Magic lantern slides.... even the name conjures up a magical image for its time...
There has been some debate about who the original inventor of the magic lantern is and what year the original device was developed. It was around the late 1640s - 1650s. It was even referred to as the “lantern of fright” because it was able to project spooky images that looked like apparitions. In its early development, it was mostly used by magicians and conjurors to project images, making them appear or disappear, transform from one scene into a different scene, or even create the belief of bringing the dead back to life..
The first lantern slide producers made their slides using albumen-coated plates and, after a short period, switched to wet-collodion plates. The introduction of dry plate processes, as well as mass-produced lantern slide kits, made the slides easier for amateur photographers to produce.
The finished product was placed within a lantern slide projector to be viewed on a wall or screen. The first projectors used oil lamps for light. By 1870, limelight, produced by burning oxygen and hydrogen on a pellet of lime, offered a better, although more dangerous, form of illumination. In the 1890s, the invention of the carbon arc lamp, followed by electric light, provided a safe method for displaying the lantern slide image.
Our latest Magic Lantern finds are some great Nature and Comic slides from England. Due to the weight of the glass slides, the shipping to Canada can be pricey or free depending on the vendor. All arrived in great shape with no breakage.
Recent sets that we managed to find and add to our collection are Moths and Butterflies, Nature, and Comic Cats and Dogs. They make a great addition to our World Culture, Cities of the World, Children and Nature series. The Comic Cats and Dogs show a great side of English Humour.
Stay tuned for up coming designs using content from our slides for our new Collage Pages, Gelaskins for Laptops & Iphones and new Art Card Designs.
Here are a few links to sites for info on Magic Lantern slide Machines and history.