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Remembering Bamforth & Co. Ltd

"Magic Lantern" Slides

The origins of "Magic Lantern" slides can be traced back to sometime in the 17th centuary. However, they did not come to real prominence until the reign of Queen Victoria. During this period "Magic Lantern" slide shows were shown in many diverse areas including education, geographic studies, art, science and entertainment.

James Bamforth was one of a number of people across Europe to realise the possible potential of this medium. Based on his belief in this product in 1870 he founded a company in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire called Bamforth & Co. Ltd.

James started by designing, producing and presenting lecture slides as both a form of entertainment and education. These were shown to various local businesses, religious and temperance organisations. This soon led to more ambitious and creative Magic Lantern Slide presentations. These were aimed at public entertainment and included a story, narative and dramatic music. The numerous and various slide shows Bamforth's produced earned James the title of "King Of The Lantern Slides".

James' title was well deserved, this is demonstrated by this rare example of his work, "The Loss Of Titanic".

"The Loss Of The Titanic" "Magic Lantern" slides HERE

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