For all the better class of pictures nothing can equal good photographs on glass; and now that amateur photographic apparatus has come into such general use, the use of the magic lantern, both for amusement and instruction, will no doubt be greatly extended. The photographs may be readily colored with aniline colors, which may be obtained of almost any shade, and which are perfectly transparent.
A simple method of forming perfectly accurate outline pictures (such as diagrams, etc.) is as follows: -
A sheet of gelatine, such as is used for tracing, is securely fixed over an engraving, and with a sharp steel point (a stout needle fixed in a wooden handle answers well) the lines of the original are traced pretty deeply on the transparent substance. Lead-pencil or crayon-dust is then lightly rubbed in with the finger, and the picture is at once ready for use. The effect of these drawings in the lantern is said to be excellent.
Illustrations for common lanterns are easily made by taking ordinary engravings on very thin paper and mounting them with Canada balsam between two plates of glass. The balsam renders the paper quite transparent, and the engraving may be colored before being mounted. The paper on which the engraving is printed must be thin, and if there should be any printing on the back of the engraving the paper must be split by the usual well-known means.