The Regalia Catalogue
Catalogues published in the early 1900s by regalia manufacturers included product advertisements for different types of magic lanterns and slides. Companies like Henderson-Ames, M.C. Lilley and Ihling Bros. often marketed lodge-specific magic lanterns and slides to Masonic and fraternal groups. Products were sometimes manufactured by leading optical supply firms or in-house by the regalia company. Some regalia manufacturers had entire departments dedicated to magic lanterns as late as the 1920s.
Several different types of lanterns and slides were produced for lodges to use for instructional purposes. M.C. Lilley manufactured the “Lilley Standard Magic Lantern…the most complete magic lantern for society use,” while other society lantern models like the “Columbus,” “Batchelor,”and “Imperial” boasted a sharp, clear picture eight to ten feet in diameter from a distance of up to 18 feet. Lodges and groups could purchase a lantern, muslin screen, and glass slides from one catalogue.
The marketed lodge lanterns and slides were promoted as being “universally furnished for Masonic degrees and easily arranged by numbers before lectures and able to be projected consecutively.” According to an 1896 M.C. Lilley catalogue, a lodge could purchase a lantern for $30 to $70 and lantern slides for $2 each.