Interior of an ornate building, mid 19th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Magic lantern slide of the interior of a vast, extremely ornate building, posibly an oriental palace or temple. The size of the building makes the people inside appear tiny. Magic lantern shows began towards the end of the 17th century but only became more widespread and popular in the 19th century with the improvement in lamp sources. The shows could range from simple didactic presentations (a favourite topic was the demon drink) to sophisticated shows using double or triple lanterns to produce moving and disolving images on the screen and, in the case of Phantasmagoria, an eerie, magical experience.