Photography by Michael Thad Carter

The First Picture Show

Jack Judson reveals the beginnings of the entertainment industry at his Magic Lantern Castle Museum.

By Dale Dougherty

The magic lantern was the earliest example of how projection could be used to tell stories. From as early as the 1500s, the large-scale images projected by the magic lantern fascinated people and could make them laugh or cringe while sitting together in a dark room. The magic lantern is the first technology of the entertainment industry, as well as the predecessor to the more mundane PowerPoint presentation.

Collecting magic lanterns became an obsession for Jack Judson ...

Get Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 16 now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.