Education and Entertainment Slides

The second series in the Lantern Slide Collection is Education and Entertainment. This series encompasses lantern slides that display a variety of amusing images. Most likely, these were used in classrooms, shows, or social gatherings. 

Fine Art

This set is made up of two images of fine art pieces by notable artists of the 20th century. The first is Joseph Pennell’s 1916 lithograph “Iron Mine”. The second is George Braque’s 1910 “Woman’s Torso”. With no manufacturing or publication information, it is unsure where the slides were produced. 

Lantern slide scan, Joseph Pennell's "Iron Mine" lithograph.Lantern slide scan, George Braque's "Woman's Torso".
First image: Lithograph. American. C.C. Joseph Pennell 1857-1926 "Iron Mine". Second image: Braque, Georges, Woman's Torso.

Rooney Posters

This set is the most unknown of all the slides in the Lantern Slide Collection. One box held six slides and contained a sheet of paper that stated “Seneca vocational school, 1 sheet music, [and] illustrations for baker etc.” All the slides except one match up with the presumable inventory page. In the box, there was a slide of a sheet music cover, the Seneca Vocational School, and three illustrations such as “the baker”. One mystery slide remains but it seems to be a poster for New York’s fifth avenue 100-year commemoration or for the book that was published in 1924 for the commemoration and history of the street. The date of these slides are not known. The side of the box that these slides were found in has “Rooney Posters” written in pencil and has been assumed to label the contents of the box. 

Lantern slide scan, fifth avenue 100th anniversary poster. Lantern slide scan, illustration of a baker.
First image: Fiftth Avenue: Old and New. Second image: The Baker.


The Lantern Slide Collection contains twenty-five slides that feature song lyrics. These slides are mostly plastic but there are four glass slides. Some of the songs on the slides are World War I era songs that were popular amongst soldiers such as “K-K-K-Katy ”. Other songs are Civil War era songs that were popular amongst Union soldiers and prisoners of war such as “Marching Through Georgia”. Then there are a few novelty songs, and other popular ragtime and jazz songs of their day such as “The Story Book Ball” and “On a Beautiful Night with a Beautiful Girl.” 

Lantern slide scan, K-K-K-Katy lyrics. Lantern slide scan, Marching Through Georgia lyrics.
Lantern slide scan, On a Beautiful Night with a Beautiful Girl lyrics. Lantern slide scan, the Story Book Ball lyrics.
First image: K-K-K-Katy lyrics. Second image: Marching Through Georgia lyrics. Third image: On a Beautiful Night with a Beautiful Girl lyrics. Fourth image: The Story Book Ball lyrics.

The Four Little Kittens’ Christmas

The Lantern Slide Collection features thirty glass lantern slides from a set titled “The Four Little Kittens’ Christmas”. Each slide in the set is hand-painted and has an image of kittens doing various activities all accompanied with captions. The slides were manufactured and published by the New York Board of Education’s Visual Department in Buffalo.

During the processing stage the images and their captions did not seem to make complete sense. With further research, it was discovered that The Four Little Kittens’ Christmas is a children’s book from 1939 and the slides we have in our collection accompany the text from the book. Harry Whittier Frees, who did photography for other books on similar topics, photographed the pictures in the book. The revelation of this information sparked collaboration with the ARC’s Rare Book Coordinator, who purchased The Four Little Kittens’ Christmas book for the ARC’s rare book collection. Now the book and the accompanying lantern slides are cohesive and the story of the four little kittens’ Christmas is now fully rendered. 

Lantern slide scan, Four Little Kittens' Christmas Santa leaving presents.Four Little Kittens' Christmas book cover.
First image: Santa left the toys. Second image: Four Little Kittens' Christmas book cover.

Lantern slide image of kitten hanging laundry and book page image of kitten hanging laundry.
Comparison of the lantern slide image and the physical book image.