A new process of making a positive image on a glass disk is announced by Langeheim, a transplanted American from Germany. Alongside his brother Frederic, William's work makes it possible for Plateau's Phenakistoscope, Stampfer's Stroboscope and Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope to receive photographs onto their disks with ease as well as the magic lantern. The machine is the Hyalotype and processed glass plate albumen-process slides.  

The Moisse Fantascope Showing Fantasmagoria Lens

In 1991, Thomas Weynants along with three other colleagues, made an amazing discovery in the Limousin region of France about 340km south of Paris.

Weynants found an optical treasure known as a Fantascope (left) in almost pristine condition. Clearly a fantasmagorie mobile lantern from the early 19th century, its origin and exact date of manufacture and original purchase have been difficult to determine.

This precious magic lantern instrument of the fantasmagoria was found in the castle Château de Moisse near the village of Bétête and has been named by Mr. Weynants as the Moisse Fantascope.

Also found were three different lenses; a Fantasmagoria lens, a Megascope lens, and a Dissolving View lens-set (a double lens with individual cat-eye accessories). Each of the individual lenses is mounted on wooden board attachments for easy exchange.

Along with the lenses where found twenty-three beautifully hand painted lantern slides. As Weynants points out, "great historic figures of the time were transformed into fantasmagoria subjects via these handpainted slides, for example two portraits of Bonaparte. Such historically important figures illustrate another theme in the fantasmagoria. Other examples are portraits of Marat, Robbespierre, Louis XVI, Danton, etc., which where projected onto "smoke curtains” with the help of a hidden lantern . . . . a further 4 hand-painted slides were inspired by Greek Mythology, religion and gods (other important inspirational sources for the fantasmagoria). for example, Hero & Leandre, Hébé, l’Education d’Achille, l’Enlevement de Dejanire."

A still further spectacular projection accessory found at the Château was an animated marionette 'skeleton' shown opening his tomb! For a complete visually guided tour of this incredible find we encourage a visit to Thomas Weynants wonderful website Phantasmagoria Introduction - The Moisse Fantascope Discovery in twelve parts. Mr. Weynants has made his discovery available to the Passion Cinema Exhibition at the Paris Filmmuseum where it is now on extended loan.

The Moisse Fantascope with fantasmagoria lens in place Images Courtesy The Thomas Weynants Collection
Below we see the Moisse Fantascope fitted with each set of lens attachments (dissolving view / dissolving view lens and disc / megascope lens).
The Moisse Fantascope  Showing Dissolving Lenses
The Moisse Fantascope  Showing Dissolving Lenses With Disc
The Moisse Fantascope Showing Megascope Lens
The Moisse Fantascope with dissolving view lenses attached showing the cat-eyes (above-left)
The Moisse Fantascope with dissolving view lenses and disc attachment (above-centre)
The Moisse Fantascope with megascope lens attachment (above-right)

On the subject of who built this Fantascope, the 'probable' short list would include Lerebours, Dubosq, Molteni or Chevalier. There are no apparent identifying features on the instrument to aid in this mystery. It does however have a mechanical autofocus mechanism connected from the lens down to the wheels. This feature allowed the lanternist to 'dolly' forward or backward while keeping images in sharp continuous focus.

Weynants expands on this auto-focus technique by stating, "In order to achieve this the fantasmagoria lens is used, and connected to the wheel operated mechanism wich regulates the distance between the movable front lens and the fixed condenser. This results in a focused image on the screen regardless of the size of the projected devil or distance between the fantascope and the screen. By increasing the distance between screen and fantascope during complete darkness, the result is the illusion of an approaching devil."

"The different parts of the mechanical autofocus system and how it is synchronized with the front optical element of the Phantasmagoria lens, eventually leading to the wheels. Because the system regulates the focus, the result in total darkness is a projected zoom-effect. For this application (the projection of opaque objects) the Megascope lens is mounted on the Fantascope. With this adaptation the name of the apparatus simply changes into Megascope (better known as an Episcope). The idea for this peculiar technique and fantasmagoria application was inspired by Jacques Alexandre César Charles who originally used the Megascope for scientific purposes during lectures."

Leonard Euler in 1756 (SEE EULER 1756) was the first to reference the use of the Megascope in conjunction with the Fantascope.

Four of the twenty three beautifully hand-painted Fantasmagoria lanternslides (below) found with the Fantascope at the Château de Moisse
A Hand Painted Lantern Slide 'Hébé' Found With The Moisse Fantascope
A Hand Painted Lantern Slide 'Diable' Found With The Moisse Fantascope
A Hand Painted Lantern Slide 'The Bleeding Nun' Found With The Moisse Fantascope
A Hand Painted Lantern Slide 'Napoleon' Found With The Moisse Fantascope
Diable (Devil)
La Nonne Sanglante (The bleeding Nun)

The term Phantasmagoria comes to us from the middle English noun 'fantasme' (the Anglo-French is 'fantosme' or 'fantasme') and the Latin 'phantasma', meaning "to present to the mind a product of fantasy". It also refers to a "delusive appearance" and "a figment of the imagination" or a "mental representation of a real object".

Subjects within Fantasmagoria shows fell under ghoulish or diabolic themes; witches, devils, ghosts and ghouls, the dead-come-to-life, phantoms, skeletons, life-in-the-graveyard, skulls, mythical Greek characters like Hébé and Hero, and figures (typically the heros) of the French Revolution. The purpose of the Phantasmagoria was to scare the audience to death. It can be considered the forerunner of today's horror movie.

Thomas Weynants' website A History of Early Visual & Popular Media not only has a wonderful history of pre-cinema and photography, but also a very in-depth description and history of the Phantasmagoria. His site Phantasmagoria Introduction - The Moisse Fantascope Discovery details the finding of the Moisse Fantascope including a fully illustrative blend which includes all the accessories and slides found with this marvelous discovery.

All Images Courtesy The Thomas Weynants Collection


Sir AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD (1817 - 1894)

An archaeologist, Layard excavates the remains of Babylon in 1850 and describes a rock-crystal find dating back to this period (the first lenses).

Layard shook the world a year earlier (1849) when he unearthed Nineveh.


An 1885 portrait of Layard (right) by Charles Vigor. Image source: British Museum

Sir Austen Henry Layard


  Announces an albumen paper process, which would end up being, used the world over for the next half century. This process of photographic prints on paper used albumen from the white of eggs which allowed a smoother finish on paper.  

Charles Wheatstone

Wheatstone improves on his Stereoscope and takes it to Paris for a showing. Stereoscopic photos are taken especially for it.
       Charles Wheatstone


In 1996, Tom Hardiman discovered a portion of The Grand Moving Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, (painted c.1850-1851), at the York Institute in Saco, Maine. Curator of the Institute, Hardiman stumbled upon two large sections of this very famous (in it's time) Moving Panorama. Found in the basement of the Institute, the Panorama in its original state would have been eight feet tall by approximately 900 feet long. This find is the only extant version of Pilgrim's Progress. It was thought lost for over a century.

The canvas has been restored at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was published in two parts, first in 1678 and then in 1684. This seventeenth-century allegory tells the story of the main character Christian, on his pilgrimage to his eternal reward, Heaven.

One Section Of The Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Entitled "They Beheld the Fate of the Apostle"
One Section Of The Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Entitled "The Land of Beulah"
One Section Of The Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Entitled "They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains" Scene  1
One Section Of The Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Entitled "They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains" Scene  2
They Beheld the Fate of the Apostle

The Land of Beulah

They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains 1

They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains 2

View A Larger Digitized Image Of These Paintings Joined Together Here  
These individual scenes from the two large sections discovered of The Grand Moving Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, include (from left to right); They Beheld the Fate of the Apostle (far left), Land of Beulah (centre-left), They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains sc.1(centre-right), and finally, They Arrive at the Delectable Mountains sc.2 (far right).

This particular Moving Panorama was close to two hours in length when viewed professionally and was accompanied, which most Panoramas were, by a lecturer who described the scenes, told the story, and acted more or less as a guide. Many also had music. Although this Panorama had been given to the Institute in October, 1896, it had slowly been forgotten for exactly 100 years. The canvases were found in a section of the basement. One of the sections found was approximately 500 feet long and the other, 400 feet.

Joseph Kyle and Jacob Dallas, members of National Academy of Design in New York City, are the names most often associated with The Grand Moving Panorama of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. However, many of the designs for the Panorama and the actual painting were done by the noted painters of the day; Frederic E. Church, J. F. Cropsey, and Daniel Huntington. These paintings hold more than forty scenes. Some are from twelve to thirty feet wide. Well-known figures from the Holy Scriptures are shown against beautiful landscape scenes as recorded in Bunyan's classic story. These shows can't help but remind us of the early work of David Wark Griffith, and Cecile B. Demille.

Panoramas as well as Moving Panoramas were given reviews by the newspapaers, as films are today.



With an exposure between 10 and 90 seconds, Archer introduces the Wet-Collodion (wet plate) process. Archer‚€™s collodion contained potassium iodide and was dipped in nitrate of silver prior to placing in the camera.

This technique on glass will be the process-of-choice for the next twenty years. Archer died penniless but his estate was given a Crown pension fifty pounds annually.

Frederick Archer (right) preferred to share his findings and discoveries with the photographic world first, before heading to the patent office. 

Frederick Scott Archer


Duboseq's Lanterne Photogénique 1851


Duboseq, a lantern maker and optician, designs and builds a machine he calls a Stereoscope and obtains a patent for it.

He also builds a superb lantern capable of viewing microscopic documents known as the Lanterne Photogénique.

Duboseq also researched different apparatus in hopes of demonstrating optical phenomena.


Duboseq's Lanterne Photogénique (left)
Image Source: ANTIQ-PHOTO


A Mascher Stereoscopic Viewer 'Open' From 1853


Mascher obtains a stereoscopic Daguerreotype. He describes his half-plate Daguerreotypes in a stereoscopic box called a Mascher Viewer, in the magazine 'Scientific American'.

The viewer held two stereo photos as well as two lenses for proper depth illusion. He patents his viewer this year.

This Mascher Stereoscopic Viewer (left) is ca. 1854-1855. The two Daguerreotypes were seen through two lenses placed in the lower lid. When raised, the viewer would look through the lenses and see what appeared to be a far more 'life-like' image of the subject.

This Daguerreotype features a distinguished gentleman, identified as a likely 'pioneer' to California. Mascher was a Philadelphia photographer.

Image source (left): University of California calisphere Digital Library
Zelda Mackay Pictorial Collection, Bancroft Library

A Mascher Stereoscopic Viewer 'Ready For Viewing' From 1853

The Mascher Viewer above shows the device in it's opened state, ready for viewing.

Image source (above): Mike Robinson, Photographic Historical Society of Canada

  With the negative-less Daguerrean system, prints, enlargements and reductions were not possible. However, with the Wet-Collodion process these were all now possible. The process is published this year and becomes widely known.  


Uchatius reverted back to his original idea of nineteen years earlier. He rotated the light source as opposed to the images. Using a crank and upgrading once again the illumination, this time to limelight, Uchatius cranked picture after picture, giving a strong impression of movement. A lens was positioned in front of each drawing on the disk and as the disk was revolved, the light moved with the image. This was how he originally had envisioned his device to work (moving his light source behind each drawing instead of moving the images, SEE UCHATIUS 1834). Uchatius was a lieutenant in the Austrian forces at the time and presented his device to the Vienna Academy of Sciences. As opposed to the Fantoscope and Stroboscope, Uchatius‚€™s machine, known as the Lantern Wheel of Light, could entertain many at one time which is what it was meant to do as a military teaching instrument. There is some question as to whether or not Ludwig Dobler, a Vienese purchased the 1845 or 1853 model. As a magician, Dobler traveled Europe giving 'motion picture' shows.

Uchatius' Lantern Wheel Of Light From 1845
Lantern Wheel Of Light 1845

Uchatius' Lantern Wheel Of Light From 1853
Lantern Wheel Of Light 1853
What made the 1853 device superior was the rotating light source. In the 1845 version the images were revolved but Uchatius changed that and circulated the limelight source behind each drawing just like passing the torch (?) behind those lanterns in 1834. Notice the difference in size between the two projected images (above left & right).The drawings and description of the two machines were published in the 1853 Vienna Academy of Sciences Journal. The effect of the 1853 machine is reminiscent of the Dissolving Views and may have played a part in it's creation. With the greater illumination and better throw upon the screen, Uchatius was able to project an image which was reported to have been better than 6X6 feet (as opposed to the six inch demonstration of 1845) [Liesegang sources von Lenz and reports a dimension of 2 by 2.5 metres]. Considering his interest in motion recreation only a hobby, he was also a photographer, chemist, physicist and maker of cannons for the Vienese military. Uchatius took his own life in 1881. (Diagram Sources: Adventures In Cybersound).

  Another modification of the Ambrotype is the Tintype process, introduced by Martin this year. The Tintype (also known as a Ferrotype), is usually created on a sheet of metallic metal, not glass. The metallic plate would then be sensitized by coating it with collodion prior to using. At the time, a new and popular process.  
ACHILLE QUINET (1831 – 1900)
  Quinet presents the first binocular style stereo camera and calls it a Quinetoscope.  
  Dancer, an Englishman from Manchester introduced the first twin-lens stereoscopic camera.  



The first total eclipse of the sun, which was visible to North Americans since the discovery of Photography, occurred on 26 May 1854. The Langenheim brothers where there to photograph the eclipse, taking eight Daguerreotypes in sequence. Only seven survive, six of which are shown here (right).

Other photographers of the day also took sequential pictures as did the Langenheim's (of Daguerreotypes and Calotypes) but none are known of today.

The Daguerreotype which is not shown in this exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the eighth image. It is believed to have been made on a smaller plate size and because a small camera was used due to lesser light available during an eclipse, it revealed no image (a total eclipse) at that point in the transit.

Six Of Seven Langenheim Daguerreotypes Of The Total Eclipse Of The Sun, 26 May 1854


Six of seven extant Daguerreotypes taken by the Langenheim Brothers 26 May 1854
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. Image Source: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art


  Melhuish receives a patent for a roll holder of sensitized paper.  
  An unsettled spirit in many ways, Cutting created the Ambrotype (taken from his middle name) which was a glass negative viewed as a positive. He receives a patent for it as well as for the use of bromide in collodion. He then forfeits his patent rights, moves and builds an aquarium in Boston, which eventually becomes the Aquaria Gardens. He also designed a new kind of beehive.  



His Carte-de-Viste system uses between 8 to 12 lenses taking photos on one plate. The Carte-de-Viste was a type of calling card approximately 2.5 by 4.5 inches holding a number of images on one plate. Disderi's CDV's became popular by the 1860‚€™s due to the fact Napoleon III had been near Disderi’s studio and had his photograph taken by Disderi. The notoriety and publicity of this event set him up in the photographic world for life.

Disderi's studio became known as the 'Palace of Photography' and had had almost 100 workers producing thousands of CDV's every day. Photographic mass production had begun. When the Cabinet Card Photograph replaced the CDV, Disderi tried other formats, but was unsuccessful. He died broke, deaf and blind.

Andre Disderi


Andre A. E. Disderi


  Poitevin was a printmaker, photographer and chemical engineer who introduced the Collotype and carbon-print process as well as Photolithography.  
  Another film roll holder is introduced in France.  

Crimean War Photograph By Roger Fenton 1855 1855
ROGER FENTON (1819 - 1869)

Fenton takes the newly created role of photojournalist to the next plateau by returning from the Crimean War with in excess of 350 plates of history. By photographing the Crimean War in 1855, Roger Fenton became the first photographer to photograph actual hand-to-hand combat. Fenton was English and was granted permission to photograph the Royal Family. Fenton's pictures remain unseen by the masses because newspapers do not yet have the capability to publish photographs.

One of Roger Fenton's photographs taken in the Crimean War (left).

THOMAS SKAIFE (1806 - 1876)
  This Englishman designed the first pistol-shaped camera and is arrested when aiming it at Queen Victoria to obtain a picture of her.  
  Cutting develops a Lithography process whereby photographic negatives can be used for paper reproduction positives.  


In this year, Robinson, who was a professional photographer for only seven years (1857-1864), gave us the world's first Composite Photograph - that of a young woman on her deathbed. A photomontage, or composite photo, is created by using two or more negatives to create the desired positive. In modern cinematographic terms the traveling matte or matte photography was developed from this theory and the work of men like Robinson.

This particular photograph (right) by Robinson used 5 separate negatives.
The World's First Composite Photograph Called 'Fading Away' From 1858
Henry Peach Robinson's photomontage (right) was called 'Fading Away'. The subject of and production of post-mortem-photographs was not for everyone. Robinson developed a negative physical reaction to the photographic process brought on by some chemicals used and was forced to retire from the business.
Gaspard Felix Tournachon


This Frenchman adds another first in the journals of photojournalism. He takes flight in a hot air balloon and while over Paris, takes the world‚€™s first aerial photo.


Gaspard Felix Tournachon (left)



Manufactures a Stereoscopic Camera that will fit in a man or lady‚€™s pocket. It measures 8 by 4 3/4 inches and is 2 inches deep. Nottage began the London Stereoscopic Company, in 1854. Their specialty was the mass production of stereoscopic photographs. The company by 1856 had produced an estimated one-half million Stereoscopes and Stereo Cards. The demand was so immense that by this time, The London Stereoscopic Company claimed to possess at least 10,000 titles in its inventory. By 1858, Nottage had 100,000 stereo cards in stock. Stereoscopic Photography was at it's height.
Stereoscopic Photographs Of Tombs In Westminster Abbey By The London Stereoscoic Company
  This stereoscopic view (above) from The London Stereoscopic Company's archives shows two tombs within Westminster Abbey; Mary Queen of Scots - foreground (d.1587) and Lady Margaret Beaufort (The Countess of Richmond d.1509). Photographer Valentine Blanchard took these pictures.  
Image Source: Stereoviews
Today, Getty Images own over 40,000 glass-plate negatives from The London Stereoscopic Company archives, which went out of business in 1922. In its heyday, it was the largest busines of it's kind in England and perhaps the world, with offices around the globe. Unfortunately, many of it's glass plate negatives, the size of window panes, had been re-used to make greenhouse glass.

Du Hauron had been working on using filters for color separation and along with D'Almeida produced separated lantern slides using red and green filters on the lenses. They gave a lantern presentation handing out makeshift glasses to their viewers with red in the left eye and green in the right. This is the first 3-D or anaglyph Magic Lantern show we know of.
  Chevalier later went on to make lenses for Daguerre. It consisted of very thin moveable blades of metal secured within the lens so as to allow the aperture to open or close. In 1858 Chevalier makes a claim that he used an iris diaphragm 18 years earlier (1840). Nicephore Niepce had used an iris diaphragm. Iris diaphragms are used to this day.  


. . . changed a great deal in the mid to later half of the 19th century with the popularity of the Photograph. With the advent of Chromolithography in or around 1837, slides could be printed therefore providing a superior quality image. More so, the subjects began to include scenes from the Scriptures, travelogues, and vocational scenarios. As a prelude to the 20th century Motion Picture, lantern shows in the 19th century depicted historical events and news items, popular fiction, natural history and educational themes.

Then the photograph made it‚€™s introduction in 1858, as a new format for the lanternslide. The majority of slide manufacturers from that point began to produce photo-slides, replacing the poorer-quality hand-drawn and painted slides. As the 19th century drew on, lanternslides maintained their popularity as a family and public draw, especially throughout the last two decades of the century. Lanternslides of the era are still abundant for collectors to find even to this day.
Mid-Nineteenth Century Magic Lantern Show
THOMAS SUTTON (1819 - 1875)

Sutton develops a wide-angle photographic 'liquid' lens (Panoramic Lens). Sutton was the co-founder and editor of an English magizine known as the "Photographic Notes" who he co-founded with Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard. The lens was a glass sphere that was filled with water thus producing a 120 degree image, and the panoramic view. This concept was not new. SEE ROBERT GROSSETESTE

Main Page Contents Preface Introduction Bibliography Related Sites Critiques About The Author Copyright Information 900BC-1399 1400-1599 1600-1649 1650-1699 1700-1749 1750-1799 1800-1829 1830-1849 1850-1859 1860-1869 1870-1879 1880-1884 1885-1899 1890-1894 1895 - 1900 Planetel Communications Email The Author Top of Page
Home Page Table of Contents Preface Introduction Years 900BC - 1399 Years 1400 - 1599 Years 1600 - 1649 Years 1650 - 1699 Years 1700 - 1749 Years 1750 - 1799 Years 1800 - 1829 Years 1830 - 1849 Years 1850 - 1859 Years 1860 - 1869 Years 1870 - 1879 Years 1880 - 1884 Years 1885 - 1889 Years 1890 - 1894 Years 1895 - 1900 Bibliography Related Sites Critiques About The Author Copyright Information