"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
In 1879, Punch's Almanack published this cartoon by French-British cartoonist George du Maurier of a fanciful device that might have been created by Thomas Edison.
(Punch's Almanack for 1879 - Edison's Telephonoscope)
The caption reads as follows:
(Every evening, before going to bed, Pater and Materfamilias set up an electric camera obscura over their bedroom mantel-piece, and gladden their eyes with the sight of their Children at the Antipodes, and converse gaily with them through the wire.)
It has been pointed out that the dimensions of the screen in the drawing shown by du Maurier are almost identical to an aspect ratio of 2.76:1. The wide screen image depicted in this 1879 India ink drawing is equal to today's Ultra Panavison 70mm film format. Although large format film has been used since the late 1880's, this ratio was not seen until Ben Hur in 1959. For comparison purposes, the aspect ratio of 4K television is 1.9 to 1.
In 1927, Garett Smith makes good use of the word in Treasures of Tatalus:
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