Magic Lantern Slides

Slides to project in magic lanterns have been made in several forms: hand painted, lithographed, printed outlines with hand coloring, and photographic. They have been produced in many sizes and formats, including round, to fit lanterns of different sizes and styles. We will add pages to this section as time permits to show more of the kinds of slides in our collection.

We have a selection of lantern slides of 19th century children's subjects like the Christmas slide below. These long slides are shown by moving them through the lantern so the sections project like a moving panorama. Note on the magnified section that a green magic lantern and box of slides sit on the left edge of the table under the small Christmas tree.

In the row below you will see three animated slides from our collection. These are "slip slides" where two panes of glass carry two different frames of an animation. When the slide is projected one of the the glass layers can be pushed in and out to create the appearance of movement. We have other slides that use a crack or leaver to create movement.
From the 19th through the early decades of the 20th century larger slide projectors were used for theatre, church, school, and fraternal organizations as well as professional showmen to give illustrated lectures. Two of these 3 1/4 X 4 inch slides are shown below. On the left is a song slide used in "sing alongs" for popular songs. It illustrates a line from "Come Josephine in my Flying Machine". The slide on the right shows a complex machine of some kind, perhaps an early computer. It was acquired with a group of slides that appear to be World War II vintage. Beverly remembers, as an art department assistant in the late1950s, overseeing a collection of these slides that were still being used to teach art history.
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
- Magic Lantern Slides < You are Here

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Updated on 10/2004