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part 6.
A rather extensive collection of wonderful magic lantern slide sets

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

Wonderful 'Sing-along'-set of magic lantern slides made by the well-known maker of this genre magic lantern slides, Scott and Van Altena, New York. The slides have the American oblong format of 10 x 8,2 cm (3,25 x 4 inches). On the right side they are labelled with the name of the set, ' Come on Maria' and the name and address of the reseller, the left side has a label with trademark and address of the manufacturer.
The series was created after a known top hit from those days (1910), ' Come on Maria!', written by Ren Shields, who is also the writer of the more known song 'In the good old Summertime', and Stanley Murphy. It was sung by the 'Telegraph Four'. The song is about an old couple who look back on their youth. Scott and Van Altena's lantern slides are of stunning quality with often very special photo montages, and that in a time when computer programs like Photo Shop did not exist! Sing-along sheets were created to promote the sheet music, and the lyrics of the song were often sung along loudly in the theatres.
Unfortunately this set of magic lantern slide is not complete. Present are the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and the title slide showing the accompanying sheet music.

The first line of the song reads:
In a crowded city sat a couple, old and gray
Whose hearts were far away, mongst the fields of new mown hay.

Scott and Van Altena's magic lantern slides are highly sought after by collectors and lanternists. The slides above were sold on Ebay for around $500 per piece!

Again a beautiful 'Sing-along'-set of magic lantern slides, this time made by the manufacturer Simpson, New York. The slides have the American oblong format of 10 x 8,2 cm (3,25 x 4 inches). Both sides are labelled with the title of the set 'Can't you take it back, and change it for a Boy' and name and address of the manufacturer.
Also this set is made after a well-known top hit of those days 'Can't you take it back, and change it for a Boy', lyrics and music by Thurland Chattaway. Here are the first two verses:
From the nursery creepin', a little boy came peepin'
Shyly peepin' through a golden curl
At a tiny bundle, such a funny bundle
Was a tiny, little baby girl.
Came to town that mornin', as the day was dawnin'
Mother thought t'would fill his heart with joy
But he shook his little head and to his Mammy said
"Gee I wish that you had bought a boy"
Can't you take it back and change it for another?
I don't want no little sister don't you see
'Cos I'd rather have a little baby brother
Who could play a game of ball with me.
For it ain't no fun to play with dolls and such things
A girl you know could never fix a toy
So I'll tell you what to do, if it's just the same with you
Can't you take it back and change it for a boy?
If slide #1 is the slide showing the sheet music this set of 15 magic lantern slides is complete.

Probably the first slide (#2) replaced a missing or broken slide in the past, because of the different colours of clothing and carpet. 

Kenilworth is a town and civil parish in Warwickshire, England, in the neighbourhood of Coventry and Warwick and 140 km north-west of London. The town is noted for the extensive ruins of Kenilworth Castle and was the background for Walter Scott's roman Kenilworth (1821).

The novel Kenilworth centres on the secret marriage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Amy Robsart. They both passionately love each other, but Robert is driven by ambition. He is Queen Elisabeth's favourite, and only by keeping his marriage to Amy secret can he hope to rise to the height of power that he desires. Finally the Queen discovers the truth, to the shame of Robert. The disclosure has come too late, for Amy has been murdered by the Earl's even more ambitious steward, Varney.

(right: Kenilworth Castle, general view, slide 8,3 x 8,3 cm)
1. Miles Gosling introduces Tresillian to the visitors assembled at the Black Bear Inn. 2. Tresillian's Interview with Amy at Cumnor Hall. 3. Wayland Smith's Cave.
4. Varney pleads Leicester's cause, and Leicester's suspicion of his fidelity. 5. Leicester's Banquet to Elizabeth. 6. Elizabeth's Interview with Amy.
7. Leicester's Visit to Amy. 8. The Murder of Amy. 9. Leicester's Castle, with Portraits of Amy and Leicester.
One slide from a different set of slides showing that the quality of the slide was largely determined by the artist who colored the slides. The left slide has much more richness of colors and shows many more details, such as the fire and the smoke in the fireplace.
Cottar's Saturday Night

A set of eight slides after Robert Burns' poem of the same name. Engravings by William Miller.
A "Cotter" (or "Cottar") in Burns's time was a poor peasant who was given the use of a Cot or Cottage by the property owner in exchange for labour as opposed to paying rent. This poem relates how the Cotter and his family take time to relax on a Saturday evening after their week's labour, knowing that Sunday is a day of rest.

This set is produced by G.W.W. (G.W. Wilson & Co.)  A similar set made by York & Son contains nine slides with Burns' portrait as slide #1. The captions below are taken from the York set.

1. The miry beasts retreating frae the plough 2. The toilworn Cotter frae his labour goes
3. At length his lonely cot appears in view 4. The lisping infant prattling on his knee
5. Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown 6. But hark! a rap comes gently to the door
7. O happy love! where love like this is found
8. The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face

This slide comes from the set 'Life of Robert Burns' and is entitled 'Tam O'Shanter Inn, High St. Ayr.'.
Tam o' Shanter

Another set of magic lantern slides after a wonderful epic poem in which Burns paints a vivid picture of the drinking classes in the old Scotch town of Ayr in the late 18th century. Engravings by William Miller.
Unfortunately slide #4 is missing.
1. Nursing her wrath to keep it warm 2. The Soutar tauld his queerest stories
Unfortunately slide #4 of this set is missing.
3. Nae man can tether time or tide, / The hour approaches Tam maun ride 4. And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight
5. And scarcely had he Maggie rallied, / When out the hellish legion sallied 6. Ae spring brought off her master hale, / But left behind her ain grey tail
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Last update: 30-06-2023.
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