Dating magic lantern slides
Collection Size: Between 1, - 5, lantern slides Collection Strengths: Other slides appro Collection Dates: Personal requests, usually through the Magic-Lantern Society, or through our web site. Special Collections:
The University Library
The magic lantern , also known by its Latin name lanterna magica , is an early type of image projector employing pictures painted, printed or produced photographically on transparent plates usually made of glass , one or more lenses , and a light source. It was mostly developed in the 17th century and commonly used for entertainment purposes. It was increasingly applied to educational purposes during the 19th century.
Since the late 19th century smaller versions were also mass-produced as a toy for children. The magic lantern used a concave mirror in back of a light source to direct as much of the light as possible through a small rectangular sheet of glass—a "lantern slide"—on which was the image to be projected, and onward into a lens at the front of the apparatus.
The lens was adjusted to optimally focus the plane of the slide at the distance of the projection screen, which could be simply a white wall, and it therefore formed an enlarged image of the slide on the screen. Originally the pictures were hand painted on glass slides. Initially figures were rendered with black paint but soon transparent colors were also used. Sometimes the painting was done on oiled paper. Usually black paint was used as a background to block superfluous light, so the figures could be projected without distracting borders or frames.
Many slides were finished with a layer of transparent lacquer, but in a later period cover glasses were also used to protect the painted layer. After the manufacturing of hand colored printed slides started, often making use of decalcomania transfers. The first photographic lantern slides, called "Hyalotypes", were invented by the German-born brothers Ernst Wilhelm William and Friedrich Frederick Langenheim in in Philadelphia and patented in Apart from sunlight, the only light sources available at the time of invention in the 17th century were candles and oil lamps, which were very inefficient and produced very dim projected images.
The invention of the Argand lamp in the s helped to make the images brighter. The invention of limelight in the s made them very much brighter. The invention of the intensely bright electric arc lamp in the s eliminated the need for combustible gases or hazardous chemicals, and eventually the incandescent electric lamp further improved safety and convenience, although not brightness.
Several types of projection systems existed before the invention of the magic lantern. In the 17th century there was an immense interest in optics. The telescope and microscope were invented in and the s respectively and apart from being useful to some scientists, such instruments were especially popular as entertaining curiosities with people who could afford them.
The magic lantern can be seen as a further development of camera obscura. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen or for instance a wall is projected through a small hole in that screen as an inverted image left to right and upside down on a surface opposite to the opening. The use of a lens in the hole has been traced back to circa The portable camera obscura box with a lens was developed in the 17th century.
He saw limitations in the increase of size and diminished clarity over a long distance and expressed his hope that someone would find a method to improve on this. However, Tacquet was a correspondent and friend of Christiaan Huygens  and may thus have been a very early adapter of the magic lantern technique that Huygens developed around this period. Prominent Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens , is nowadays widely accepted as the true inventor of the magic lantern.
He knew Athanasius Kircher 's edition of Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae  which described a primitive projection system with a focusing lens and text or pictures painted on a concave mirror reflecting sunlight. Christiaan's father Constantijn had been acquainted with Cornelis Drebbel who used some unidentified optical techniques to transform himself and summon wonderful appearances in magical performances.
Constantijn Huygens wrote very enthusiastically about a camera obscura device that he got from Drebbel in The oldest known document concerning the magic lantern is a page on which Christiaan Huygens made ten small sketches of a skeleton taking off its skull, above which he wrote "for representations by means of convex glasses with the lamp" translated from French. As this page was found between documents dated in , it is believed to also have been made in In a letter to his brother Lodewijk he claimed he thought of it as some old "bagatelle" and seemed convinced that it would harm the family's reputation if people found out the lantern came from him.
Christiaan had reluctantly sent a lantern to their father, but when he realized that Constantijn intended to show the lantern to the court of King Louis XIV of France at the Louvre, Christiaan asked Lodewijk to sabotage the lantern. Christiaan initially referred to the magic lantern as "la lampe" and "la lanterne", but in the last years of his life he used the then common term "laterna magica" in some notes.
In he drew the principle of a "laterna magica" with two lenses. Thomas Rasmussen Walgensten c. Correspondence between them is known from At least from until Walgensten was demonstrating the magic lantern in Paris , Lyon , Rome and Copenhagen This scared some courtiers, but the king dismissed their cowardice and requested to repeat the figure three times. The king died a few days later. After Walgensten died, his widow sold his lanterns to the Danish Royal collection, but they have not been preserved.
There are many gaps and uncertainties in the magic lantern's recorded history. A separate early magic lantern tradition seems to have been developed in southern Germany and includes lanterns with horizontal cylindrical bodies, while Walgensten's lantern and probably Huygens' both had vertical bodies. Griendel was indicated as the inventor of the magic lantern by Johann Christoph Kohlhans in a publication. Huygens is known to have studied samples of Wiesel's lens-making and instruments since Wiesel did make a ship's lantern around that has much in common with the magic lantern design that Griendel would later apply: There is no evidence that Wiesel actually ever made a magic lantern, but in his successor offered a variety of magic lanterns from the same workshop.
This successor is thought to have only continued producing Wiesel's designs after his death in , without adding anything new. Before only a small circle of people seemed to have knowledge of the magic lantern, and almost every known report of the device from this period had to do with people that were more or less directly connected to Christiaan Huygens. Despite the rejection expressed in his letters to his brother, Huygens must have familiarized several people with the lantern.
In Parisian engineer Pierre Petit wrote to Huygens to ask for some specifications of the lantern, because he was trying to construct one after seeing the lantern of "the dane" probably Walgensten. The lantern that Petit was constructing had a concave mirror behind the lamp. Petit may have copied it from Walgensten, but he expressed that he made a lamp stronger than any he had ever seen.
Since Huygens corresponded with London optical instrument-maker Richard Reeve. One of Christiaan Huygens' contacts imagined how Athanasius Kircher would use the magic lantern: Kircher described this improved lantern, but it was illustrated in a confusing manner: However, experiments with a construction as illustrated in Kircher's book proved that it could work as a point light-source projection system. According to legend Kircher secretly used the lantern at night to project the image of Death on windows of apostates to scare them back into church.
The earliest reports and illustrations of lantern projections suggest that they were all intended to scare the audience. Pierre Petit called the apparatus "lanterne de peur" lantern of fear in his letter to Huygens. In Wilhelm Leibniz saw an important role for the magic lantern in a plan for a kind of world exhibition with projections of "attempts at flight, artistic meteors, optical effects, representations of the sky with the star and comets, and a model of the earth By the s the use of magic lanterns started to become more widespread when travelling showmen, conjurers and storytellers added them to their repertoire.
The travelling lanternists were often called Savoyards they supposedly came from the Savoy region in France and became a common sight in many European cities. Her educational methods were published in America in English translation during the early s. In Philip Carpenter's London company, that would become Carpenter and Westley after his death, started manufacturing a sturdy but lightweight and transportable "Phantasmagoria lantern" with an Argand style lamp, which produced high quality projections and was suitable for use in classrooms.
The first known set The Elements of Zoology became available in , showing over images in 56 frames of zoological figures, classified according to the system of the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. The same year many other slides appeared in the company's catalogue: The mass production of slides also meant that the magic lantern now became affordable to the common men, opening a market for smaller lanterns with smaller glass sliders which instead of wooden frames usually had colorful strips of paper glued around their edges.
Although the popularity of magic lanterns waned after the introduction of movies in the s, they remained a common medium until slide projectors came into widespread use during the s. The magic lantern was not only a direct ancestor of the motion picture projector as a means for visual storytelling, but it could itself be used to project moving images. Some suggestion of movement could be achieved by alternating between pictures of different phases of a motion, but most magic lantern "animations" used two glass slides projected together - one with the stationary part of the picture and the other with the part that could be set in motion by hand or by a simple mechanism.
Motion in animated slides was mostly limited to either two phases of a movement or transformation, or a more gradual singular movement e. These limitations made subjects with repetitive movements popular, like the sails on a windmill turning around or children on a seesaw. Movements could be repeated over and over and could be performed at different speeds. A common technique that is comparable to the effect of a panning camera makes use of a long slide that is simply pulled slowly through the lantern and usually shows a landscape, sometimes with several phases of a story within the continuous backdrop.
Movement of projected images was also possible by moving the magic lantern itself. This became a staple technique in phantasmagoria shows in the late 18th century, often with the lantern sliding on rails or riding on small wheels and hidden from the view of the audience behind the projection screen. In Kircher had already suggested projecting live insects and shadow puppets from the surface of the mirror in his Steganographic system to perform dramatic scenes.
Christiaan Huygens' sketches see above suggest he intended to animate the skeleton to have it take off its head and place it back on its neck. This can be seen as an indication that the very first magic lantern demonstrations may already have included projections of simple animations. In Robert Hooke wrote about the effects of a type of magic lantern installation: In German polymath and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz proposed a kind of world exhibition that would show all kinds of new inventions and spectacles.
In a handwritten document he supposed it should open and close with magic lantern shows, including subjects "which can be dismembered, to represent quite extraordinary and grotesque movements, which men would not be capable of making" translated from French. Several reports of early magic lantern screenings possibly described moving pictures, but are not clear enough to conclude whether the viewers saw animated slides or motion depicted in still images.
In German engraver and publisher Johann Christoph Weigel described several lantern slides with mechanisms that made glass parts move over one fixed glass slide, for instance by the means of a silk thread, or grooves in which the mobile part slides. By a German optician and glass grinder named Themme or Temme made moving lantern slides, including a carriage with rotating wheels, a cupid with a spinning wheel, a shooting gun and falling bombs.
Wheels were cut from the glass plate with a diamond and rotated by a thread that was spun around small brass wheels attached to the glass wheels. A paper slip mask would be quickly pulled away to reveal the red fiery discharge and the bullet from a shooting gun. Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach visited Themme's shop and liked the effects, but was disappointed about the very simple mechanisms. Nonetheless he bought seven moving slides, as well as twelve slides with four pictures each, which he thought were delicately painted.
Several types of mechanical slides were described and illustrated in Dutch professor of mathematics, physics, philosophy, medicine, and astronomy Pieter van Musschenbroek 's second edition of Beginsels Der Natuurkunde. Lanternists could project the illusion of mild waves turning into a wild sea tossing the ships around by increasing the movement of the separate slides.
Guyot also detailed how projection on smoke could be used to create the illusion of ghosts hovering in the air, which would become a technique commonly used in phantasmagoria. An especially intricate multiple rackwork mechanism was developed to show the movements of the planets sometimes accompanied by revolving satellites revolving around the sun. In one M. Dicas seems to have offered an early magic lantern system, the Lucernal or Portable Eidouranian, that showed the orbiting planets.
From around the s mechanical astronomical slides became quite common. The effect of a gradual transition from one image to another, known as a dissolve in modern filmmaking, became the basis of a popular type of magic lantern show in England in the 19th century.
Shop for-and learn about-Magic Lanterns and Lantern Slides. Magic lanterns, also known as optical lanterns, provided one of the most popular forms of. This list of lantern slide collections provides an overview of collections held in institutions internationally. The magic lantern was a very popular medium, particularly so from the 18th Magic, or optical, lantern slides vary in date, subject, format and use, and the collections listed reflect that variation. The collections are.
Here we have a vintage, Keystone, Magic Lantern Slide , number ?? This remains in very good overall condition with no cracks as the images will show. We gladly combine items for shipment. After your purchases, please wait for an invoice from us for the shipping total. Most of our vintage items come from estate sales.
Magic Lantern, The Little Buckeye. Measures about 12" high and 16" long.
The magic lantern , also known by its Latin name lanterna magica , is an early type of image projector employing pictures painted, printed or produced photographically on transparent plates usually made of glass , one or more lenses , and a light source. It was mostly developed in the 17th century and commonly used for entertainment purposes.
Contact us. Slide sets. The business continued to trade as E. Wood long after the death of Wood himself. The optical side of the business appears to have ceased or been sold in about , after the death of Fred Horsey, with the remaining business being in photography and radio supply.
About Lantern Slides
Magic lantern slide - Welcome from Cadbury's. Produced before the days of cinema these decorative and colourful slides were presented at public lectures for the education, entertainment and moral enlightenment of the audience. Are you interested in using this collection for research or inspiration? Sorry, there was a problem logging in, please try again. Forgotten your password? You need to verify your email address before you can login. If you haven't received the verification email please check your spam, or resend it. Your password, has been successfully reset, please close this popup and login.
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Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question. Triumph of love dating on a motorcycle magic lantern slide sepia tone desk clock is a wonderful complement to any room in your home or office.
They can be recognized by the simple paint areas applied with a brush and the obvious brush strokes. Close-up hand painted areas, note continuous color laid down with brushed on darker color for shadows. Slides are transfers or decals stuck onto the glass strips. Commonly slides are listed as hand painted but in fact they are printed. With the improvements of printing techniques on glass, mass produced slides became possible. This type of transfer slide was produced in the many thousands over a period from the mids to the s or so, and shipped all over the world. Hundreds, if not thousands, exist. By the difficult term Decalcomania we describe the technique of transferring pictures from specially prepared paper to surfaces such as glass, china, pottery etc. In the world of magic lanterns we specifically mean the application of this process while making a lantern slide by transferring an image to a square or oblong piece of glass. The technique was used by professional slide makers, but enjoyed a vogue among amateurs too. Images were printed in colors by the chromo-litho principle, and then transfered to glass.
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Lichfield Cathedral in Colour Historic England. May the beauty captured in these historical magic lantern slides inspire you with new gardening ideas. Or, make you wonder how these places look today. Please post. Torrens Photo archive.
This list of lantern slide collections provides an overview of collections held in institutions internationally. The magic lantern was a very popular medium, particularly so from the 18th to the early 20th Century. There are many collections which remain uncatalogued. As a result, this list is likely to continue to expand as more information is made available. The terms "lantern slides" and "magic lantern" are used here as umbrella terms for describing objects related to the historical art of projection. Various terms can be found across history, disciplines, intended audiences or for descriptions of specific formats of slides and types of lanterns. In English, historical terms for "lantern slides" are "transparencies", "photographic transparencies", "slides" and "magic lantern slides".
Learn more about one of our collections below. In , about ten years after the invention of photography, lantern slides began to be produced photographically. Rapid improvements in photographic reproduction methods and more effective projection illuminants sparked the increased popularization of magic lantern slides. In the United States, magic lantern shows were especially popular in formal education settings. From the s, following the lead of the Philadelphia-based Langenheim Brothers, a growing number of slide manufacturers retained stock collections of negatives from which lantern slides could be produced, assembled into thematic boxed sets, and sold to consumers, including universities, companies, clubs and other social organizations. The vast majority of these commercial lantern slides were black-and-white positive images, created with the wet collodion or a dry gelatine process. Contact prints were made by placing a negative over a piece of light-sensitive lantern glass and then developing the image by exposure under controlled light.
Harry Zernike for the Observer. The occasion was a show put on by The American Magic-Lantern Theater, which the Observer was not entirely surprised to learn is the only traveling theater company of its kind in the United States. Similar to a slide projector, but with more alluring subject matter than mitosis and meiosis, magic lanterns were the 19th-century entertainment. Colored glass slides were inserted into a wooden projector with two lanterns inside for special effects, and were accompanied by storytelling, singing, joking and lectures. After a primer on the sound effects the audience was expected to provide—clapping, even louder clapping and rhythmic clapping—the lights went down and we, along with some 50 children, shifted anxiously in our seats. Borton intoned as the fellow in question grew portlier and portlier and portlier to loud laughter.In the House of Much Trouble - Magic Lantern Slide Show