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part 2

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

Go to: part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5 part 6 part 7 part 8 part 9 part 10

The Little Hero.

Set of seven slides made by Bamforth & Co., England, after the song from Arthur Matthison and ‘Stephen Adams (c. 1990).

It tells the story about the little stowaway on board ship who, threatened with death, knelt down to pray, thus weakening the hearts of the rough seamen.

Two or more opening slides are known.
1. From Liverpool across the Atlantic, the good ship floating o'er the deep.
2. One day he comes up from below deck, a-grasping a lad by the arm. 3. An' the mate asks the boy pretty roughly how he dared for to be stowed away. 4.'An',' says he, in a voice clear and pretty, 'My stepfather brought me aboard'.
5. Then the mate pulled his watch from his pocket, just as if he'd been drawing his knife. 6. An' the little chap kneels on the deck there, an' his hands he clasps o'er his breast. 7. Off his feet was the lad suddenly lifted, and clasped to the mate's rugged breast.

Our Father's Care.
The set. 1. When suddenly starting, poor Nelly awoke. 2. 'Ah, Nelly, my blessing,' the sick woman said.
3. With shivering limbs and her pattering feet. 4. The Farringdon market is open at five. 5. Then off to the pump she courageously goes.
6. And Nelly's poor mother is sick and alone. 7. And then looked within at his bright blazing fire. 8. And still Nelly kept singing her song.
9. The gentleman came down himself to the door. 10. And now let us look in that poor upper room. 11. 'Ah! Nelly, you've come to see poor father die'.
12. And the hand of death had broken the chain of his grief and pain. 13. Mother must not grieve, thought Nelly. 14. When, through the hand of Providence, there came the timely aid.
Our Father's Care is a set of 14 hand coloured magic lantern slides measuring 4.25" or 8.2 cm square. The slides are all Life Models slides, except slide # 4 which is a drawing with a photograph of the girl's face pasted on. The set is made by Bamforth and Co., England, 1880s. The role of the father is played by James Bamforth himself and the role of the mother is played by his wife Mrs. Martha Bamforth. It was not unusual that posing models were members of the manufacturers or photographers family or friends.

1. That would make fine picture. 2. I'll try my luck. Detail slide # 2.
3. She looks good. Detail slide # 3. 4. Just a little closer.
5. So that is better. 6. Now for a picture. 7. She sees him and pulls the cloth.
8. .... it is time to go. 9. I can't lose my machine. Take it easy.
Detail slide # 9. 10. Not so hard! I'll go as quick as I can. Detail slide # 8.
This is a complete set of ten coloured life-model slides, telling the sad tale of a travelling photographer trying to take photos of a Victorian housewife spreading out her laundry to sun bleach and dry and obviously does not like to be photographed. We don't know if he escaped with his camera or not, since the woman is beating him over the head with her broom. All slides have captions on them which are sometimes hard to read. Anyway the story is clear.
Slides measure 8.2 x 10 cm. Visible pictures are square though the images are larger and cover the whole slide, as can be seen through the semi transparent mats. Manufacturer and title of the set unknown.

The Old Sexton.
Complete slide set of eight life-model slides made by Bamforth & Co., c. 1898.
All slides are labelled 'The Old Sexton' at the top, and 'FROM LIFE MODELS  Copyright' at the bottom.
1. Intro with Title. 2. Nigh to a grave that was newly made leaned a sexton on his earth-worn spade. 3. We builded the houses that lie around.
4. My sceptre of rule is the spade I hold. 5. Let them revel in pleasure or toilfully spin. 6. Their final rest is here, down here.

After the song 'The Old Sexton'. Words by Park Benjamin; music composed  by Henry Russell.
7. The funeral train wound mutely o'er that solemn plain. 8. Will sound o'er the last trump's dreadful din, I gather them in.

The Star of Bethlehem.
After the song from Fred Weatherly and Stephen Adams, The star of Bethlehem (London: Boosey & Co., 1887).
1. I sat beside my window, and looked into the night. 2. And childhood came again to me, with all its dreams divine. 3. Out of the East, majestic, there rose one radiant star.
4. It shone thro' dingy casement on many a garret bare. 5. And weary little children turned in their sleep and smiled. 6. While many a homeless wanderer uplifted patient eyes.
7. And then me thought earth faded, I rose as borne on wings. 3. (rpt) And onward, upward, shone the star until it seemed to me. 8. It flashed upon the golden gate, and o'er the crystal sea.
This is the 1895 version of The star of Bethlehem made by Bamforth & Co. It consists of 9 slides; slide # 3 was repeated during performance after # 7. Unfortunately the last slide # 9 which is entitled 'It was the Star, the Star of Bethlehem, had led me up to God' is missing here. In 1907 the set was reissued by Bamforth as a series of 12 slides, see an example at the right.

In #6 of the set above we see James Bamforth himself as the old homeless wanderer. For the effect images some recycled images from earlier sets are used. This one is from the life model set 'The Drunkards'.
Slide #4 from the reissued version of 1907. Slide #7 from 'The Drunkards' that was used for slide #6.
The Uncle.
A small set of 6 magic lantern slides made by York & Son, England, after Henry Glasford Bell's poem 'The Uncle' in which an uncle confesses to his nephew the crime that has haunted him, murdering his brother, the boy's father, because of love for his brother's wife. 
1. He'd take me on his knee 2. I sat and read in that old hall 3. 'Come hither, boy,' my uncle said
4. Why stare so frightfully aghast? 5. 'O God!' it is my brother's self 6. A sinner's soul was lost

Little Tiz.
A temperance story (service of song). Manufacturer York & Son, England, 1880s.
1. It was a last will and testament. 2. A party at Mr Lorraine's, Langside Hall. 3. 'Come, we must have a song from Little Tiz'.
4. Little Tiz and George in the library. 5. In the woods, the necklace of flowers. 6. Dr Pearson's little parlour.
7. 'I've been thinking of a plan'. 8. She peered out into the dark. 9. She fell with a sudden gasp.
10. 'Ye bide up that court, Mrs Mactavish'. 11. Oh, merciful heaven, the sight! 12. Crouching over the miserable fire.
This set of magic lantern slides was often used in a 'service of song'. For this reason, sometimes 12 extra slides with the lyrics of songs were provided so that all those present could sing along.
13. Little Tiz put her tiny arms round his neck. 14. In the silent valley of death.  
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