Join us on a road trip to the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the Magic Lantern! We have a limited number of seats to offer for our followers for a rare chance to visit to this privately-owned Texan treasure. We plan to meet at the museum on Saturday, February 28th at 1pm. Please email us at (admin at ercatx.org) to make your reservation! The museum is free!
We will NOT be providing transportation, though if you need a ride, please mention it in your email and we may be able to put you together with someone. If you DO have a means of getting there, please let us know if you’d be interested in giving a ride to a fellow voyager!
If all seats are taken, you will be put on a waiting list, and we will notify you if a space opens up.
After visiting the museum, we’ll all be going out to Tex-Mex!
Please email us no later than by Friday, 5pm.
Saturday, March 2nd
Magic Lantern Castle Museum
1419 Austin Highway
San Antonio, TX 78209 (map)
The Magic Lantern is the earliest form of slide projector. The first published image of the device appeared in Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae, by Athanasius Kircher in the late 1600’s. Images were painted on glass and projected on walls, cloth drapes, and, sometimes, on a wet cloth from behind the “screen”.
Naturally, to see images appear, either from a lantern, that heretofore was a light source only, or onto a screen, was “magical” in those early days.
With the advent of photography in the mid-1800’s, it became possible to produce black-and-white images on glass in greater numbers. Still, they had, for the most part, to be hand-tinted or painted until reliable color photographic processes became available much later. Some slides were made by applying decals or transfers to the glass.
Until movies came along, in the mid-to-late 1890’s, the magic lantern was the sole projection device available.
Though glass slides would indicate a still image, many innovations in magic lantern design and construction, as well as slide design (moving layers of glass images), allowed dissolving images, movement, and special effects.
Thus, the magic lantern became “the Father of motion pictures, and the Grandfather of television.”