The idea of a 'pin-hole' camera originated before Aristotle, which he used to observed the sun during a partial solar eclipse. The camera obscura works by creating an inverted image of the scene outside the darkened rooms window through a small hole. Camera obscura were found on coasts for the amusement of beach-goers in the Victorian era. A 360 degree view of the surrounding area is possible when you visit Santa Monica's camera obscura.
Camera Obscura in Pacific Palisades showing an image of the Deauville Club in the
mid to late 1950s