Motion of Venus magic lantern slide with revolving movement, 19th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This hand-painted magic lantern slide, three inches in diameter, uses revolving movement to show the motion of Venus. 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 light sources. The shows could range from simple didactic performances to sophisticated shows using double or triple lanterns to produce the appearance of moving and disolving images. Light would travel through the slide from the magic lantern apparatus, projecting the image.