Imagine wanting the latest in technology to entertain, educate or mystify your friends. Now add the caveat that this is pre-electricity or even gas lamps.
The Magic Lantern is a very primitive slide projector. A light source, for example, sunlight, a candle, or an oil lamp, was used with one or more lenses to project images on a wall (or some used smoke to create the illusion of a ghost). The images were figures or scenes painted on moveable slides, usually made of glass or oiled paper. In the hands of a competent and consummate showperson, these curious machines could produce huge, brightly colored, wonderfully animated entertainments for children and adults. In some early lanterns, a figure would be painted on a fixed plate, e.g. a train or a tight-rope walker with a moveable slide behind it that showed the train moving across the landscape or through a tunnel, or tight-rope walker sliding across the rope. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_lantern; Viewed 10/23/2020)
The late 1800s Magic Lantern shown here belonged to Eugene Nash (born 1871) and comes with several glass slides. It is found in the Children’s room of the Nash House Museum of the Delaware County Historical Society.
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