Evolution of Artistry

After the photographic processes for slide production improved, some of the first lantern slides were made by photographing existing etchings and printing and transferring them onto glass. This process was adapted from the technique of transferring printed pictures to pottery. However, the results were often dissapointing; many of the images were not clear when projected as a larger illustration.

Manufacturers began overpainting light prints of images in an attempt to make clearer projected pictures. This process slowly evolved into artists’ hand painting original work onto glass slides and images. Hand-painted lantern slides ranged from broadly painted illustrations for lower illuminated lanterns, such as oil lamps, to extremely detailed transparent paintings for limelight, multiple projection, and dissolving view lanterns.

How Jones Became a Mason, 1895-1925

The above slides are examples of the same series produced by two different manufacturers, the A.D Handy Stereotpticon and Supply Co. and T.H. McAllister Company. Active in the late 1800s and early 1900s, both companies were located in New York. These slides illustrate some of the subtle differences in each company's manufacturing process. Illustrator Joseph Boggs Beale (1841-1926) created the original series in 1891 and 1905.