Animated Magic Lantern Slides

Before the coming of cinema a lot of tricks were created to enliven the projected images. They were both simple and fanciful. Some of them are shown in this page.

Slipping panorama slide

This sort of slide shows a simple horizontal movement of image by means of a slipping painted glass over a fixed background.


Slipping slides

Slipping slides show an elementary animation of the image. The action is produced by quickly slipping a moving glass with black spots over a fixed painted one.











Lever slides

The moving glass is worked by one (or two) levers.







Fantoccini slides

Fantoccini slides (from Italian fantocci, little puppets) are mechanical slides with a silhouette made of jointed thin brass operated by one or more levers.

Here we have a couple of boxers. The size of this fantoccini slide is 10x18 cm.









Rackwork slides

These slides show an effect of movement by means of one or more revolving glasses.


The chromatrope, which shows on the screen a kaleidoscopic effect, was a very popular animated slide.


A magic lantern slide proving Earth's rotondity by means of a couple of ships sailing round the Globe (Newton & co., London).










Fantoccini slides

Dissolving View

Dissolving view effect requires two or more slides with images related to each other, projected by a couple of side by side magic lanterns. This special effect was well known before the coming of cinema, since the first decades of the 19th century.

On left: a dissolving view obtained by means of projecting three different slides. (more examples here)