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The Lantern Alphabet

This alphabetical glossary picks out some of the more common names, words and phrases used in the weird and wonderful world of the magic lantern.

You can browse the list by picking an initial letter from the table below.

For a more extensive list and much more detail, see the Society’s Encyclopaedia of the Magic Lantern.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
York and Son One of the most prolific British slide manufacturers, based in west London. The business was founded by Frederick York in the early 1870s, and continued until the 1900s when it was taken over by Newton. York’s main products were standard 3¼ inch square glass slides, especially photographic views for travel and other lecture subjects and life model slides for stories and recitations. After 1890 their slides are marked with a distinctive ‘Y and snake’ trade mark.
Zoetrope A 19th-century optical toy which uses a vertical cylinder that can be spun around a pivot. Paper strips showing a sequence of images are placed around inner surface of the cylinder. Looking through slits in the wall of the cylinder as it rotates gives an impression of animation to the images. A Zoetrope

A Zoetrope

Zoopraxiscope The name used by Eadweard Muybridge to describe his form of magic lantern which projected a moving image. A sequence of images were photographed or painted on a rotating glass disc, giving a limited impression of movement when shown on the screen.