Lantern Slides produced by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South



Lantern slide of the Christmas Banquet
at Wesley House, Louisville, Kentucky,
circa 1920

Lantern slides are positive transparent images on glass protected from abrasion by a second sheet of glass. This photographic technology was patented in 1850. Well into the twentieth century, touring lecturer-projectionists presented magic lantern shows to entertain and educate the public in churches, schools, and meeting halls throughout the United States.

The slides in this collection were produced by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to promote funding of domestic and international missionary programs. The Louisville, Kentucky Wesley House was founded in 1903 as the Louisville Settlement Home and continues to operate today as Wesley House Community Services (http://wesleyhouseky.org/).

Click on the image, left, to view in the digital collection.


Lantern slide of Colegio Buenavista
for Girls, Marianao, Havana, Cuba,
1920–1921

Colegio Buenavista was founded by the Woman’s Missionary Council of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1920. The colegio served as a kindergarten and primary school for girls until 1961 when it was nationalized by the Cuban government.

Click on the image, right, to view in the digital collection.




Lantern slide No. 45: "Foreign Work,"
circa 1920

The use of the phrase “Foreign Work” in this slide does not refer to international missions. Instead the listed ministries focused on the needs of ethnic groups living in the southern United States.

Click on the image, left, to view in the digital collection.


Lantern slide No. 84 Pastor and Ford car,
circa 1920

This lantern slide illustrates a new, modern approach to ministry in the 1920s: preachers driving, rather than riding, their circuits. Close examination of the digital image reveals that this Model T Ford bears 1921 Louisiana license plates.

Click on the image, right, to view in the digital collection.




Lantern slide of the Poços de Caldas,
Brazil, Methodist Church,
circa 1920

The Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church brought Methodism to Brazil in 1835. That effort ended in 1841 due to lack of funding. A second attempt, this time by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, began in 1867 and prospered. The initial target audience was Confederate expatriates who had settled in Brazil at the close of the American Civil War. By 1880 the church included Brazilian members and ministers. Today the Igreja Metodista em Brasil (Methodist Church in Brazil) has more than 162,000 members.

In 1920, the Poços de Caldas Church reported 118 members and was part of the Ribeirao Preta District of the Central Brazil Conference.  

Click on the image, left, to view in the digital collection.


Lantern slide projector,
circa 1940s

Whether illuminated by candles, oil, or electricity, “magic lanterns” were the PowerPoint projectors of their day. Perkins School of Theology faculty members used lantern slides and this projector to illustrate lectures as late as the 1940s.