Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Tiger and the Tub
"Mr Long & Mr Short go for a walk.....", a well known opening sentence from a incredible story, told on several sets of magic lantern slides. Perhaps the tale is a send-up of Darwin's theories on genetic evolution as set out in 'Origin of Species', first published in 1859, not long before this remarkable story originally appeared in lantern slide form. Tiger and Tub is very popular in shows, its origins long since forgotten, but the punch-line always produces a laugh!
Probably the most famous version of the Tiger and the Tub story is the one produced by William Butcher & Sons of London in their Junior Lecturers' Lantern Slides. At the beginning of the 20th century Butcher produced under the trade name 'Primus' a wide ranges of slides, offering a varied choice of humorous, historical, educational and religious subjects suitable for both young and old.

The Tiger and the Tub story forms part of the series A, that have the reading printed on the slides. Initially this set was titled 'Tale of a Tub'. Junior Lecturers sets were always issued in boxes of eight slides each, with longer stories divided in a series of chapters, each also of this number. Sometimes this lead to the necessity of cutting down the story; in this case however it was necessary to build up the set to eight slides, because the original story was told in  seven pictures. This lead to the decidedly limb final slide 'After 12 month...' showing 'every tiger with a tub on its tail'. No right-thinking human being will understand this nonsensical end, or it must be a wink to Darwin.
A lot of Junior Lecturers stories were also issued as a boxed set of twelve oblong slides, comprising six tales conform the list on the bottom of the box, two slides each, four pictures pro slide. They measure 7 inches by 2 inches (18 x 5 cm).


The English manufacturer Theobald & Co made another set of square slides, approx. 3" square, 3" diameter image.........
...... and the same pictures on a set of four oblong lithographic slides featuring Tiger and Tub in a colourful cardboard box. Three images on each glass strip. Size 18 x 5 cm.



Twelve rather primitive drawings of the crazy story with some new elements. The human leading actors are obvious sailors this time and they are dragged along by the escaping animal. The drawings are made on thin cellophane, jammed between two glass plates. Are they traced in coloured ink from existing drawings in a book by an amateur lanternist? Are they 'pirate copies', made from original slides? Are they inexpensively produced originals? I don't know. Anyway they form a remarkable set between the others.


This lovely set of Victorian hand painted slides is mounted in a mahogany frame that measures c. 7" x 4 1/2" (18 cm x 11.5 cm).

This magnificent slide is made by the leading British manufacturer of magic lanterns and slides Carpenter & Westley, London. The name of the maker is pressed into the wood of the frame. Though the positions of the principal persons are almost the same as on the corresponding slide of the preceding set, this one is much better detailed and finer painted.

To compare........



It is a remarkable fact that many manufacturers of these tiger-and-the-tub sets often use almost the same images for depicting the diverse scenes. Also in the following set some slides seem to be copied, while other slides are unique.

The seven slides of this set made by Newton & Co in their 'Cheap Series' measure 3.25 inches (8.2 cm) square. Though this story is normally produced as an eight slide set, early versions had seven slides.

All slides are marked by small triangular labels at both top corners.
The complete set of twelve magic lantern slides  "THE TALE OF THE TIGER & THE TUB" this time made by the manufacturer Walter Tyler (W.T.), London. All the slide have a label pasted on it:

The slides measure 3.25 x 3.25 inches.


Finally some slides from a set from an unknown manufacturer in a wooden frame. The pictures are of a very high quality.
More about this Tiger.....
Primus Catalogue nr 514 The Tiger and the Tub
A real performance with the magic lantern

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Last update: 04-06-2021.
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