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Egypt in the Early 1900s: Rare Vintage Lantern Slides

What sunset on the Nile has to do with landmark innovation in photographic imaging.

The lantern slide — a transparent image on glass that was magnified and projected onto a surface using a sciopticon “magic lantern” — came of age shortly after it was first introduced by Philadelphia daguerreotypists William and Frederick Langenheim in 1849. The lantern slide greatly broadened the audience for photography, then still a young art, introducing it into academia and the cultural institutions of the day by allowing teachers and museum curators to illustrate their lectures and presentations with projected images.

We’ve seen an heard a lot about Egypt this year, in light of the recent political turmoil. We’ve even had some remix fun with it. (In a no-laughing-matter kind of way, of course.) But beneath what has turned into a highly politicized media talking point lies a remarkable, dignified country full of beauty and tradition. Much like last week’s rare and fascinating look at vintage Japan aimed to rekindle the respect for and fascination with a culture consumed by the recent tragedy and subsequent media coverage, today’s look at these breathtaking vintage lantern slides from Egypt is very much an invitation to take a look beyond the veil of immediacy and revel in the inherent beauty of this land, courtesy of Brooklyn Museum’s fantastic archival lantern slide collection.

Egypt: Partly submerged palms above Nile dam, Upper Egypt
Copyright, 1908, by Stereo-Travel Co. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Arab water-carrier girls
Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Policeman, Cairo
Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection
Egypt: Camels, desert.
Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Donkey and Cart, Kasr-en-Nil
T. H. McAllister, Manufacturing Optician. 49 Nassau Street, New York. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Arab porters, Alexandria
Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Donkey Boy, Cairo
This slide colored by Joseph Hawkes. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Buffalo Market, Gizeh
T. H. McAllister, Manufacturing Optician. 49 Nassau Street, New York. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Arabian Horse and Sais, Cairo
This slide colored by Joseph Hawkes. Hooper. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Pyramids of Dashur from Sakkara
T. H. McAllister, Manufacturing Optician. 49 Nassau Street. Hooper. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Arabic Window and Native Bazaar, Cair
T. H. McAllister, Manufacturing Optician. 49 Nassau Street. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Pompey’s Pillar, Alexandria
T. H. McAllister, Manufacturing Optician. 49 Nassau Street. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Egypt: Sunset on the Nile
Brooklyn Museum Archives

For another perspective-shift on this fascinating culture, don’t forget last week’s Cultural Connectives — an inspired effort to better understand Arab culture through typography.


Published May 23, 2011

https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/05/23/egypt-vintage-lantern-slides/

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