Woman and boy by fireplace, 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. The woman by the fireplace is gesturing at the boy. The boy is standing, with one hand on the chair which has no back. 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.