The Cromer Lantern Slide Collection

Mr Salter, as Secretary of the Band of Hope, produced a catalogue of all the slides that were available for hire. You'll see a few of the slides listed in the catalogue on this site. The Band of Hope hall at Cromer - the Lecture Hall - was built with a special lantern room. Shows would be given in the Lecture Hall, or the lantern and slides could be hired out for use at other venues.

Some of the sets of slides are story sets - shown one by one, with a reading. One of the key sets for the Cromer collection was - and still is - 'Peeps at Cromer and the Neighbourhood'.

This set of three illustrates a favourite Victorian topic, the lifeboat. It's probably produced using the copper etching process for the blacks and then hand-painted to provide colour. The artist has put the name "Good-Will" on the bow of the lifeboat; close examination of the second slide shows that the Lifeboat Institution plate is actually back to front but the labelling on the slides indicates that the original producers hadn't spotted one or the other should be reversed. We think it works best by not reversing the orientation of the boat, an early example of "not crossing the line" with the view.

Others, such as some of those listed on this page of the catalogue, are dissolving slides, designed to be shown on a biunial or triunial lantern. The first slide would be faded out, whilst the second slide would be gradually increased in intensity. If the lantern was set up correctly, then the picture on the screen would be seen to change - perhaps in colour, perhaps in brightness.

A favourite effect was to go from a daytime scene to a nighttime scene, as in this picture of HMS Victory afloat in Portsmouth harbour, in the 1880s. The entry for this dissolving pair can be seen in the catalogue above. We date the catalogue from about 1890 from the local pictures which it includes, so this pair is from before that date.