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Work for a living.
What did our ancestors do for a living? A choice of magic lantern slides depicting the livelihood of our grand- and great-grandparents.

 

lantern slide servant girl mirror
C. 1905, German. Probably G. Carette & Co. Nuremberg. Decalcomania, sizes c. 7" x 2" (18 x 5 cm).

1. hairdresser
2. servant girl
3. cook
4. bottelier
lantern slide cook in kitchen

 
lantern slide bottelier in cave

 





A good shave, a 19th century hand painted mechanical magic lantern slide. Single slip mechanism. 7" x 4" (c. 18 x 10 cm). The Chinese barber in action was a favourite theme for mechanical slipping slides.


Here is one of his colleagues at work.

 


This slide is marked: Carpenter & Westley 24 Regent St London. Sizes: c. 7" x 4" (18  x 10 cm).
 




Two similar single lever hand painted magic lantern slides depicting a cobbler cleaning his shoes. The left one has the makers name pressed into the wood 'COX 28 LUDGATE HILL LONDON'. The one above is made in Great Britain for McAllister, optician, New York.



Moving the brass handle up and down moves his arm and performs the cleaning operation. The slides measure 7" x 4" (c. 18 x 10 cm).



Another cobbler. The wooden frame of this slide is seven inches long and four inches wide (c. 18 x 10 cm) and someone has written on the side 'Cobbler At Work'.

Right: A fourth cobbler either polishing the shoe he is making or stitching it.

 






 
Interior of a butcher's shop. We behold a social drama. Some conceited gentlemen watch the poor family in front of the counter, that can hardly wait until the butcher has cut off their piece of turkey. It must be their Christmas present, according to the Plum Pudding message above them.

Magnificent hand painted magic lantern slide in an oblong wooden frame.


 

 


The barber (and his assistant).
 


The housemaid. Hand painted, mahogany framed single slipping slide, measuring 17.5 x 10 cm. Maid servant making dust while beating the doormat.


 




 



Hand painted, mahogany framed single slipping slide, measuring 17.5 x 10 cm. The indefatigable blacksmith, hammering out a red-hot horseshoe.
 


 
Three square magic lantern slides fro a set of eight. The set 'Every-Day Street Sounds' is part 609 from the well-known series of lantern slides 'Junior Lecturers Series' made by the English manufacturer od magic lantern slides W. Butcher & Sons. The slides measure 8,2 x 8,2 cm.
We see a postman, a fortune teller and a shoe shine boy.
 


Chimney Sweep. Very simple slipping slide bearing two images. The long glass is notched to keep it from being pulled out of the holder. Overall 7" x 2 3/4" and 1/2" thick (ca 18 x 7 x cm).

 


 
The conjurer performing his magic trick. This hand painted double slipping slide is mounted in a frame that measures 18.5 cm x 10 cm.

 
   

The lumberjack. Hand painted single slipping slide. 7 "x 4") 18 cm x 10 cm.
 
      
     

The poulterer.
French single slipping slide, perhaps made by the famous slide maker and painter Desch (1850s-1910s). His studio produced slides in quantity, based mainly on engraved outlines, but with the colours applied by hand with a great deal of precision and care. 4.5" x 10.5" (11 x 27 cm).

 


 
Dishonesty Punished

This slide shows at least four ways to earn a living united, the pickpocket in action, the policeman who has spotted the rascal and seems ready to react, the jeweller's shop window, the gentleman who has, according to his closing, the best paid profession of all. Is he a notary, a ship owner, a banker? Of course the woman does not have any profession. There looks to be a wagon full of policemen escorting someone else to what looks like a prison. Is this an omen of things about to happen? Slides like this one were often used by organisations which recognised the effectiveness of the magic lantern as a powerful propaganda weapon against all kinds of evils, like the Salvation Army and the Church Army.

This 19th century slide is hand painted and mounted in a wooden frame of standard size 7"x 4";  the diameter of the picture is about 3". A paper label reads the title

The Order of United American Mechanics was an anti-Catholic American Nativist organization of the mid-19th century. It was founded in Philadelphia amid the anti-alien riots of 1844-45. It originally was called the Union of Workers. Members were required to undertake efforts to publicize and campaign against the hiring of cheap foreign labour and to patronize only "American" businesses. (Wikipedia)

Probably this pickpocket should represent an Irish Roman-Catholic criminal.

 
Very rare and important hand painted magic lantern slide, produced in Holland in the mid 18th century. The five pictures depict in succession a book printer, a tailor(?), a pasty baker, a silver smith(?) and a blacksmith.

The pictures are painted on hand made glass, the glass has the typical bluish tint of that period, and are framed in oak. Note the cut out "handle" to facilitate the sliding in and out of the slides. The slide measures 41.5 cm x 8.5 cm or about 16 1/4" x 3 3/8".

Photo: ©Pierre Patau, antiquetoysandgames.com.
 


The blacksmith.


The street sweeper.
 
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Last update: 09-05-2021.
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