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A Magic Lantern

A History Of The Magic Lantern - Page 7

Robertson "stole the show"

The Big First Night

Robertson was not the inventor of the Phantasmagoria show. Mervyn Heard (NMLJ Vol 8 No1) explained how Robertson "stole" the idea from a German Paul "Philidor" or Paul de Philipsthal. In Paris, Philipsthal gave advertised shows, of spirits, ghosts and grand wizards on 21 January 1793........within weeks of the execution of Louis XVI.
He later came to London and opened an exhibition on Monday 5th October 1801 at the Lyceum in the Strand. Philipsthal offered Phantasmagoria, and a museum of optical and mechanical curiosities, including automata.
Poster for Phantasmagoria
Philipstal's Phantasmagoria
Title page of The Portfolio
Title page of The Portfolio showing Philipsthal's 'Red Woman of Berlin effect'
February 10th 1825

 

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