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Some magic lanterns, like Ernst Plank's models 'Climax' and 'Globus' and the 'Bosco' made by Bing, were able to show not only the 'normal', oblong glass strips, but also circular, disc shaped slides. These slides were available with diameters between 8.5 cm and 15 cm, containing six or eight round pictures. Favourite subjects were fairy tales, anthropology, caricatures, religious themes and much more. They were sold with or without cover glass and often provided with a metal ring around the outer edge of the glass. Thanks to this ring, the round disk remained better in place in the lantern and could be turned around more easily.
Because the discs could only contain six or eight images, the stories were often shortened. Many stories were published in a version with six as well as eight images.

Round disc slides, offered in Ernst Plank's 1903 Catalogue.
Seven 'Runde Scheibenbilder' offered in the Ernst Plank catalogue above, i.e. the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Geology, Savages or Ethnic Faces, Puss in Boots, Portraits and Robinson Crusoe. The slides measures 3.25 inches (8.5 cm) in diameter. The last one is larger, the diameter is 4.33 inches (11 cm). More expensive samples were fitted with a protecting cover glass and/or a metal rim around the glass. Larger samples were provided with eight pictures pro disc. That's why here some pictures on the showed smaller discs seem to be absent, see the last two discs with the Puss in Boots.

Below two discs from E.P. provided with a metal ring.


Circular slide depicting the story of
The Elephant's Revenge, after a story by Wilhelm Busch. The manufacturer is Ernst Plank (E.P.). The size is 21 cm in diameter; the eight images are 4.5 cm)
1. In Africa's deserts and sand
A promenade takes an elephant
2. To the oasis he with leisure goes
And drinks by means of his long nose.
3. A naughty negro-fellow now
Sends him an arrow from his bow.
This does not suit the elephant
He turn, pursues that fellow and
4. With his long trunk he pulls his ear
And drags him to a brook that's near.
5. The negro is not at his ease
For he gets dived, and to increase
His horror, Io! a crocodile
Wants to devour him with a smile.
6. The elephant again does fetch
That miserable negro-wretch,
Carries him off in fullest speed,
The blacky struggles with his feet.
7. Into a cactus he is flung
and by the cactus he is stung.
8. Homeward does go the elephant,
Blacky looks like a cactus-plant.
The text in italics was provided by the manufacturer with the slide. In English, as well as German and French.


Robinson Crusoe, disc slide made by Ernst Plank.

This round glass slide has six images of a gnome and a frog. In the centre image stands the Roman figure I. The slide measures 3.25 inches and there is a metal rim around the glass. Maker unknown.
Here are the numbers II and III of these series, now in a larger format. There are 8 scenes on each glass slide; slide measures 6 inch in diameter. Nr II has travel scenes, number III various people.

These three 3 3/8" discs hold 6 images each. They depict everyday activities, fairy tales, and some silly portraits. Marked X, XI and XII. Metal rimmed. Maker unknown.

Two round magic lantern slides, measuring 3 3/8" across. In the centre Max Dannhorn's trade mark, a fir tree flanked by the capitals M.D. Made in Germany. The pictures show Caricatures of Animals, and a performance of the Monkey Theatre.

The 'Gebrüder Bing' made only one design magic lantern that was able to use disc slides, the Globe Magic Lantern 'Bosco'. This lantern was made entirely from polished brass and was fitted with a mechanical disc turner. 'The mechanical turner secures an even and easy movement for the discs, while the picture slot, for the long slides, is so arranged that it can be adjusted before the lens opening by a very slight pressure.' (Bing Toy Catalogue 1906)
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Last update: 02-06-2021.
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