Yosemite Lantern Slides, circa 1900

 

Lantern slides where originally made for use with the 17th century projectors known as magic lanterns. The earliest slides were colorful, hand-painted images on glass strips, projected by itinerant showmen to amuse an audience of children. Later slides – like these of Yosemite – are square, hand-tinted photographs printed on glass and packaged as a series; these were often used to illustrate a travelogue, lecture or sermon.

Learn more about Lantern Slides