Below we present online access to a variety of websites within our study. These categorized groups are not in any particular order. They have been reviewed and an opinion accompanies each entry. This list is offered as a quick reference for the fan and enthusiast of the subject of pre cinema but is by no means complete.

As we cannot always know when a site no longer exists, or a link has changed, we ask viewers to assist us by notifying us if you discover in your travels that adjustments should be made such as dead links and URL re-directions. If you have an online presence in this field, and would like to be mentioned here, please contact us. We would be pleased to add it. Contributions to this archive are appreciated. Contact the author. Thank you.


  The Magic Lantern Castle Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the history of the magic lantern. The definitive authority on lanterns.  
  The Bill Douglas Centre For The History Of Cinema And Popular Culture (University of Exeter) contains rare treasures within the history.  
  Magic Lantern Slides is a delightful website with excellent images of magic lantern slides scanned and converted to GIF.  
  National Museum of American History presents A Centennial Salute To Cinema and in particular, magic lanterns.  
  The Victorian Magic Lantern has a variety of magic lantern slides from around the world from the Victorian Era.  
  For a fine selection of coloured magic lantern slides of South Asia, visit Through A Magic Lantern: Jackson's INDIA 1895.  
  America's only authentic 1890's magic lantern shows are located at The American Magic-Lantern Theatre. Producer Terry Borton is a fourth generation lanternist.  
  A wonderful website on the magic lantern is The Magic Lantern Society of Great Britain.  
  The Magic Lantern Society of the United States and Canada has members all over the world as well as a quarterly magazine.  
  Grand Illusions is a website that provides a variety of optical toys and illusions meant to leave you scratching your head.  
  Galantee So is presented by Dolly Whilems and Derek Adams. It contains some excellent work on Robertson and has some interesting web links.  
  Photohistory South Australia has one of the best sections on the Magic Lantern I've seen. Accent is of course on Australian history.  
  Toverlantaarnverzameling / Magic Lantern Collection 'de Luikerwaal' is a great site for information on lanterns from our friend Henc de Roo. Dutch or English.  
  The Laterna Magica Galanteeshow from Herman Bollaert. An animated 19th Century Magic Lantern Show from Belgium. English.  
  LA LUCE E L'OMBRA is a site that presents an adorable collection of lanterns, slides, animated slides and stereoscopes. In Italian. Caution To Children: Female Nudity.

  Dr. Robert Leggat's notes on the history of the camera obscura, A History of Photography from its beginnings till the 1920s.  
  A wonderful page on the camera obscura and early photography at the The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, England.  
  A delightful site on the history of Panoramic Cameras 1843-1994 written by Bill McBride in chronological format.  
  Lionel Hughes Photographica has among other things a fine selection of superb cameras, lanterns and slides.  
  Jack and Beverly Wilgus of Bright Bytes Studio present The Magic Mirror of Life (A Search for Camera Obscura Rooms).  
  Charles Schwartz - Camera Obscura Photographs. A superb history of the 'dark room' with images from past and present as well as photographs taken with his camera obscura.  
  Russell Naughton's Adventures In Cybersound: From Aristotle to Zhan. Extremely thorough and lengthy history of the camera obscura from Dr. Naughton's extensive research.  
  The Giant Camera at San Francisco. The official website for the camera-shaped camera over looking the Seal Rock Area of the bay.  
  Dumfries Camera Obscura in southwest Scotland provides panoramic views of the historic Galloway area. Situated in an 18th century windmill.  
  The ancient Edinburgh Camera Obscura provides breathtaking 'moving' panoramas. Located at the top of The Royal Mile, just before Edinburgh Castle's Esplanade.  
  Cabinet of Wonders: Bringing the Early Age of Enlightenment to the Modern World, offers a link to The Legacy Project.. The world's largest camera obscura housed in an old airplane hangar in Pasadena, California. World's largest photograph taken from the camera with a pinhole 1/4 inch. The photograph is 3 stories high by 11 stories wide.  
  The Sky In A Room - a highly detailed website devoted to describing the camera obscura from a builders perspective. How to build your own camera using your bedroom.  
  Aberystwyth Cliff Railway & Camera Obscura in Aberystwyth, Wales offers a 360 degree view of over 1000 square miles and 26 Welsh mountain tops from a 14 inch lens.  
  CAMERA OBSCURA and Museum 'Prehistory of Film' catalogues a unique listing of cameras from various countries around the world. Not all in English.  
  The Great Union Camera, Douglas Head, Isle of Man has no official website we can find. Try these; manxnotebook; manxscenes; BBC; Magic Mirror; and a Gov't Release.  
  George Keene’s is a resource site for the design and construction of camera obscuras – from the very simple to motorized elegance.  
  Dark Wonder by Tanya Kiang is an exploratory history of the camera obscura published online by CIRCA, Ireland's leading magazine for contemporary visual arts and culture.  
  Paleo-Camera: The Start of Art by Matt Gatton is excerpted from his work “The Camera Obscura and the Origin of Art: the Case for Image Projection in the Paleolithic.” ©  
  Foredown Tower Countryside Centre is a wonderful online listing of known working camera obscuras around the world.  
  The Camera Obscura of Tavira Tower in Cadiz, Spain is one of the more modern cameras, built in 1994. Inspired by the Edinburgh camera. In four languages.  
  A Wandering Eye is in fact, a wandering eye. A replicated human eye on wheels places the lens in the iris and the image on the retina! Wonder where they got that idea from!  
  David Swan builds historically-inspired and custom hand-made camera obscuras. The site is called SwanCrafted and includes details, photographs and prices.  
  Essential offers information on Vermeer and his use of the camera obscura. Excellent.  

  The Exciting Hobby Of Collecting Cinematographica presented by our friend Michael Rogge is an impressive collection indeed.  
  MT AGASSIZ TRADING COMPANY have Projector Accessories Vintage & Classic Film Projectors. Impressive but little of the pre-cinema era. Mostly 1920s +.
  Lonewolf Alaskan Motion Picture Collector Ted Barnett has numerous vintage projectors and cameras on line.  
  Antique & Classic Camera Web Site specializes in pre 1900 Wood & Brass Cameras, Brass lenses, shutters, catalogues, photography books and related photographica.  
  Study motion picture photography in it's early stages at The Discovery of Motion Picture Photographing. Great photos.  
  The National Technical Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, has an interesting section on cameras and projectors. Take a look at Collections / Photography-Cinematography for some great images and text.  
  Vintage Camers Ltd. have a diverse range of film cameras, lenses, instruction manuals and other photographic items. Early wood & brass antiques of the 1800s.  
  Classic Camera organizes it's resources by category. For instance; clubs; collector sites (personal and manufacturer); lanterns; miniatures, stereo & studio cameras. Marvellous.  
  The specialises in antique as well as recent cine cameras/accessories/equipment for the discerning collector. From the Victorian period & beyond.  
  Steve Schuler’s Collector Resources is a tremendous resource for projectors, equipment and supplies, among other items. All 20th century.  
  Historic Camera is a fine resource for antique camera and photography collectors. Smartly categorized.  
  Photography Tools Dot Net has a fine vinatge page with in-depth links to eBay.  
  The efilmcenter is everything for the collector of film, projectors, formats, parts and stock. Also includes sales & trades.  

  The Pinhole Resource explains pinhole photography and provides a valuable resource of information on the subject.  
  Learn all about panoramas from The Panorama Effect: Spectacle for the Masses, subtitled “Panorama painting seems all the rage” by John Constable, written in 1803!  
  George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film. A fine website on the founder of Eastman Kodak. Nothing more need be said.  
  You Design It - Pinhole Photography offers screen printing and embroidery, but also has for some strange reason, a great page on all-things pinhole! Terrific links too!  
  The Fox Talbot Museum is located on the property of Lacock Abbey where W. H. F. Talbot lived and worked.  
  The Pinhole Gallery is a website devoted to all things pinhole.  
  Photography's beginnings, Daguerrean links, photographs and more can be found at Photo-Geschichte Erlanger Liste . German with great english links.  
  The Daguerrean Society website needs no introduction.  
  The American Museum of Photography website resources, links, processes, history of course and much more.  
  Oatmeal Box Pinhole Photography by Stewart Lewis Woodruff answers the question . . "How does a tiny hole make a picture?" A delightful site.  
  Penultimate Pinhole Page by John Malcolm provides resources, a history, principles and a gallery among other great information.  
  The Robert Rigby Pinhole Camera site provides superior information on building pinholes and taking photos with them.  
  The Lewis & Clark Journey of Discovery all you need to create your own moving panorama. Great activity for the kids.  
  Displaying Creativity - The History of Photography is a nice listing of inventors and links associated with photographic history.
  A family living in Narrogin, Western Australia has a website with a number of panorama photographs utilizing Java allowing you to 'pan'. Take a look here.  

  SOFIA (Studies Of Film As Internet Application) is a project of Paul Neale Squires at the University of North London.  
  Take a peek and see all about the Zoetrope and how to fashion one of your own.  
  Lionel Hughes Photographica has early & antique cameras, magic lanterns and slides, pre cinema, optical toys.  
  Optical Toys has flip books, paper toys, Muybridge selections and more.  
  The site for the enquiring mind is Grand Illusions. There are new and amazing toys in the toy collection, all with video clips to show them in action. Amazing.  
  Jack and Beverly's Optical Toys. Once called philosophical toys, optical toys have an important place in the history and development of photography and cinema.  
  The Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Exhibit of Optical Toys is a treasure chest of pre-20th century optical toys and illusionary devices. Includes a history of each, a desription of its works and photographs. Some videos.  
  Gasoline Alley Antiques is an almost unending resource of optical toys priced for sale. Specializing in Kaleidoscopes and Viewmasters. The original ebay?  
  EVE stands for Everyone’s Virtual Exhibition and is part of the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture at the University of Exeter.  
  American Science & Surplus is quite an interesting site. Optical toys and illusions can be found in the adult and kids section. >> Go there now.  
  Optical toys and early entertainment descriptions and examples can be found at the Rosson House Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Create your own flip book.  
  Early Visual Media by Thomas Weynants is an Historical Archeological Window to Early Vintage Visual Media . Superb.  
  Through the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood you can experience a visual history of Magic Lanterns, Zoetropes, Peep Shows and other delightful optical toys.  
  Curious Minds is an online buy and sell service offering what appear to be some authentic optical toys. Others appear to be reproductions, or have reproduced parts. Choose Historical/Optical Toys.  
  Mr. Punch’s Old Toys is an on-line shop that contains hundreds of vintage, collectable, antique and old toys of all descriptions including optical toys.  
  Animation History is a blog by Lynn Tomlinson covering independent animation, fine arts animation, international animation, and experimental animation history. has a delightful page within their Independent Lens resources called Still Life With Animated Dogs. Wag a dog by building your own animated dog! is a delightfull site offering an in-depth history of the flipbook as well as some typology, different viewers and some very useful links.  

  The International Directory of Photography Historians edited by William Allen is an exhaustive resource directory.  
  The Projection Box is an interesting site committed to the subjects of pre-cinema, early film and optical recreations.  
  Adventures In Cybersound is a veritable wealth of information covering the history of communications plus a chrono. Overwhelming at times.  
  Cine Guide by Richard Costa is a wonderful web site covering visual fx, animation, festivals, writing, directing and more. is a vast bricks and online resource from books on photography to stereoscopic photography and cinematography.  
  Computer Animation Pages by Krys Cybulski and David Valentine studies computer animation and it's history. Includes a limited timeline on animation and some nice sections on tools, graphics and applications.  

  Silent Movies is a website pertaining to the films, stars, music, preservation and history of the silent film period.  
  The Edison National Historical Site preserves the laboratory and home of the inventor Thomas A. Edison. Excellent resource.  
  The American Mutoscope & Biograph Company contains a collection of rare photos and a complete bio on AM&BC.  
  The Peephole Kinetoscope is a text-history of early cinema centering primarily on Edison and his kinetoscope. From The Edison Papers - Guide To Motion Picture Catalogs.  
  The League of Historic American Theatres is an international association dedicated to restoring historic theatres.  
  Domitor, An International Association Dedicated to the Study of Early Cinema is a world-wide association.  
  The National Fairground Archive at The University of Sheffield provides a British perspective on the 'living pictures' through traveling showmen.  
  The Movie Machine Society has some interesting links on the history of film from museums, institutes and internet based info.  
  Steve Schuler’s Collector Resources has many early 20th century shorts by the greats for sale as well as 8mm, super 8 and 16mm films.  

  EARLY CINEMA MAGICIANS; An Interactive exhibition about Victorian photographic stage illusions.  
  The Theatre of Wonder by John Tudor; An examination of the history and theory of the magic play, fusing magic and drama.  
  Phantasmechanics is a website for the illusionist dealing with conjuring and projection magic.  
  The American Magic Lantern Theater is the only professional traveling theater company in America. They present the great grandfather of the cinema, authentic Victorian Magic Lantern shows, and all the illusion you can handle.  
  Optical Art and The History Of Optical Illusion is a single webpage identifying three excellent examples of optical art.  
  Matthew Luckiesh wrote Visual Illusions: Their Causes, Characteristics and Applications in 1922. Possibly the first book to comprehensively cover the topic of Optical Illusions. For Chapter 14: Mirror Trick, Magic Optical Illusion at, click here.  
  Magic – The Science of Illusion has a complete Bio on Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin including a history of magic, illusion and other great magicians through the ages.  

Main Page Contents Preface Introduction Bibliography Related Sites Critiques About The Author Copyright Information 900bc-1399 1440-1599 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 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