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Lantern Slides

Constance McCabe

Lantern slides are positive transparent photographs made on glass and viewed with the aid of a “magic lantern,” the predecessor of the slide projector. Lantern slide plates were commercially manufactured by sensitizing a sheet of glass with a silver gelatin emulsion. The plate was then exposed to a negative and processed, resulting in a positive transparent image with exceptional detail and a rich tonal range. Lantern slides were used for home entertainment and public lectures, and they were displayed in photographic exhibitions.

Alfred Stieglitz made lantern slides throughout the 1890s. He published numerous articles on how to create more effective lantern slides and he frequently exhibited them at camera clubs and in photographic exhibitions. There are no examples in the Key Set.