The Magic Lantern was invented in the 1600s and is the oldest form of slide projector. At the front of the box, a lens focuses the rays of light in a specific direction. There is a slide with a picture on it and the second lens is set in front of the slide and makes sure that a sharp version of the slide image appears on the screen.
The Magic Lantern was a popular tool for travelling showmen during the eighteenth century; they would walk from village to village, telling stories and bringing news about the wider world.
The oldest lantern slides were painted by hand onto pieces of glass set into a wooden frame, like the one in this picture which we have at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. At first, they were simply black images, but soon colour was added to make them more interesting.
We have these Magic Lantern slides displayed at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.
Can you tell which famous story these slides are telling?