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A rather extensive collection of beautiful life-model sets of
magic lantern slides

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Bart's Joy.

Beautiful set of twelve square life-model slides made by the English manufacturer of magic lantern slides York & Son, England 1895. In the top left corner we see the trade mark of the manufacturer.
Text for a 'Service of Song': Miss M.A. Paull.
1. I was taking a bird's-eye view of mighty London. 2. Two women alighted. 3. A little boy with a basket of oranges.
4. Bart's home. 5. Bart signed the pledge that night. 6. He brought Miss Lane in triumph to my house.
7. 'Oh! please sir,' said Bart, 'make them let him go'. 8. I've got such a beautiful orange for you. 9. He sat dejectedly and wearily.
10. Please, Mr Brown, this is father. 11. Children, I am Bart Coxwell's father. 12. Frank Coxwell fell on his knees before her.
During the Service of song the recital was regular relieved by the singing of emotional songs, like 'Be kind to your Mother'.


Set of twelve square life-model slides made by the English manufacturer of magic lantern slides Bamforth & Co. (1899), after a song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Michael Balfe published in 1841. It describes a young man passing through a mountain village. He bears the banner "Excelsior" (translated from Latin as "ever higher", also loosely but more widely as "onward and upward"), ignoring all warnings, climbing higher until inevitably, "lifeless, but beautiful" he is found by the "faithful hound" "half-buried in the snow", still clasping in his hands of ice that banner with the strange device, Excelsior!
1. Intro. with Title. 2. The shades of night were falling fast
As through an Alpine village passed.
3. His brow was sad, his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath.
Shrewd visitors will perceive that the yellow banner changed here into a red one and the colour of the boy's clothes changed too. That's because I had to mix two incomplete sets to one complete set. Colours of the separate sets often differ because the artists who tinted the slides by hand were different.
4. Above the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan.
5. 'Try not the pass,' the old man said.
Dark lowers the tempest overhead.
6. 'O stay! O stay!' the maiden said,
'Rest thy weary head upon this breast'.
7. 'Beware the pine tree's withered branch,'
'Beware the awful avalanche'.
8. At the break of day, as heaven-ward
The pious monks of San Bernard.
9. A voice cried through the startled air
'Excelsior! Excelsior!'.
10. A traveller by the faithful hound
Half buried in the snow was found.
11. There in the twilight cold and grey,
Lifeless but beautiful he lay.
12. And from the sky severe and far
A voice fell like a falling star. 'Excelsior! Excelsior!'.

Mother's Last Words.

After Mary Sewell's book 'Mother's last words'. At least 10 different versions are known. This beautiful set of twelve square magic lantern slides was made by the English manufacturer of magic lantern slides York & Son, 1885.

Mother's Last Words is a heart wrenching story that will bring a tear to many eyes. The story starts with a mother on her deathbed, in a basement flat in Victorian London, who speaks her dying words to her two mournful young sons in threadbare clothes. She tells them they will soon be alone in the world and that they must do the best they can, but that they'll have to leave the flat as the rent isn't paid. The rest of the story is about how the two brothers struggle to survive as they try to resist the temptation to thieve and pick-pocket, and rely instead on good health, honest hard labour sweeping the streets, and the charitable kindness of others.
1. A worn-out woman, ghastly pale.
(unfortunately only in black and white)
2. 'Here, lads,' he said, 'divide this bread'. 3. And soundly slept those little boys.
4. The minister said, 'Dust to dust'. 5. And swept a pathway broad and neat. 6. Do you go to Sunday School?
7. I know a dodge worth two of that. 8. He loitered round a pastry cook's. 9. And quick as thought he snatched them up.
10. He strained his ears to catch the sound. 11. They took the clothes and nice mince pies.
12. The Lady at the Sunday School would come and read to Chris.
Saved from the Sea.

Another set of slides after a poem by Mary Sewell. The set was made by Bamforth & Co. in the 1880s. The part of the fisherman was played by James Bamforth, the founder of the company, of origin a portrait photographer in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. In 1883 he began to specialise in making lantern slides.

Mary Sewell (1797-1884) was a popular author of juvenile best sellers, writing stories with titles such as 'Motherís Last Words', 'Our Fatherís Care' and 'Thy Poor Brother'. She was a deeply religious woman, with a sensitive and artistic nature. Her daughter Anna was the author of the well known childrenís classic 'Black Beauty', a fictional autobiography of a thoroughbred horse.

1. A gallant ship went out to sea.
2. It was a child -- a little girl. 3. And every means the good wife used. 4. The weeping stranger told her tale.
5. I'd send it to the Union house. 6. And, as she read, she strongly felt. 7. The fishing boat went out to sea.
8. ''Tis on my mind, dear child,' she said. 9. 'God bless you all, and keep you His'. 10. The old man gave the bride away.
The Lifeboat.
Set of seven magic lantern slides made by the English manufacturer York & Son, c. 1885.

1. 'This ain't what we calls rough'.
2. The beach here was strewn with wreckage.
3. I knelt by her side and prayed.
4. You're wanted.
5. In hail of the Vessel.
6. I stretched out my hand.
7. By the bedside were my Wife and Jack.
"A tale in verse, by G. R. Sims, in which the husband of a woman, who is lying dying of grief for the loss of a son, is begged by the captain of the lifeboat to join in a daring rescue. The dying woman begs her husband to go , he obeys, he seizes a body in the water, gets a terrible blow, is laid up at home, and at last discovers that he rescued his son, and that his wife has recovered her health at the joyful sight of her long-lost son." (The 'indispensable handbook' to the optical lantern: a complete cyclopaedia on the subject of optical lanterns, slides, and accessory apparatus, London: Iliffe & Son, 1888). 

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