German magic lantern, early 20th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This small magic lantern is made of tin; many were produced in Nuremberg, Germany, by a number of manufacturers in the early years of the 20th century. Magic lantern shows began towards the end of the 17th century but only became widespread in the 19th century with the improvement of 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.