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The Moisse Fantascope and slides found a new permanent home and resides in the Qatar International Media Museum / IMM - QMA Qatar.

Qatar's International Media Museum
*'plans scrapped'*

The Fantascope is currently on display at the Cinémathèque Française in the permanent exhibition 'Passion Cinema'.

Fantascope & accessories was on display in Lanterne Magique et Film Peint a temporally exhibition organized by the Cinémathèque Française and Museo Nazionale Del Cinema.

Phantasmagoria slides, as used and explained in Assaulted by the Devil and his companions (part I & II) where mostly frightening subjects or used in a suchlike way. On the first Phantasmagoria slide page we saw wonderfull examples from the The Cabinet of Physics in Helsinki and the Visual Media collection.

For this page, I'm most thankfull to
The Hauch's Physiske Cabinet in Denmark, Sorø & Mr. Jørgen From Andersen for allowing permission for use of their important phantasmagoria collection on EARLY VISUAL MEDIA.
All images used from others will be properly credited and are copyright protected property of the owner.
For more information about Phantasmagoria projection techniques (two pages) and Phantasmagoria slide properties follow these links.

The slides from the
The Hauch's Physiske Cabinet where purchased from the Dumotiez-brothers who supplied Hauch in Paris.
All phantasmagoria items are described in the original catalogue of the Hauch collection.
An interesting example of this description is the slide of the monk compared with the engraving, depicting the same slide projected on a translucent screen. Click here to read the first part of the description explaining the Magic Lantern (Fantascope) in the Hauch Catalogue.
The cabinet was founded by Adam Wilhelm Hauch (1755-1838) at the end of the 18th century and houses a collection of historical physical and chemical instruments. (Click here for the second part of the Hauch description on opaque phantasmagoria)

Find a book on Phantasmagoria Projection techniques

Slides from the Underworld in
the Hauch's physiske cabinet in denmark, Sorø

Visit after this page more Phantasmagoria slides from the visual media collection and


description of the Magic Lantern description of the Magic Lantern


Description of the Magic Lantern (Fantascope) In the Hauch Catalogue

Tenth Instrument.

The Magic Lantern (Laterna Magica) is an instrument that use convex lenses to create an enlarged image from either, translucent figures painted on glass or opaque objects. In general it serve the need for recreation and pastime, and consist of a square box (plate 34, fig.1) wich can be closed lighttight. In the upper part, rooftop shaped, a bended tube is mounted to enable the escape of smoke, originated from the illuminant – placed inside the box.


 plate 34 fig.1   © The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark


In the frontside a tube (HI) is attached made of several parts that can move in and outside each other by the aid of a crank & toothed wheel (K) connected with the piece of the tube nearest to the frontside of the box.
A toothed bar grasped by the wheel (k) is attached to the adjustable farest part of the tube (I). When turning the crank, either left or right, it is possible to lengthen or shorten the tube (HI).

Besides, this tube got near L a square shaped widen part, open at both ends, to shove in various pieces of glass depicting objects painted with translucent colors. Prior to this place one find, inside the fixed part of this tube, a convex glass (M) as seen in the profile of the tube depicted in plate 34 fig.2.
In the farest part of the tube (I) there is as well a convex glass (N), placed in such a way that the glass N is always situated in the focus range of the glass M; even when the tube is at his maximum length.

So, both convex glasses are working as one single lens with changeable focal distance according to the length (shorter or longer) of the tube.
Besides, inside the box an Argandlamp is placed provided with a concave mirror, parabolical polisched.
Such a mirror reflects all rays, leaving the focal point, parallel with the axle of the parabole.
Click image to see more fantascope prints

The positioning of the lamp need to be donne in such a way that the flame is situated in the axle of the tube HI.
This lamp is a very important accessorie because it’s neccassary to illuminate the drawnings and objects as strong as possible. For this reason a transsection of the lamp is illustrated in plate 35 fig.2. One places the lamp in the above described way inside the box and close the door. In the square opening near L a piece of glass is slipped-in, for example depicting a man but the background filled up by using opaque black paint - in such a way that his head is downwards and his legs upwards.

In this case the lamp will send parrallel rays through the tube HI - according to the previous explained property of the parabolic mirror - wich cause a strong illumination on the figure placed in the opening F.
These rays will now go through the glasses M&N and cause a refraction of light in such a way that a reversed image of the upside down placed figure is created, thus an upright image will arise sommewhere in the extension of the axle after going through the tube.

This (upright) image is situated nearer or further away the instrument according to the position of the tube I, in or outside H. (variable length)
This will bring the figure / object nearer or further away the focus of the glasses


 plate 34 fig.2   ©
The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark


 plate 35 fig.2   © The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark

When a screen is placed on the spot where the image is build up, the figure will appear there-upon in the same colours as seen on the painted glass but much bigger - depending on the distance of the image to the instrument. The bigger this distance The bigger the image will be.
Because the illumination of the image is diminishing due to the increase of the distance quadrates, one will understand that the enlarging possibilitys of the image is limited between well defined boundaries.

(Plate 34)-When some parts of the figure are made movable and connected with each other in a suitable way with the aid of steel-wire, it becomes possible to change the position of the figure placed in the instrument. This will give the performance a more lifelike character.
Fig.4&5 (plate 34) are depicting two suchlike designed figures. When pin T is shoven, to and fro, the characters in fig.4 will rock and the man depicted in fig.5 will move his arms.

Because the enlargement of the image depends on the distance to the instrument, one will understand, one can- by use of the instrument – which has the purpose, as seen in the illustration is equipped of 4 wheels- can be pushed nearer or further away the screen – the image will be enlarged or diminished in size when simultaneously the position of the glasses is changed to give the image constantly the same clearness (sharpness).
If the image is received, instead of a white opaque, on special prepared translucent exquisite muslin (as seen in fig.3) these kinds of performances are known by the name Phantasmagorie.

Because the image, when the instrument is moved for and backwards, is diminishing in size or growing, the onlooker (observer) situated on the other side of the screen, will experience this as if the objects (figure) are approaching or moving away.


It is however important to emphasise that the image, when reducing in size, will gain more brightness although it should normally loose clarity when situated further away. The latter effect (loose of clarity) is obtainable when a frame is mounted in front of the tube I. In this frame a moveable strip of glass is placed showing increasing opaque qualities from one side to the other. (This create the same effect as the better known cat-eye,

Obviously the theme of Ghosts is also most popular among children

When this kind of phantasmagoria performances are intended for (such as theatre performance) public performance, all the three movements need to be done very accurate and at the same time.

•  Movement of the carriage, for and backwards.
•  Movement of the tubes in and out. (Focusing).
•  Movement of the glass-strip - in front of I
{with changing (increasing or decreasing) opaque qualities}

To do so, a special designed machinery is connected and synchronised with the glasses (lenses) to move the latter in a correct way depending what direction the carriage is being pushed

Translucent figures painted on glass are not the only kind of images that can be showed enlarged with the aid of a Magic Lantern.
Opaque objects can be persuaded in such a way to depict themselves in the in the same manner. The following instrument introduces a Magic Lantern modified for this purpose.

   plate 35 fig.3   © The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark

Click here to see and read about military use of the Phantasmagoria during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution

Click for part two of the description, "Eleventh Instrument" and the Hauch collection engravings, depicting opaque projection accessories


 Desiree Helgesen          Thomas Weynants

© Hauch’s Physiske Cabinet
Sorø, Denmark

Visit later the theme of death in literature: Danse macabre des Hommes et des femmes

Phantasmagoria links: Page I - Page II - Page III - Page IV - Page V - Page VI - Page VII - Page VIII - Page IX - Page X - Page XI - Page XII - Related Deadly entertainment