Magical Effects
Special Slides


These extensive catalogues show quite a lot of complete sets (click on the titles to view the slides).

Catalogue of magic lantern slides Theobald & Co. 1890.
The series of mainly 12-slide sets have been produced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and seem to have been sold under a number of different trade names, with many retailers applying their own series name.

Primus Junior Lecturers Series from W. Butcher & Sons
The Junior Lecturers Series was produced by W. Butcher & Sons, London (1870-1906) under the trade name 'Primus'. The slides were sold as a set of eight in a cardboard box. Size of the slides: 8,2 x 8,2 cm (3 1/4" x 3 1/4").

Butcher also produced the Primus Projection Post Cards, manufactured from the same images as used on the slides.

Primus Coloured Lantern Slides. Though these sets not really form part of Butcher's Primus Junior Lecturers Series they are often documented with them.
Rambles round London Zoological Gardens.

Projektion für Alle from Unger und Hoffmann
From 1900 until 1928 the German manufacturer Unger & Hoffmann A.G. from Dresden put fifty-six sets of photographic lantern slides on the market called 'Projektion für Alle'. The subjects are much divided, from exotic countries to biblical history, from works of art to astronomy.

Catalogue on Stereoscope slides published by the Duch toy shop Merkelbach, Amsterdam.
Contents: Aardrijkskundige Beeldengalerij (Geographical Images) by M.J. Broekhuijsen; Stereoschat voor School en Huis (Treasure for School and Home) by M.J. Broekhuijsen; Nederlandse Vogels en hunne nesten (Dutch Birds and their nests), with captions by Jac. P. Thijsse.

CAPI - Catalogus No. 40 van Lantaarnplaatjes, lichtbeelden op filmstrooken, enz.
Dutch catalogue on thousands of magic lantern slides and film strips a.s.o. sold by the well-known Nederlandsch Fototechnisch Bureau CAPI, branches in Amsterdam, The Hague, Groningen en Nijmegen. Film strips.

E.P. Catalogue on magic lantern slides
from the 'Preisliste über optische, mechanische und elektrische Waaren 1903 Ernst Plank Nürnberg Germany (E.P.).

Catalogue Gebroeders Zaalberg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Catalogus van lantaarnplaatjes. (Catalogue on magic lantern slides, Dutch.) 4 pages.

Ensign Ltd magic lantern slides - Disney
The George Houghton Company had been specializing in the manufacturing of optical devices for almost a century when it decided to launch a series of Disney magic lantern sets under the Ensign Ltd. brand.

WEDEA - magic lantern slides of Dutch manifacture
Not realy a catalogue, but brought together a number of WEDEA series.


Magical effects

Efforts to impart movement to the figures.

All about magic lantern slides.
Everything about hand painted slides, decalcomanias, moving pictures, chromatropes and much more.
Mechanical slides
Of all the slides prepared for the magic lantern, those with mechanical effects prove the most interesting to persons of all ages.

Special: Interchangeable Mechanical Slide (Benetfink)

A rather extensive collection of mechanical slides
Hundreds of animated images of mechanical, movable magic lantern slides.
Clowns, children playing, skeletons, wild animals, dancers, witches... too many to mention.

The man who ate a living mouse.
The mechanical lantern slide with the mouse eater became a real classic. Read the unbelievable, terrifying and perhaps a little unappetizing story.

Unsuitable for people that suffer from stomach trouble.

Dissolving Views

This particular method of exhibiting dissolving magic lantern slides involves the employment of two or more lanterns. A common dissolving view is the change from day into night or summer into winter. What do we need for such an amazing show?

Effect slides
Effect slides superimpose a special effect over a scene. Popular effects include rainbows, dreams and visions, fires, and angelic or ghostly apparitions.

A chromatrope uses two discs of glass painted with colourful abstract patterns, which rotate in opposite directions to produce fascinating images on the screen.

Fantoccini Slides
Other names for these rare mechanical slides are 'silhouette slides' or 'shadow slides'. A familiar example is the somersaulting monkey.

Mechanical special effects slides
An invisible drawing master, a wheel of live, shady moiré patterns....


Special slides

Life Models
By this we mean the photographic slides on which costumed actors are posed in scenes or on locations to illustrate songs, moral tales, sentimental stories, narratives or other texts.

A rather extensive collection of life-model slide sets
Series of magic lantern slides with costumed actors, sometimes cheerful and arousing, sometimes tear-jerking.

Motto Slides
Lantern slides carrying a short message or greeting, mainly used by the lanternist to welcome his audience or to say good-bye to them, but also to urge them to behave themselves.

Slides for advertising
Advertising slides were often loaned or given away to lanternists free of charge from a wide variety of companies. After all those slides were one of the most effective ways of conveying their advertising message to a wide audience in those days.

Catastrophe slides
Catastrophe slides are pairs of magic lantern slides that were shown in rapid succession to illustrate a comic, but also always dramatic, situation. The first one mostly showing a rather normal start of the story and the second one showing the disastrous sequel.

The magic lantern shows..... The Magic Lantern !
Magic lantern slides depicting a magic lantern or a magic lantern scene.

Disc Slides
Some magic lanterns were able to show not only the 'normal', oblong glass strips, but also disc shaped slides. Favourite subjects were fairy tales, anthropology, caricatures, religious themes and much more.

Also an extremely scarce camera used for creating round magic lantern slides is described here.

Sing-along Slides
Shortly before the First World War a lot of magic lantern slides were produced that illustrated the texts of popular sing-alongs of those days. They were as essential to the stimulation of the sale of pop songs as video clips on television are today.

French magic lantern slides. - Plaques verre française pour la lanterne magique.
French magic lantern slides are generally easy to identify as such. They are often provided with a kind of 'sheet' containing an accompanying text in handwriting. The best known manufacturers of these slides were Lapierre and Aubert.



Where do the little children come from?
Don't believe all that odd stories they tell you. Now you hear where they really come from.

Making digital photos from your magic lantern slides.
Collectors of lantern slides will often need to be able to keep the slides from their collection in a digital form. Here are a number of possibilities and tips.

Lantern slides and how to make them yourself.
For making his own slides the amateur lanternist could apply various techniques: hand painting or drawing on glass, the use of translucent transfers, or photography.

Painting and colouring the magic lantern slides.
Small pots and bottles with paint and ink to colour the black and white slides.

SERIES COMIQUES TOL-SIM and other transparencies.
These sets of transparent images on cellophane were made in France and could be placed between two glass plates to be projected by a magic lantern.

Special: Transparencies from the French artist Benjamin Armand Rabier.

Primus Projection Post Cards
Twenty sets of cards for episcopic projection, featuring pictures also used for the slides of the Junior Lecturers Series.

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Last update: 28-01-2024.
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