A suitor falling into a barrel of water, mid 19th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Magic lantern slide of a man who has fallen into a huge barrel full of water. He is holding a guitar in his hand and there is a a smiling woman looking out of the window. Another slide shows him balancing on the barrel as he serenades the woman. 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.