The Magic Lantern - A Victorian Entertainment

In Victorian times, the magic lantern was at its peak as a popular form of entertainment. If you're visiting Norfolk, you can still sometimes catch presentations of the Randall-Salter lantern show. Schoolteacher Alfred Salter collected the slides on behalf of the local Band of Hope, the temperance society for young people. Robert Randall, and later his son Harold Randall, would present the slides whilst Alfred Salter gave the readings.

Next show:
Venue TBA, Kings Lynn
10th June 2016

[Lantern slide catalogue]

[A triunial lantern]

In the 19th century, the shows would sometimes be given with a triple or triunial lantern, allowing all sorts of special effects. Today the shows are generally given with a biunial or double lantern. Dissolving views, slipping slides, firework effects, local views and slides from around the world are all included in the show. But just in case you can't get to the show, you can see some of the slides on these pages. In fact, the movement on your computer screen produced by an animated GIF is very similar to the effect produced by the lanternist by using two pieces of glass!

Let's start on this page with a short set of slides that don't really require a commentary - the story of the 'Dogs and the Butcher'. There'll be lots more slides as we have time to add pages.

If you're a collector of lantern epherema, or just generally interested in the subject, you'll want more information on the Magic Lantern Society.

[Dogs and butcher]

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