In the late 19th century, cinema had not yet been invented, and theatre fell into two categories: affordable but painfully amateurish, and professional by painfully expensive. There was a gap in the market that was filled by travelling shows of various sorts: the circus, the fair, the boxing tent, and more besides. One particular form, the cyclorama, was most often seen as part of a travelling show, but any fool could see the money-making opportunity involved in having a permanent one.
In one small town in the Dandenong Ranges, still smarting from its bypassing by the railroad today known as Puffing Billy, searched for a way to put itself on the map. And long before they ever settled on a name for their town, they decided that a cyclorama was the way to go. It would be the first permanent one in Australia, and quite the tourist attraction, they figured.
Thus, a painter was duly contracted to create the work, which would be a panorama of the Eureka Stockade uprising (that being the most interesting event anyone could think of). The painter, one Horace L. De Myr, demanded payment upfront, and after some grumbling payment was duly made. A delivery date was promised, and the people of the town set about creating the new signs needed to point tourists in the right direction.
There were only two problems: De Myr was a confidence trickster who absconded with all the money, and the signwriter was illiterate. Unwilling to throw good money after bad, the people placed a bounty on De Myr’s head (correctly assuming that he would never be heard from again) and used the mis-spelled signs anyway. And thus, in shame and error, was Kalorama born.
Suburbs near Kalorama: