The Magic Lantern
The magic lantern is alive and well. The Magic Lantern
Society (based in UK) has over 300 members worldwide. The
Society publishes an occasional Journal, (New Magic
Lantern Journal), and a regular quarterly Newsletter.
All-day meetings are held quarterly in Midlands,
London and West; attendance around 75 members. All
meetings include lectures on "dead" media, and live magic
lantern shows with original Victorian slides and
Occasional visits take place to other European
countries (e.g Turin, June 96, approx 50 members). An
international 3-Day Convention and exhibition is held
every three or four years. The last was in London, and
the next is scheduled for April 1997.
Books published by the Magic Lantern Society include:
'Dates and Sources = a contribution to the history of
projection and to cinematography' by Franz Paul Liesegang,
trans. & Ed. Hermann Hecht, MLS 1986. This updating of a
classic German history booklet includes numerous added
illustrations. It includes much on pre-cinema optical
devices and early film devices, as well as the magic
ISBN 0 9510441 0 9
'The Lantern Image = Iconography of the Magic Lantern
1420-1880' by David Robinson, MLS 1993. 300 illustrations
some colour; original engravings (mainly before 1880)
showing the lantern and its use.
ISBN 0 9510441 2 5
'Magic Images = the Art of Hand-Painted and
Photographic Lantern Slides' Ed. Dennis Crompton, David
Henry, Stephen Herbert, MLS 1990. Includes an invaluable
piece by John Barnes outlining the many different types
of mechanical slide, and suggesting how to catalogue and
document them. Also includes a transcript of 1840s
lanternist's manuscript notebook, giving full 'patter' of
a show of the period. Many colour illustrations.
ISBN 0 9510441 1 7
Many other books from many European sources are available
from the MLS. Contact:
61 Desford Rd,
Leicester LE9 9LG
for a listing.
He will also supply info on how to join MLS, if asked.
Stephen Herbert (firstname.lastname@example.org)