Stumped Again...

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Ian
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OK, so another charity shop donation today.

These are 3.25" square plates, each with a positive image on them. They seem to date back quite a way looking at the clothing of the people in them. I have around 50-100 of these including some really odd stuff... I brought a handful home to scan and research.

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Some are in colour, some black & white. They are positive transparencies, not negative. There is quite a bit of Harrogate in there. I scanned some and put them on a Flickr album if anyone is interested here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/harlequin565/albums/72177720316333723

At first I thought they were glass plate direct photos of some sort, but on discovering some that were hand drawn and others in colour, I thought they might be magic lantern slides. But the magic lantern slides I'd seen weren't photo-realistic, and came in long slides with 3 or 4 photos in them.

I'm guessing they are for an early projector, but no clue what sort. I'm also terrible at history and am not really able to date them. One of the photos I scanned had a bit of paper attached to it with a note stating "inhalation of radioactive gas". And another was apparently showing "Ionisation". Odd photo content for someone to project at a dinner party or whatever - although my hard drive would be just as random.

So my question to the wiser and more educated folks...

What are they? Can they be dated - either by the content, or by the technology (my guess 30s - 40s)? And does anyone think they are worth anything? eBay shows sales of them, but at low prices so it'll probably be a job lot, but they seem to be a weird collection of images with no rhyme or reason to them.

Your thoughts most appreciated!
 
So far, they seem more like lantern slides than anything else. The size is "British size" according to this site:


Meanwhile, I'm still thinking - I suspect some old photographic catalogues may give a hint on the projectors for dating.
 
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Having looked at flickr, my next thoughts run to Edwardian period.
 
The size is "British size" according to this site:
Thanks for the link Stephen. They sure look like Magic lantern slides. The resource I used only showed oblong slides that had multiple images.

The [presumably] hand colouring fooled me into thinking they couldn't possibly be turn of the last century. After reading that article I know a tiny bit more now. I suspect though that this very odd collection won't be worth much unless I get creative with my eBay description. Still unlikely to be worth the effort, which is sad as I'm finding that trying to discover the provenance of the items that come through the shop always interests me.
 
I’m also stumped and I really don’t fancy trying the inhalation of radioactive gas.

Radon was used as a treatment in the early years of last century


which adds to an Edwardian or slightly later date. The nurses seem to be dressed in Great War uniforms, which probably were used both later and earlier. The room decor seemed appropriate to having been built in the 1880s.

None of this really helps the original query though.
 
P.S. Radon is of course a gas.
 
Definitely magic lantern slides, very interesting. Lots look as if they are hand coloured.

If you are attributing a value to the charity, don't undersell them, take a look on eBay and you'll see how the price of magic lantern slides is at the moment. Obviously some will be more collectable than others but you probably can't predict which are the most valuable.

I had a collection of 300 at one time, without proper provenance but definitely all belonging to the same private collection, preserved in two magnificent mahogany boxes. The subject matter varied from religious (stock slides) to snaps, all collected before WW 1. I gave them to a friend to give them a better chance of preservation, he is a lot younger than I and is a proper collector of early images.

I took the precaution of scanning them all before I gave them up. Here is one I made earlier (an Edwardian photographic expedition) ...

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If you are attributing a value to the charity, don't undersell them, take a look on eBay and you'll see how the price of magic lantern slides is at the moment. Obviously some will be more collectable than others but you probably can't predict which are the most valuable.
Thanks for the reply Peter. That's the problem. We have a lot of stuff being donated all the time and my job is to try and get volunteers to spend their time wisely on things that will make the most money. Spending 2-3 hours on research for something that might sell for £20 isn't worth the time and it can be very disappointing to take that time to do the research, find out what it is, then realise the time is wasted. I learned that lesson on 8mm cine cameras!

What I think I will do though is reach out to the Harrogate Historical Society (or whatever they have over there) with an eBay link when it goes live. Even if we get £20 for it with next to no research, it's better than the skip. Historical auctions we've done for these have not gone well although this is the first time I've seen actual photos on them. Previous donations have always been drawings/paintings/etc.

Thanks again to all who have commented. It's much appreciated.
 
Thanks for the reply Peter. That's the problem. We have a lot of stuff being donated all the time and my job is to try and get volunteers to spend their time wisely on things that will make the most money. Spending 2-3 hours on research for something that might sell for £20 isn't worth the time and it can be very disappointing to take that time to do the research, find out what it is, then realise the time is wasted. I learned that lesson on 8mm cine cameras!

What I think I will do though is reach out to the Harrogate Historical Society (or whatever they have over there) with an eBay link when it goes live. Even if we get £20 for it with next to no research, it's better than the skip. Historical auctions we've done for these have not gone well although this is the first time I've seen actual photos on them. Previous donations have always been drawings/paintings/etc.

Thanks again to all who have commented. It's much appreciated.
When the slides come up for sale I would like to get the link to the sale/auction, if you can do that. Or I could make an offer?
 
In the first ones the the obvious church is without doubt York Minster from the outside. Still unmistakable now, even with the proliferation of traffic and visitors. The colour one, presumably hand tinted, could very well be an internal scene of the Minster, there are several small areas which resemble that same scene.
 
Lantern slides of this size were the norm for club photography from the turn of the century though to the late 40's
They were also the standard format for colleges, medical and scientific lectures.
Early colour transparency film was generally available from the mid 30's Dufay colour, though autochrome had been available since 1907. Both were popular with club photographers.
 
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