Early Magic Lantern Kerosene Projector

 with EA, FC & MM Glass Slides

"Magic lantern" was the name given to the forerunner of the modern slide-projector, and during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, every local post of any fraternal lodge worth its salt, from the Masons and Odd Fellows to the Knights of Pythias, owned a magic lantern and a collection of glass magic-lantern slides. The slides were used in initiatory rites and for general instruction.  A complete set of Masonic slides, including those relevant to Scottish Rite, York Rite and Eastern Star and all the related appendant bodies would number well over 500 slides. 

This Magic Lantern dates to the late 1870's.  These were the days before electricity and light bulbs.  The base of the lantern was filled with kerosene and the wick was lit and adjusted similar to a hurricane lantern.  The slides were slid onto the track one at a time projecting the image on a wall or screen.

They aided the Lecturer in his ritual instruction to the new initiate. The above slide depicts the Three Great Lights in Freemasonry... The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses on the sacred Altar.  Also shown is a warrant.  The lecturer teaches the candidate the importance of each.  

"Masonic - 14a - Entered Apprentice's Carpet"

An extraordinary Masonic magic lantern slide.  It is, in effect, a "review" of certain other Masonic magic lantern slides.  It depicts, through a series of "thumbnails," the images from most of the lantern slides relevant to the Entered Apprentice Degree of Masonry.

The set of magic lantern images relevant to the Entered Apprentice Degree has a basic 14 slides in it. This sometimes expanded to as many as 33 slides, since some of the 14 images were offered with additional slides providing "details." (A good example would be Entered Apprentice slide #13, "Points of Entrance." The four Points of Entrance -- Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance and Justice -- would all be depicted on slide 13. But also available, for the more affluent Lodges, was a set of four additional slides, 13a-13d, each depicting an individual Point of Entrance.)

Among the lantern images for Entered Apprentice are:

Floating Logs to Joppa
Workmen in Quarries
Entered Apprentice Working Tools
Bible, Square, Compass & Warrant
Jacob's Ladder  
Tabernacle in the Wilderness
Form of Lodge
Supports of Lodge
Lights of Lodge
Jewels of Lodge
St. John the Baptist & St. John the Evangelist
Points of Entrance
Chalk, Charcoal & Clay


How many can you find?

A Lodge opened in the Entered Apprentice Degree.

"Masonic - 21b - Fellowcraft's Carpet."

An extraordinary Masonic magic lantern slide.  It is, in effect, a "review" of certain other Masonic magic lantern slides.  It depicts, through a series of "thumbnails," the images from most of the lantern slides relevant to the Fellowcraft Degree of Masonry.

The set of magic lantern images relevant to the Fellowcraft Degree has a basic 7 slides in it.  In most sets, the slides are numbered consecutively, following the 14 slides of an Entered Apprentice's set.  (So the first slide in a Fellowcraft's set frequently bears the number "15.") The 7 slides sometimes expanded to as many as 34 slides, since some of the 7 Fellowcraft images were offered with additional slides providing "details." (A good example would be Fellowcraft slide #18, "The Seven Liberal Arts." The seven liberal arts -- Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music & Astronomy -- would all be depicted on slide 18. But also available, for the more affluent Lodges, was a set of seven additional slides, 18a-18g, each depicting an individual liberal art.)

Among the lantern images for the Fellowcraft Degree are:

Pillars of the Porch
Five Orders of Architecture
The Five Senses
The Seven Liberal Arts
Scene at the Waterfall
Corn, Wine & Oil
Allusion to the Letter G

How many can you find?

A Lodge opened in the Fellowcraft Degree.

"Masonic - 37c - Master Mason's Carpet."

An extraordinary Masonic magic lantern slide. It is, in effect, a "review" of certain other Masonic magic lantern slides. It depicts, through a series of "thumbnails," the images from most of the lantern slides relevant to the Master Mason Degree of Masonry.

The set of magic lantern images relevant to the Master Mason Degree has a basic 16 slides in it. In most sets, the slides are numbered consecutively, following the 14 slides of an Entered Apprentice's set, and the 7 slides of a Fellowcraft's set. (So the first slide in a Master Mason's set frequently bears the number "21.") The 16 slides sometimes expanded to as many as 38 slides, since some of the 16 Master Mason images were offered with additional slides providing "details." (A good example would be Master Mason slide #28, "Three Steps." The three steps -- Youth, Manhood & Old Age -- would all be depicted on slide 28. But also available, for the more affluent Lodges, was a set of three additional slides, 28a-28c, each depicting an individual step.)

There was also an additional set of twelve slides for the Master Mason's Degree, usually numbered one through twelve, beginning with "The Master Builder" and ending with "The Clefts of the Rocks."

Among the lantern images for the Master Mason Degree are:

Ancient Lodge in the Valley    Broken Column Monument
Building of King Solomon's Temple

Working Tools of a Master Mason
Three Steps   
Point Within A Circle
Pot of Incense   
Another Pot of Incense
Beehive
Anchor and Ark   
Another Anchor and Ark
Book of Constitution Guarded by Tyler's Sword
Sword Pointing to Naked Heart and All-Seeing Eye
Forty-Seventh Problem
The Hourglass
The Scythe
Emblems of Mortality
Funeral of Master Builder
Seeking a Passage to Ethiopia


How many can you find?

A Lodge opened in the Master Mason Degree.

 

         

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