4. Variety Show Covers the World 2017-06-14T18:40:23+00:00

4. Early Shows

 Magic Lantern History-The Variety Show

Funk and Putnam presented an Instructive and Amusing Exhibit, in the 1880s.  This show combined different subjects—astronomy, Holy Writ, humor, etc.—a common format in early magic lantern history.

Funk and Putnam also promise a wide variety of slide types—Dissolving Views (one image changing to another), Astronomical Diagrams, Moving Panoramic Views (long slides that move in front of the lens), Comics, and Artificial Fireworks (slides of dramatic changing patterns). In addition Funk and Putnam offered Joseph Boggs Beale’s The Drunkard’s Daughter, a sad tale of the effects of drinking.

Beale, America’s foremost lantern illustrator, created over 250 sets of slides including several temperance stories, but such temperance sets were rare in America.  Instead Beale and his producer C. W. Briggs, concentrated on bringing popular American and World literature to the screen in over 770 lantern illustrations on literary subjects.

Archival Notes

PageFlourish Next: Young “Gen. Mgr.” Gives Show