Lever mechanism magic lantern slide, 19th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This lever mechanism magic lantern slide is hand-painted and depicts a man wearing a colourful costume with a hat. The man has a moustache and is pointing upwards with each hand. When the lever is pulled his legs move up and down. Magic lantern shows began towards the end of the 17th century but only became more popular towards the end of the 19th century with improvements in lamp sources. The shows could range from didactic presentations (a favourite topic was the demon drink) to sophisticated shows using double or triple lanterns to produce moving and disolving images.