Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  A Victorian picture show  

The Victorians came up with a lot of new inventions, but they didn't get as far as cinema or television. The earliest attempts at showing Picture from early glass slidemoving pictures were being tried out by the 1880's, but even still pictures projected on to a wall or a screen were rare and exciting for most people.

The 'Magic Lantern' was an early kind of slide projector which was used to show black and white photographs which had been printed on square glass plates. These shows were the closest thing at the time to going to the cinema !

A 'magic lantern' picture
on glass showing one of
the Elan Valley dams being
built in 1901.
16th April
School diary entry

The picture shows from the magic lantern like the one seen hereMagic lantern projector would have been a special treat for children in school. This entry from the Llanidloes National School diary of 1894 reads:
"Magic Lantern Entertainment given to children on Friday evening - 'British Empire'. Scripture prizes were distributed by Vicar".

This show was of pictures of the 'British Empire' of the time, and probably included scenes of life in India, South Africa and other lands which were once ruled by Queen Victoria.

Back to Llanidloes schools menu


That's not magic !
Television is magic !
Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Llanidloes menu