Add a Comment to this Note (list members only)
Dead medium: the Magic Lantern
From: (Stephen Herbert)

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:

John Finney,
61 Desford Rd,
Newbold Verdon,
Leicester LE9 9LG

for a listing.

He will also supply info on how to join MLS, if asked.

Stephen Herbert (