Wyld's Great Globe (also known as Wyld's Globe or Wyld's Monster Globe) was an attraction situated in London's Leicester Square between 1851 and 1862, constructed by James Wyld (1812–1887), a distinguished mapmaker and former Member of Parliament for Bodmin. At the centre of a purpose-built hall was a giant globe, 60 feet 4 inches (18.39 m) in diameter. The globe was hollow and contained a staircase and elevated platforms which members of the public could climb in order to view the surface of the earth on its interior surface, which was modelled in plaster of Paris, complete with mountain ranges and rivers all to scale. Punch described the attraction as "a geographical globule which the mind can take in at one swallow." In the surrounding galleries were displays of Wyld's maps, globes and surveying equipment.
The diorama was a 19th century light-based medium that featured two immense paintings lit from the front and through the back inside an otherwise pitch-black, rotating auditorium. The diorama combined techniques of opaque and translucent painting with methods of manipulating natural light in a live spectacle. The diorama was invented by the set designer and painter Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (together with the architectural painter Charles Marie Bouton) seventeen years before he perfected the daguerreotype process of photography. The daguerreotype would, in the words of Daguerre, "fix the objects reflected in a camera obscura" (Daguerre 78). In contrast to the photographic impulse, the effectiveness of the dioramic image depended on the constant, visible movement of light manipulated with shutters and screens both onto and through a semi-translucent painting.