The magic lantern, or lanterna magica from Latin, is an early type of image projector developed in the 17th century and commonly used for entertainment purposes. For those interested, if you want to know more this book from Cinema Museum in Girona is really good. You can read it online and also download it. Enjoy!
Illustrated catalogue of magic lanterns, slides and apparatus: from the smallest Toy lanterns and Slides to the most elaborate Professional Apparatus, edited in 1900 by J. Theobald & Company.
The magic lantern consisted of pictures painted, printed or produced photographically on transparent plates (usually made of glass), one or more lenses, and a light source. It became very popular and was used in a wide range of situations: from being a small toy for children to more complex versions used for educational purposes. The magic lantern os the first example fo tool for visual storytelling, and is the ancestor of moving images projectors.