Woman and image of ship, c 1895.
3 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 31cm

Woman and image of ship, c 1895.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Victorian magic lantern slide - 'The Story of A Crime', 'a moral tale of a woman, Margaret Bell, who is driven to drink, prison, and ultimately her death, by personal misfortune. A woman is sitting on a chair, leaning her elbows on a table. She is staring at an image on the wall; a ship sailing on the sea at night, with a full moon behind it. 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 dissolving images on the screen and, in the case of Phantasmagoria, an eerie, magical experience.

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