Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Magic Lantern





7.  Edward John Wall, supposed author.
The Magic Lantern: Its Construction and Use. 2nd edition.
London: Perken, Son, & Rayment, ca. 1890.

Perken, Son, & Rayment were retailers of optical, photographic, and scientific instruments, including opera glasses, electric bells, microscopes, and specific gravity instruments. The catalogue at the end of the book shown here offered a wide range of mechanical slides that required a phantasmagoric magic lantern with its distinctive crooked chimney. The Optimus model is shown on the left. With this projector, it was possible to show moving images with rackwork slides or kaleidoscopic special effects with chromatrope slides. Notice that one of the most expensive slides is of a man swallowing rats. There is also one of a dancing skeleton, which is similar to subjects projected in number 4, the first representation of a magic lantern. The children in number 13 are projecting a chromatrope slide.