Magic Lanterns and Early Slide Shows

Categories:Blog Post, Photographs

Englishman Samuel Pepys commented in his diary 1n 1666 of a Mr Reeves demonstrating a “lanthorn that shows tricks”, which so impressed him that he purchased it. Early magic lantern projectors were also described by the Jesuit scientist Athanasius Kircher in 1671.

This was about 200 years before the first photographs were made and so the images were hand painted onto glass.

The light source was firstly a yellow smoky oil lamp. Gradually optics, light sources and reflectors were improved resulting in sharper brighter images.

Who would have thought the ubiquitous slide show had such a long history.