Spirit River and District Museum
The magic lantern is the forerunner of the modern slide projector. It has a chamber for a candle, and a lens which glass slides would be placed behind. Just as we prepare slide show presentations for school and business, magic lanterns were an important tool for recruiters and fund-raisers in the early 1900s. Magic lanterns allowed missionaries to show off their efforts and their established missions to affluent congregations in Eastern Canada, the United States, and England, raising money for their continued operations. Similarly, land agents and others looking to recruit settlers from Eastern Canada, the US, and Europe might show scenes of the sweeping prairies and established communities to entice further settlement.