Speaker Night – Alan Brindle

Speaker Night – Alan Brindle

Wednesday 17/01/2018



Brindle’s Magic Lantern Show


A completely different speaker with a completely different approach. That is the best way to describe Alan Brindle. I had never seen a magic lantern show until last night. I have been present at enumerable slide shows (who hasn’t?), but this was different. Alan has an immense amount of knowledge of this subject, not to mention a vast, growing collection of slides. For a few hours last night we were transported back to the “golden age” of slide art, and slide photography.

The Magic Lantern is the forerunner of the modern slide projector. It has a long and complicated history and.  No one knows for sure who invented the Magic Lantern. It is part of the marvellous world of optical projection and stands alongside the Camera Obscura, Shadow Shows and the Magic Mirror. Like them the Magic Lantern has been used to educate, entertain and mystify audiences for hundreds of years. In the hands of a consummate show person a Magic Lantern can produce huge, brightly coloured, wonderfully animated entertainments.


Alan’s talk and demonstration took us through early chocolate adverts, stories, wildlife, and many travel slides. Alan’s lantern was made in the 1880’s, however he has replaced the acetylene burner lamp with a modern LED array. His collection of slides is vast and it is amazing how long some of them have lasted. The time involved in hand tinting individual slides would have been quite long.

If you are looking for a speaker evening with a difference I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Alan Brindle and his Magic Lantern. A thoroughly enjoyable evening all round.


Alan Brindle is a member of The Magic Lantern Society and can be booked from that site.

The Magic Lantern Society’s website is at www.magiclantern.org.uk/index.php

Article and Photographs by Richard Corkrey – 18/01/2018

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