You may adore the snazzy Flickr, iStock and Getty presentation images that make your slides so beautiful. But it’s really the Magic Lantern you should be thanking. Not only did the magic lantern mark the invention of the slide show, but also it led to the creation of a vast stock of free and very unique slide images waiting for you to explore.
Magic lantern slide images have a singular, soft appeal with a distinctive depth that holds your attention. And most are historical black and whites so you quickly appreciate how they can add emotion and mood to your presentations.
This list provides links to online libraries where truly surprising magic lantern presentation images can be found. Because they tend to be old, they are largely in the public domain, so most are free for you to use:
Top 5 Collections of Lantern Slide Images
A Painless History of Lantern Presentation Images
The Magic Lantern revolutionized the delivery of presentation images by using light to project on the wall transparent images that were developed on glass slides. This turned out to be a great alternative to the existing paper method, particularly in sharing presentation images with larger groups. This served the early magic lantern entrepreneurs well as they sought to deliver entertaining slide shows that would bring in the crowds and make them a lot of money – and it worked!
Amazingly, Magic Lantern slide images were popular from the time of their invention in 1849 until their decline in the 1950s – which was plenty of time for a huge stock of presentation images to be created. Because the images were placed on glass they survived longer than their paper brethren, and because they were expensive people tended to take good care of them. And in case you were wondering, it was the 2×2 slide and 35mm film that led to the demise of magic lantern slide images.