part of a local Museum with an interesting collection. The museum contains artifacts and records from the Astronomical Society. We were very impressed with the condition of the camera obscura.

We had only a few hours in the town, arriving by train from Carlisle in a light rain. We took a taxi with a very helpful woman driver up to the museum to find that the camera obscura did not open in rain but we were able to look around and photograph in the tower while we waited for a the rain to stop. In a brief pause in what proved to be a day long downpour we were given a demonstration of the camera. The conditions were overcast and not ideal but the images of the town and the countryside were still interesting and the young man from the museum gave an excellent presentation.

The rain started again and the museum closed for mid day (something that always catches us by surprise in Great Britain and France) and we had to find a place to spend several wet hours.

We were lucky to find the Robert Burns Center on the river bank near the museum. We had a good lunch and saw the exhibition and a multimedia presentation on Burns. This was an unexpected bonus since we knew little about Burns and came away with renewed interest in the poet.

When the museum reopened we spend more time in the collection but the rain did not stop. I held an umbrella over Jack while he photographed and videotaped the exterior of the building.

We called for a taxi to the station for the return to Carlisle and the same woman drove us back.

Image of the Dumfries Camera Obscura from Our Collection

The postcard on the left shows the observatory with the lens assembly just visible at the top edge of the card.

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Map and illustrated diary of
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US camera obscuras

Map and illustrated diary of
our 1996 trip to
Great Britain camera obscuras

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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Modified 8/2004