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Lantern slides where originally made for use with the 17th century projectors known as magic lanterns.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.

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