Eric's Victorian Magic Lantern Website

Magic Lantern home Canadian Pacific Egypt Gabriel Grub Paris 1900 Weekly Telegraph Animations
Family UK Europe International Multiple slides Multiple originals Village Blacksmith Eric's home Miscellaneous
Eric's home

The Victorian Magic Lantern
[Eric and his lanterns were seen in "The Protestant Revolution" on BBC4]


I have two Victorian magic lanterns, and a large collection of slides. Magic lantern shows have been provided for a variety of customers, from Nottingham Castle museum to local community organisations. Both lanterns have been converted to electric lighting instead of acetylene.

Victorian magic lantern shows

The Victorians used magic lanterns for entertainment, education, and moral teaching. I have slides of all three types.

The show would start with a series of "Welcome" slides.

The better class of shows would involve two or three lanterns, using a technique for fading one slide on top of another.


The slides were either 3.25 square glass slides displayed using a carrier, or made from glass built permanently into a wooden frame. The image on the glass would be protected by a second sheet of glass. Some slides are completely hand painted; others are photographically reproduced and then possibly hand-tinted.

Suez Canal

This shows the Suez canal at Port Said, a photograph taken in 1890 to 1910, hand tinted (there are rarely clouds like that at Port Said!).

Tahrir Square, Cairo

Cairo around 1910.

Paris 1900

We have a whole set of the Paris exhibition of 1900.

Fading between slides

We have several examples of such slides on the site.

Moving slides

The larger wood frame mounted slides include many with more than one piece of glass, controlled by levers, so that moving images can be obtained. Sometimes one piece slides relative to another, sometimes one rotates. Some have three separate pieces of glass. Ideas on how to reproduce these on the web would be appreciated.

Lastly I have some complex mechanical dynamic slides representing the start of the cinema, in which repeated slowly changing images are projected.

I was a member of the Magic Lantern Society. It now has a web site. You will find useful information there.

See also the Dutch Magic Lantern Site 'de Luikerwaal' (Dutch/English)

Copyright © in all content is held by Eric Foxley [e-mail]. Updated Tue 05-Oct-2021 15:27 . Visits Site Meter
Eric runs the Dunkirk Arts Centre and manages web sites for Chaturangan, Foresters, Greenwood, Grant Publisher and Freds Folks.