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Vintage Books on the Magic Lantern
part 1

Frontispiece: 'Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae'.
Probably the best-known book on magic lanterns is Athanasius Kircher's 'Ars magna lucis et umbrae'(The Great Art of Light and Shadow) 2nd revised edition. Amsterdam: Apud Johannem Janssonium á Waesberge, & haerdes Elizaei Weyerstraet, 1671.

The book offers some early pictures of a lantern projecting an image on the wall, with instructions for its construction and operation.

There’s something wrong with the drawings however: the arrangement of the components is very unusual. The lens is situated between the light source and the slide, and the slide is wrongly positioned, in other words upright while the image is upright too.

Was it possible that Kircher made such a stupid mistake? Read more about The Mistery of the wrongly placed Lenses.

Extremely rare French Magic Lantern book: " L'Art des Projections" by L'Abbe Moigno (1872). Very few copies are known to exist of this important book in the history of magic lanterns and other precursors of cinematography. The book is filled with interesting historical illustrations on the construction and use of the magic lantern. François Napoleon Marie, "L'Abbe Moigno", lived from 1804 to 1884 and was a pioneer in the development and use of the magic lantern as well as an educator and mathematician. This classic work, was published in Paris by Bureau du Journal Les Mondes and M. Gathier-Villars. 159 numbered pages with 103 woodcuts and extensive index. Richly bound in leather.

"The Art of Projection and Complete Magic Lantern Manual". Includes 'a synopsis of the perfect manipulation of a triple lantern and effects, hitherto never published in book form, also valuable hints and instructions useful to amateurs and professionals, also the art of slide making and painting, and enlarging.' A technical account of the magic lantern, intended for educators, and including advice on the use of different types of slides and their use. Almost 200 pages with many line drawings and diagrams, including two fold-out illustrations of triple lanterns. Measuring 8.5" x 6".
The Magic Lantern, How to Buy, And How to Use It. Also How to Raise a Ghost. By "A Mere Phantom" Published in London by Houlston and Wright, 65 Paternoster Row, in 1866. Tenth Thousand statement at title page. Early Edition. 80 pages, many of which have pictures or diagrams for the use of a magic lantern. It measures 7 by 4.75 inches (18 x 12 cm). The Dutch translation is called De Tooverlantaarn. De Wijze van samenstelling en gebruik, alsmede De Kunst om een Geest op te wekken, door een Spook. Amsterdam, C.L. Brinkman 1873.
(See also: How to Raise a Ghost.)

Chadwick, W.J., The Magic Lantern Manual

First edition, 180 x 115 mm, 7" x 4½", 100 illustrations, 138 pages plus 10 adverts, original publisher's paper boards, illustration to upper cover, adverts to endpapers. 1878.

(Revised) Second Edition, 154 pages plus adverts. 'With one hundred and five Practical Illustrations'.
London: Frederick Warne and Co. 1885.

The Magic Lantern, Its Construction and Use, by A Fellow of the Chemical Society.
130 pages plus front & rear sheets. 82 pages on the construction and use of Magic Lanterns. The rest of the book is advertisements for magic lanterns, parts and photographic items.
Probably first edition, approx 1890.
Published by Perken, Son, & Rayment of 99 Hatten Garden, London.

THE POPULAR RECREATOR. A Key to In-door and Out-door Amusements. No editor named.

London, Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1873-1874. Two volumes in one, first edition, 260 x 185 mm, profusely illustrated, pages 384 plus 4 adverts, bound in original publisher's cloth with gilt and black decoration and lettering on gilt panels.
The two volumes cover a vast range of topics, indoor and outdoor games and  sports including angling, archery, cricket, croquet, golf, card games, photography and toy making. There are also 10 articles on the Magic Lantern.


The Book Of The Lantern.
Being A 'Practical Guide To The Working Of The Optical (Or Magic) Lantern, With Full And Precise Directions For Making And Coloring Lantern Pictures'.
With Seventy-Five Illustrations by T. C. Hepworth, F.C.S. Second American from the Second English Edition, New York, Edward L. Wilson, 1890. Hardbound, 5 1/4" x 7 1/2" (13.5 x 19 cm) with 288 pages including many great advertisements for camera equipment, accessories and photographs, including the Lilliput Ideal Detective Camera, at both the front and back.

The book measures 18 cm x 43 cm x 2.5 cm.

An exceptional series of 71 Dutch satirical prints published and bound in a scrap album in 1720. The prints include 1 showing magic tricks, 1 showing a peepshow box and 4 with a lanternist.

Lardner, Dionysius, Editor: The Museum of Science and Art, Vols VII and VIII, Pub.London: Walton & Maberly, 1855.
 Two volumes bound in one. Bound in half leather and marbled boards. Contains engravings throughout to illuminate such subjects as astronomy, optics, lenses, camera lucida and obscura, magic lantern etc. 7.5" x 4.5" (19 x 11.5 cm approx.). 208 pages.

This combination instructional manual and trade catalogue is another publication from Perkin, Son & Rayment of London. The book is divided into two sections with the first part being an photographic instructional manual titled: Beginner’s Guide to Photography, Showing How to Buy a Camera and How to Use It – Including Practical Remarks Upon: Photographic Apparatus Generally – How to Take a Photograph – Development – Printing From the Negative – Taking Instantaneous Pictures – Producing Lantern Slides – Photo-micography and Enlarging – By a Fellow of the Chemical Society – Published by Perken, Son & Rayment – 99 Hatton Garden, London. This first section is 120 pages.

The second section is an illustrated trade catalogue of all types of photographic equipment, cameras, magic lanterns and optical goods sold by the company. This title page to this section reads in part:
Perken, Son & Rayment – Bona-fide Makers of Photographic Apparatus, Magic Lanterns, and Optical Instruments – Trade Mark Optimus – May 1894. This section is profusely illustrated with all types of Optimus branded lens types and folding cameras including Optimus Camera Deluxe, Optimus Improved Magazine Camera, Optimus Minimus Hand Camera, Rayment’s Camera and others. Also included are over a dozen different projection magic lanterns as well as enlargers and other dark room equipment and more.

This book is hard covered measuring about 5.5” x 7.5”. The cover indicates Fifth Edition, Revised and Enlarged, 40th Thousands. This is the original catalogue and manual published in 1894.

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. Simon Henry Gage (1851 – 1944) was a Professor of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology at Cornell University and an important figure in the history of American microscopy.
This Magic Lantern book is titled "Optical Projection A Treatise on the Use of the Lantern" by Lewis Wright and dated 1901. It has hard covers, 438 pages with 232 illustrations.

The Popular Educator. A complete Encyclopaedia.
Encyclopaedia in five volumes published by Cassell & Company. Books contents cover astronomy, geology, chemistry, lessons in Spanish, lessons in French, lessons in algebra, hydrostatics, electricity, music, lessons in Latin, architecture, bookkeeping, natural history, etc. etc.


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