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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Lantern Slide Collection
c. 1860-1942
 PR 70

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Cara McCormick; database migrated to Archivist Toolkit by Jennifer Gargiulo, 2016

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 06, 2016
Finding aid written in English.

Historical Note

Lantern slides are positive images on glass that were intended to be projected for viewing. In most cases, the emulsion is protected by a second piece of thin glass, and the unit is secured around all four edges with black paper tape. Many are individual, hand-painted works.

Lantern slides came into wide use in the United States after the 1860s. During the 1890s, magic lanterns were in high fashion as an extension of photography. Lantern slide shows, or the magic lantern, became popular home entertainment and served as an accompaniment to speakers on the lecture circuit. Lantern slides reached their popularity about 1900 and continued to be widely used until the 1930s, when they were gradually replaced by the more convenient 35-mm slides.