Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Vintage Books on the Magic Lantern
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This technical encyclopaedia is one of the most important books concerning the magic lantern history. Title: Oekonomsich-technologische Encyclopedie, oder allgemeines System der Stats-Stadt-Haus- und Land-Wirtschaft, und der Kunst-Geschichte, in alaphabetischer Ordnung, von Dr. Johann Krünitz etc., Berlin 1794.

On pages 467-522, 55 pages, and five plates the magic lantern history is detailed described. This is an excellent source of information and contains extremely detailed descriptions and illustrations of magic lanterns in use during the 18th century in Germany.



     Hard bound leather tooled book entitled: "LETTERS ON NATURAL MAGIC, addressed to Sir Walter Scott, bart." by Sir David Brewster, K.H., published by John Murray, London, 1832. Fascinating book on many subjects with numerous graphics. Includes occult, alchemy, optical illusions, magic lantern, spectral apparitions, magic mirrors, phantasmagoric exhibitions, aerial spectres, ventriloquism, kaleidophone, power of sound, temporary deafness, feats of strength, automata, spontaneous combustion, two metamorphic/transformation overlays, etc., etc. 351 pages, sizes 4" x 6" (c. 10 x 15 cm).


Oculus artificialis teledioptricus by Johann Zahn, published in 1685.

A very important book by Johann Zahn (b.1631; d.1707), German writer on science and Canon of the Premonstrate Order in Wurzburg. Zahn gives here a comprehensive description of the magic lantern and its uses and describes twelve different lanterns, including some showing for the first time lens covers, a very important evolution, because it meant that the screen could be kept dark during change of slide.

In this early book various lanterns, slides and a number of projections are described and also peepshow boxes and the camera obscura.

Sizes about 8" x 12 1/2" x 2 1/2" or 20.5 cm x 31.5 cm x 6.5 cm.

Photos: ©Pierre Patau, antiquetoysandgames.com
"Magie, oder die Zauberkräfte der Natur, so auf den Nutzen, und die Belustigung angewandt worden, von Johann Samuel Halle, Professoren des Königlich-Preußischen Corps des Cadets zu Berlin.“
This is one part of a four part book set, but all parts are complete in itself. 424 pages, app. 7.5 x 4.6 inches (ca 19 x 11.5 cm). Leather-bound with golden printing on the back. The book deals with magic lanterns, optical toys, puzzles. Illustrated with 9 fine folded copper engravings including a ghost citation known from Robertson or Schroepfer on the title vignette. Vienna, Trattner, 1784.
The Wonders of Optics by F. Marion, translated from the French and edited by Charles W. Quin F.C.S. Illustrated with seventy engravings on wood an a coloured frontispiece. London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marstone. Milton House, Ludgate Hill, 1868.



John Stoddard Magic Lantern Lectures.

The information from the title and copyright pages: "John L. Stoddard's Lectures -- Complete in Ten Volumes, Volume Two -- Boston, Balch Brothers Co. MCMVII-- Chicago: Geo. L. Shuman & Co. -- Copyright, 1897 John L. Stoddard -- Entered at Stationer's Hall, London."

There are over 350 illustrations, including four that have been lightly tinted. Most are photographic, some are artist's renderings.

The leather-bound book is 6"x9". 334 glossy pages, gilded at the top.

During the nineteenth century talented individuals earned their living travelling from place to place with a magic lantern, presenting illustrated lectures to a paying audience. Few of the scripts used by such itinerant lanternists have survived, but many of the lectures delivered by one of the foremost, John L. Stoddard, were collected in this book. The magic lantern slide depicts a subject similar to those Stoddard touched upon.

The book above is Stoddard's Lectures Volume II. It includes his lectures on Constantinople, Jerusalem and Egypt, and is copiously illustrated with reproductions of the scenes he was projecting on the magic lantern screen.

Optical Lanterns and Accessories, 1901 Hasluck. Hard covered volume with lots of illustrations and information. All aspects of the Magic Lantern, illuminants, and slides are dealt with in detail. Full title is Optical Lanterns and Accessories How to Make and Manage Them Including Instructions on Making Slides written by Paul N. Hasluck published by Cassell and Company Limited. Measures approx. 7" x 4.25" (18 x 11 cm).

Modern Magic Lanterns and their Management, R. Child Bayley, Second edition, c. 1890s. The book is well illustrated with 110 pages plus 35 pages of magic lantern advertisements.


This is a first edition of the book Optic Projection: Principles, Installation and Use of the Magic Lantern, Projection Microscope, Reflecting Lantern, Moving Picture Machine. Fully Illustrated with Plates and over 400 Text-Figures by Simon Henry Gage and Henry Phelps Gage. It is a hardcover. Comstock Publishing Company. 1914. 731 pgs. Illustrated with 400 text-figures and includes 3 laid in photos of optic projectors. Bound in brown buckram with gilt titles.

Wehman's Book on the Magic Lantern. It's Principle and how to use it. Published by Henry J. Wehman, New York, 60+ pages, c. 1920.

Henri John Wehman, the eldest of 13 children, was born on 24 August 1855 in New York City.
By 1870 Henry was working as a typesetter and in 1876 he opened his own print shop and founded Henry J. Wehman Publishers in 1878. Later the name was changed to Wehman Bros, Song & Book Publishers, when one ore more of his brothers were also involved.
He became a prolific publisher; Wehman's output consisted maily of a series of 10 Cent Song Books, some 1600 single-song broadsides, large multi-song single sheets, and book-like song collections.

The Lantern: The Christmas Number and Year Book of The Cyclist for 1887-88, published by Iliffe & Son, 98 Fleet St, London & Coventry. Price one shilling. Softback, size 204 x 278 mm. Pagination starts on page 33 (following the unpaginated Christmas Number), and ends with page 126. The many advertising pages are extra to the 126.
In spite of the promising title and cover of this year book almost the complete contents is associated with cycling, which is not very surprising for a Cyclist's Yearbook after all.
However it contains also an extraordinary spoof description of a magic lantern show and its participants, all well known characters in the cycling world at that time. Several circular sketches of the supposed lantern slides projected at the show are included.
The adds are mostly for cycles and accessories, but also include a half-page for cameras and magic lanterns by Perken Son & Rayment, and others for Kingston Dry Plates, and Shew’s Eclipse Pocket Camera.


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