This engraving of a magic lantern show is from 'La Nature' (vol 1, 1881), and is signed 'Smeeton Tilly'. The image being projected shows a castle at night. Magic lantern shows began towards the end of the 17th century but only became more widespread 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 disolving images on the screen.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library