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A light on Albemarle street: John Tyndall and the magic lantern

Using an original tri-unial magic lantern and slides, Jeremy Brooker will show how the lantern illuminated the natural world.

Jeremy Brooker and a magic lantern
Royal Institution

Event description

John Tyndall was appointed Professor of the Royal Institution in 1853, and within months was creating spectacular demonstrations using optical projection, culminating in his famous “Lectures on Light” in 1872-3. Using an original tri-unial magic lantern and slides, Jeremy Brooker will show how the lantern illuminated the natural world and attempt live scientific demonstrations in the historic theatre where Tyndall conducted his own experiments. With piano accompaniment by Costas Fotopoulos

About the speakers

Jeremy Brooker is the Chairman of the Magic Lantern Society, and has been giving magic lantern shows since he was fourteen years old. He is also a professional musician who has collaborated with a wide range of artists and other performers, as well as creating original slide images of his own. He has written extensively about the magic lantern and its history including The Temple of Minerva: Magic and the Magic Lantern at the Royal Polytechnic Institution, London 1887 – 1801 and a chapter on John Tyndall, Henry Pepper and Henry Morton for a forthcoming book Science Museums in Transition.

Costas Fotopoulos has now been working for many years as an improvising silent film pianist at BFI Southbank, London, and he has also accompanied silent films at the Barbican Centre, the Prince Charles Cinema, the Kennington Bioscope, Riverside Studios, Chelsea Arts Club, the National Film and Television School and the Birkbeck Cinema among other venues. Costas has made numerous appearances as a concert pianist, giving concerto performances in Britain and both solo and chamber performances there as well as in Austria, Italy, Greece, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria.