Treasures of pre-cinema history 

The magic lantern


Magic lanterns from Fürth in Bavaria

Mysterious magic lanterns of a long forgotten production town. Magic lanterns were made in Fürth from 1791 until the 1860s.

Mysterious magic lantern with unknown function

Unusual magic lantern with unknown slide mechanism. A shutter can be manually open and closed at the lower end of the vertical picture insert (28 x 3 mm).

c. 1890/1910
Golden lithographed metal sheet
Length: 190 mm, Width: 120 mm, Height: 240 mm

Early tinplate magic lanterns from Nürnberg

This type of magic lantern (in German called Weißblechlaterne) was produced in a number of workshops in Nuremberg from around 1780 to around 1870.

Lorenz Neussner, Nürnberg

It is likely that the Nuremberg optician Lorenz Neussner made tinplate lanterns in the second half of the 1850s before taking up the manufacture of "modern" magic lanterns around 1860/61, probably inspired by the successful factory of Heinrich Denecke. Lorenz Neussner died in 1868, his son Ludwig then took over the workshop and continued the production of magic lanterns until the mid-1870s.

Magic lanterns by Heinrich Denecke, Nürnberg

Active c. 1859 - 1875. Heinrich Denecke was the pioneer of the industrial production of magic lanterns in large quantities in Nuremberg. The company was the pattern for a new generation of successful factories such as Ernst Plank and Jean Schoenner.

Johann Caspar Rosenbauer, Nürnberg

Active 1848 - c. 1875

Fleischmann & Bloedel Nachf., J. Berlin, Fürth in Bayern

"F&B" Salomon Fleischmann & Jean Bloedel, Fürth i. B. & Sonneberg. "J.B" Joseph Berlin. Active 1873-1926 (magic lanterns c. 1905 - 1926).

Albert Klaucke, Nürnberg

A small family workshop in Nürnberg, operated from c. 1890 till c. 1920.Klaucke originally came from Krossen an der Oder. Klaucke worked alone in the small sheet metal workshop. Two young female workers painted the tin toys under the attic.

Wilhelm (Willy) Hagedorn, Berlin

The beginnings of the "Nebelbilderfabrik" (dissolving view lanterns) of the plumber Wilhelm (Willi) Hagedorn lies in the dark. Presumably, Hagedorn took over the workshop of a certain Mr. Bengen around 1875 and immediately began manufacturing dissolving view (biunial-) lanterns and -slides in his "factory". Around 1883 Hagedorn founded an institute for glass paintings (Institut für Glasmalerei). The production of magic lanterns and pictures probably ended with the beginning of the First World War. The company itself continues to manufacture stage lights into the 1960s.

C. Eckenrath, Berlin

C. Eckenrath's business was founded around 1856 as Stereoscope Trade & Factory and continued under different owners until around 1911. From 1868 at the latest, magic lanterns and -slides from the Nuremberg manufacturer Heinrich Denecke (replaced by Jean Schoenner after the business of Denecke closed in c. 1874) were included in the product range. The purchase of Nuremberg magic lanterns was replaced around 1878 by the company's own production, which was maintained until the closure of the business around 1911.