The introduction of lantern slides in 1849, ten years after the invention of photography, allowed photographs to be viewed in an entirely new format. As a transparent slide projected onto a surface, the photograph could be seen, not only by individuals and small groups, but also by a substantial audience. This new larger scale expanded the utility of photography, changing it from an intimate medium to one that was appropriate to entertainment and educational purposes.
Invention and Early History
glass for children�s picture shows
The Langenheims envisioned their slides as forms of entertainment, charging a fee to watch their picture shows. (3. Layne) However, within a few years, lantern slides began to fulfill a variety of purposes. While entertainment remained an important function well into the twentieth century, lantern slides had the greatest impact on educational lectures, especially in visual disciplines. They played a vital role in the development of disciplines such as art and architectural history, making possible the detailed study of objects and sites from around the world. (4. Leighton, p.107-119)
Among the many unique slides found in the collection are Modern Art slides. Wellesley College was progressive in its day of teaching Modern Art before most college Art History departments did so. Thus making the slide collection enriched with a greater representation of art styles through time. The collection contains not only black and white glass slides but also color slides that had been shot by Wellesley Professor John Mc Andrews during summer sojourns.
Lantern Slides , Architecture, Modern,
Photography, Slide, Positive, Wellesley College