The Museum of American Magic Lantern Shows
This virtual museum brings to life the way American magic lantern shows influenced every facet of the nation’s culture-from the 1850s to the 1930s. The magic lantern, or “stereopticon,” was the first projector, and a forerunner of the movies and cinema. Millions of people a year saw magic lantern shows and illustrated lectures in theaters, Lyceum halls, Chautauqua tents, fraternal societies, churches, and their own homes. In this museum you’ll see lantern broadsides, ads, and slides like those in the theater above, plus 20+ related videos—all from the shows that helped mold a nation. To enter the museum, click a ticket below.