Magic Lantern

Chuffed to Bits!

Here is another slide from the Express trains series.

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The introduction to the lecture runs as follows;

A story is told about an engine-driver who had no liking for the science of aeroplaning. “Talk about flying,” he said, “why, when I was out west on the Organae and Arrogant twenty years back, we just flew over the road, and sometimes our speed led to trouble. There was that time, for instance, when I tried to get level with Abe Smith. Abe always turned out to at Alicanda whenever I was running through and jeer at me. One day as I was approaching the station I saw him standing there as usual, I leaned over the side, intending to let Abe feel the weight of my fist in passing; but he saw it coming and dodged, and a big boss – Vice-President, I think – standing at Strangville, twelve miles further on, caught it instead.” The man who told this story was, of course, an American. English drivers never tell stories about their achievements, but in the matter of running at high speed many of them have little to learn from abroad.

Nothing like a bit of turn of the century banter and bravado stories, even if it is undermined by some old fashioned British anti-yank snobbery.

Like Me, in less than perfect condition.

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Here is another story from the Arabian Nights, this time the less popular (at least in panto terms) of Sinbad the Sailor. Although in this case the slides seem to have been a victim of their own success. The muddy ring in the back of the image is not a mist or sludge, but rather damage from prolonged exposure to the heat of the lamp. Unfortunately all the slides in this series have suffered in the same way and are in no condition to compete with Harryhausen’s versions of the story anymore but are still interesting in their own right, if only as a curio to hear what was once a very popular story.

Panto time!

Here is a wonderful image from one of the most well preserved slide sets I own.

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This is actually from Aladdin and in this image the genie (not a pleasant, blue, family friendly, Robin Williams) carries Aladdin through the air. There is a text to be recited to accompany this image, as is usually with story telling. It reads as follows;

Aladdin carried to Africa by the Genie – Aladdin rubbed the ring, and then commanded the genie of the ring to restore the palace, but this he said he could not do, that was in the power only of the genie of the lamp; all he could do was to take Aladdin to the place where the palace had been removed to, and this he quickly did.

As the most astute of you will have realised by now, that grammar of this was highly suspect. But who cares when the illustrations are so beautiful!

The Miraculous Moving Image!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.

We are pleased to preview for you an image from the menagerie of her majesty, Queen Victoria. As you will see, we have one of the yeomen of the guard presenting one of her animals.

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But what is this?

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By the miracle of the magic lantern and the moving image the picture has changed! How is this accomplished? What strange magic is this? Well, you must wait and find out dear reader. For that is not the only miracle (or the only animals for that matter) that the magic lantern may produce!