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Dead medium: The Phantasmagoria; Pepper's Ghost
From: s-herbert@easynet.co.uk (Stephen Herbert)
Source(s): New Magic Lantern Journal Vol 8 no. 1 An extensive illustrated article on Robertson's predecessor Philidor (AKA Philipsthal) appears in the New Magic Lantern Journal Vol.8 No1. (published Nov 1996): author Mervyn Heard, (researcher on Victorian optical presentations, and magic lantern performer). Philidor was presenting Phantasmagoria shows some years before Robertson.

Several European lanternists are currently experimenting wih projection onto smoke, one of the favourite tricks of the phantasmagoria performers.

An article on using an original phantasmagoria lantern, by Thomas Weynants of Belgium (owner of an amazing mid-19th century wheeled phantasmagoria lantern with slides and animated skull puppet) will appear in a new book on the magic lantern to be published on the occasion of the 5th International Convention of the Magic Lantern Society in London in April 1997. This lantern has been demonstrated at various film and animation festivals in Europe in recent years. The effect of the skull puppet == rising from a coffin, and surveying the audience with drooping jaw == is quite unnerving.

In 1890 Professor Pepper wrote a book about his ghost == *The True History of the Ghost* == and this has been re-published in a facsimile edition (with a new illustrated introduction) by The Projection Box, November 1996. For more information:

http://www.wildnet.co.uk/ProjectionBox/

Stephen Herbert (s-herbert@easynet.co.uk)