VICTORIAN MAGIC LANTERN SHOWS
INTRODUCTION

The magic lantern, an early form of slide projector, has been entertaining and, latterly, informing children and adults for over 300 years.

Travelling magic lantern showmen toured towns and villages in Europe putting on shows in taverns and castles. By the early 1800s shows were being given in theatres and by the end of the century magic lantern shows could be seen in church halls, schools, town and village halls, and in the home.

for

Schools

Educational Groups

and other organisations

presented by

Robin Lidster

For about twenty years Robin Lidster has been giving Magic Lantern Shows, following in the 19th century traditions, using a magic lantern which is over 100 years old, together with a selection from over 1200 original glass slides which include many aspects of the local and Natural History of the Yorkshire coast and dating from about 1880 to 1950.
"THE MAGIC, MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES"

Mechanical magic lantern slides provide some of the most spectacular effects to be seen with the aid of the magic lantern. These include examples of some of the earliest forms of moving image on screen giving an insight into the origins of film and television. Some of the simplest slides show comic 'before and after' effects, but the most spectacular are the chromotropes which produce kaleidoscope effects.

MAGIC LANTERN SHOWS FOR SCHOOLS
Many of the magic lantern shows presented by Robin Lidster are for visiting school parties which stay at Filey, Whitby, Scarborough and Robin Hood's Bay. They illustrate various aspects of the local history, geography and marine life of this area in order to provide, as the curriculum demands, a contrast with the schools' home town.
With a very large collection of slides illustrating this area shows can be tailor-made to suit the requirements of teachers. The subjects include lifeboats and shipwrecks, coastal erosion, village life and street scenes, fishing and fishermen with their boats and catches, marine and seashore life, railways and other transport, and many more.
One set of slides shows 'little monsters' on the beach including - starfish, crabs, an octopus, and a huge stranded whale.

Another set of slides which has proved very popular with present day school children shows a visiting school party on the beach 70 years ago.

These slides provide a marvellous contrast to their present-day school visits showing where they stayed, their outdoor activities, including barrel walking and collecting sea creatures
Children are encouraged to ask, and answer questions, during the shows providing valuable feedback for the teachers.
To end each show, and to demonstrate some of the 'magic' of the magic lantern, the shows finish with a few of the early mechanical, animated, slides. The impact of these slides on the children is quite remarkable - they find them fascinating and entertaining. The effects produced by the slides on a large screen has to be seen to be believed.
In addition to the full-size magic lantern, which is used for the shows, a contemporary Victorian child's magic lantern can also be displayed - one of the most sought-after toys of the period.
THE MAGIC OF THE MAGIC LANTERN

Mechanical slides give a fascinating insight into the early origins of film and TV

These slides provide examples of the earliest form of moving image on screen and create a variety of effects including comic 'before and after' scenes. The most spectacular slides are the chromotropes which produce a continually changing 'kaleidoscope' effect in a variety of different patterns and striking colours. For adults and children these are very memorable images, all the more remarkable for being made long before film or television was invented -

QUITE MAGICAL!

A VARIETY OF SHOWS

Robin Lidster provides Magic Lantern Shows and illustrated talks for other groups, organisations and private parties in addition to his school shows

With a collection of over 1200 magic lantern slides to choose from, and a collection of over 1000 35mm slides of old photographs, a variety of shows can be provided to suit different audiences.
SCARBOROUGH & WHITBY RAILWAY

A popular slide show illustrates the life and times of the Scarborough & Whitby Railway on its historical scenic coastal route.

SCARBOROUGH

Another talk illustrates Scarborough, once known as The Queen of Watering Places, with scenes of a bygone age - sailing fishing boats and steam trawlers in the harbour and a paddle steamer for the visitors; overdressed families and 'penny licks' and lemonade stalls on the beach; the splendour of the Spa and the oldest cliff tramway in the country; a goat cart on the beach and a parade of elephants through the streets - just a few of the many fascinating images of this historic seaside resort.

WHITBY

This historic fishing port and harbour was once a centre of shipbuilding and whaling - slides show the fishing fleet and a boat loaded almost to the gunnels with fish, above stands the magnificent ruin of Whitby Abbey. Other slides show the huddle of old buildings on the east side, the old swing bridge over the harbour, a variety of boats and activities round the harbourside, geologists hunting for fossils on the beach and a valiant ascent up the nearby Lythe Bank on a motor bike and sidecar. This selection ends with a beautifully hand-tinted slide of a sunset over the harbour entrance.

FILEY

'From fishing village to seaside resort' is the title of one of our shows which illustrates the development of this popular family holiday location. The images are taken from contemporary sources and from old picture postcards and illustrate how Filey changed in the short space of 100 years.

Bathing machines - in the days of modesty on the beach!
Other talks illustrate railway posters, local villages on old picture postcards, Robin Hood's Bay, and even Hong Kong. A selection of some of the images from these shows appears below -
Entertainment of a bygone age
The village band
Before global warming?
Deep and crisp and...
The games we used to play
In case of accidents...
High tide at Bay
Having a whale of a time!
The golden age of the railway poster
LIST OF SHOWS AND TALKS

by Robin Lidster

I can provide a variety of shows to suit different audiences. The shows have been seen and enjoyed by local history societies, Women's Institutes, Rotary Clubs, men's groups, Young Country Women's Associations, senior citizens, railway societies, visiting school parties, vets, doctors, private parties and the general public. The titles of some of my shows are listed below but, with a very large collection of material, I can provide shows tailor-made to suit many different groups and organisations and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements. Having worked in museums for many years and written a number of books on the local history of the North Yorkshire coast, its transport and village life I can provide an entertaining and informative show -

ROBIN HOOD'S BAY AS IT WAS

an intimate portrait of this historic village

SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY & ROBIN HOOD'S BAY

contrasting images from the Yorkshire coast

IMAGES OF THE SEASIDE 1880 - 1920

work and play on the Yorkshire coast

LIFEBOATS AND SHIPWRECK

stories of disaster and bravery on the rocky coast

LITTLE MONSTERS ON THE BEACH

remarkable sea creatures and children on the beach

THE SCARBOROUGH & WHITBY RAILWAY

the life and times of this historic coastal railway

A CENTURY OF OLD PICTURE POSTCARDS

the variety, beauty and ingenuity of old postcards

A MAGIC LANTERN SPECTACULAR

comic, moving and colourful images from the 19th century

A VICTORIAN MAGIC LANTERN SHOW

a feast of photographic images from the Victorian period

TRANSPORT OF DELIGHT

by horse and train and boat and plane in bygone days

CONTACT DETAILS

For further information, or to discuss details, arrangements and charges, please e-mail

robin@magiclanternman.com

WANTED

In order to continue developing my shows I wish to purchase magic lantern slides relating to all aspects of the Yorkshire coast including views of Scarborough, Filey, Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay. I am also interested in slides showing children, trains and other forms of transport, sea creatures, fossils, shops and businesses, beach scenes and others.

I would also like to buy mechanical slides of all types including comic, moving image and chromotropes (kaleidoscope slides).

To create special effects on screen I am particularly keen to purchase a biunial magic lantern - a lantern with two identical projection lenses one above the other and which is capable of projecting two images at the same time.

If you have any material which you think may be of interest please e-mail me at -

buying@magiclanternman.com

PLEASE NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS IN THE EARLY STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT AND WILL BE ADDED TO AS TIME PERMITS - IF YOU WOULD LIKE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT

info@magiclanternman.com

...and finally - why magiclanternman?

Over the last twenty years I have given Magic Lantern Shows

to over 15,000 children and many of them now know me as

'The Magic Lantern Man'