Combined lever and rotary mechanism magic lantern slide, 19th century.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This combined lever and rotary mechanism magic lantern slide is hand-painted and depicts a river at sunset, with figures walking and a windmill on its banks. Magic lantern shows began towards the end of the 17th century but only became more 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 images on the screen.