Here are a few images of some magic lantern slides (actually for a
'nursery' or home magic lantern). You will need to have
enabled to view much of this page.
Magic lanterns of the style shown here were made as early as the 18th century
and references to such devices can be found even earlier. The little 'nursery'
magic lantern is powered by a tiny kerosene lamp and was made in Germany by E.P.
(Ernst Plank Co.) probably in the 1920's or 30's. It can project a small image
about 2 feet by 2 feet (1.5m x 1.5m). Many thanks to
for telling me about the nursery lantern. After looking at a few slides, you might
want to solve this lantern puzzle
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Magic Lantern Slides
The animation above is from a 5" x 2-1/4" x 3/16" (125mm x 56mm x 5mm)
Chromotrope lantern slide. Animation is accomplished by turning a small
crank extending to the right. The animation was made from a sequence of gif images taken
with a Cannon camcorder and digitized with a 'Snappy' adapter. This slide comes from the
kit made by Ernst Plank and Co. in around 1908. It appeared in the
Sears catalog and came, as you can see, with a variety of slides, some tickets, a set of
came in an elegant dovetailed wooden box.
Less elaborate animations were formed by moving a slide
consisting of say 2 images back and forth through the lantern like
bed animation. This slide has two frames, one showing the youngster up and the other
down. I have retouched this slide slightly to remove a scratch in one frame.
Most of the glass slides shown below are about 7-1/8" x
2" x 1/16" (180mm x 50mm x 1.5mm). The images were formed by simply laying the slides
on a flat-bed scanner and first scanning them in transmission mode,and then
in reflection mode (to recover the colored paper border). The reflection and
transmission scans are combined to form a complete image. The slides are
too large to capture in one scan in transmission mode, so two scans are merged
to form a complete image.
enabled to see these slides. Selecting one of the slides will bring up a new
small browser window, selecting a new slide or exiting this page will close the small
After looking at a few slides, you might want to read
about our other antique collections
De Luikerwaal (English)
De Luikerwaal (Dutch)
- Wonderful pictures of slides and lanterns from Henc de Roo,
Huizen, the Netherlands. You'll find out who the Luikerwaal were. This is a
most complete, perfectly documented, and pleasant site. The author has a grand
sense of humor and at the same time the instinct of a reseacher. Anyone interested
in the Laterna Magica should visit this site
- The National Museum
of American History
- The National Museum of American History has an exhibit, produced by the
Photographic History Collection, called Magic Lanterns Magic Mirrors.
They show a very fine example of an elegant Gloria magic lantern, a quite
professional lantern, and some curious broadsides that advertise some
'educational slide shows'.
- Magic Lantern Slides, history, and find out about 'Galante So'.
The author of this site responded to my query about my first lantern on the
rec.antiques newsgroup many years ago. What a grand character, he taught
me about the the lantern I had purchased on a whim. He points out that personal
web sites are a form of vanity publishing. Indeed, but look at the things one can
learn from sites like his.
The Victorian Magic Lantern -Foxely
- About Victorian Magic Lantern Shows by Eric Foxley
- A Selection of Magic Lantern Types, 17th-20th Century
The Bill Douglas Centre
- This is the Magic Lantern part of an interesting broad
discusion of the history of the cinema and popular culture.
The Magic Lantern Society (UK)
- Marvelous site for history, a glossary, links, and a great animation
The Magic Lantern Society of the United States and Canada
- No pictures, contact information.
The Randall Salter Collection (UK)
- Wonderful examples of slip slide animations
The Magic-Lantern Theater
- A touring theater company. Good set of links and some
nice stories and fun animations.
George Eastman House
- Pre-cinema Technology Collection: Magic Lanterns and other pre-cinema imaging
devices (Mutoscope, Silent Film, Zoetrope, Kinora)