Magic Lantern Graphics  
The magic lantern was the forerunner of both the projected image and the moving picture. Scholarship suggests that it was invented in the 17th century. From then until the early 20th century it was a vehicle for both entertainment and education. The image on the right is a figure from an early 19th century encyclopedia page in our collection.

We have several magic lanterns as part of our optical toy collection. In addition we also have some magic lantern slides, books and ephemera in the form of trade cards, postcards and advertising.

On the right is the cover of an 1876 book on the magic lantern with the unlikely title The Magic Lantern How To Buy And How To Use It and How To Raise A Ghost by "A Mere Phantom". The book is not in perfect condition but it is so charming that even Jack (who has very high standards for quality in books) loves it.

Below is the frontispiece which shows a magic lantern being used to raise a ghost on stage.

We have added the hand colored book illustration you see below to our collection. It is titled "Phantasmagora A View in Elephanta" and comes from the book, The Grand Master or Adventures of Qui Hi in Hindostan, A Hudibrastic Poem in Eight Cantos by Quiz published in 1816. They really knew how to write book titles in the early 19th century!

The engraving is the work of the famous caricaturists Thomas Rowlandson. The book is a satire against the Marquis of Hastings, Governor General of India. Rawlandson is using the magic lantern as allegory. The lantern parts are labeled "Liberality" and "Retrospection" and the audience members are "Misery", "Avarice", and "Vice".

Below are three trade cards that show magic lanterns.

Each of the two tickets below admit one to a stereopticon show. The stereopticon was a type of dissolving magic lantern projector.

The next image below is the label from the box of a German toy magic lantern. It shows a family watching father project a slide of a volcano.

The first of three post cards below is a Christmas greeting, the second a mechanical Valentine with a magic lantern that projects a series of changing images on a wheel, and the third a Birthday card with a forget-me-not covered lantern.


Optical Toys in our collection *Expanded and updated 10/1004
Persistence of Vision Toys
- The Thaumatrope
- The Zoetrope
- The Praxinoscope
- The Phenakistoscope
- Flip Books
Our Peepshow Toys
- Diorama Prints
- Peepshow Changing Views
- Peepshow images
Our Zograscope Viewer
Our Magic Lanterns
- Magic Lantern Graphics < You are Here
- Magic Lantern Slides

Return to The Collection of Collections page

Collection of Collections Site Map

Contact us at

**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

© Bright Bytes Studio - Do not use images without permission

Updated on 2/2006