Saturday, September 17, 2022

Entertainment in a Hospital Ward


Artist: Hoppin

In 1865 Frank B. Goodrich published a history of the homefront in the Civil War,  The Tribute Book A Record of Munificence, Self-Sacrifice and Patriotism of the American People. Dozens of illustrations by various artists were included. 

The illustrations give us information about the war work.

Showing us much about the relief agencies...

Fund raising and hospital work

The illustration below by Alfred R. Waud (1828-1891) is quite revealing. 

Entertainment in the hospital wards (at least this ward) was provided by Magic Lantern slides. The technology had been available for years. The Magic Lantern projector projected glass plates using a light fueled by alcohol or oil. 

Projector and slides from 1847, Dickinson College collection

Slide picturing the death of Colonel Ellsworth.

Magic Lantern show in Baltimore a month before the war began.

New York Herald, February 1862

Magic Lantern slide

Once the war began, photos and sketches of the army and the conflicts became the topic of many a Magic Lantern show.

Library of Congress
Hand-painted slide by Kansas artist Samuel Reader from 1866
showing an 1864 battle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of the Magic Lantern. Very interesting! Thank you!