19. Early Shows
Bamber — Dissolving Views & Flying Gods
Bamber’s Show offered a wide variety of lantern subject matter, including dissolving views. The variety format was typical of the 1880s. This broadside represents Bamber’s fifth tour; for a while he shared the stage with fellow lanternist D. S. Truman, from whom he split in 1880.
The image of Mercury on Bamber’s broadside represents a new “zoom dissolve” effect in which Mercury appeared to diminish in size as he flew into the distance. It was created with a series of ever-smaller Mercury images, interspersed with cloud effects to cover the dissolves.
Though dissolve effects lost some of their popularity over time, the diminishing figure continued to be popular in the religious area, especially in depictions of “The Flight of the Soul” after death, as in the series of slides shown. Click to see the dissolve effect. (Loads slowly.) Note how the positions of the figures change in each slide, and how more angels appear as the soul is welcomed into Heaven.