Canada’s Native North American Indians and Tribes, Log Cabin on Emerald Lake, Magic Lantern Image date c.1870-00


Magic Lantern Slides, some beautifully hand colored,

depicting late 1800’s Canadian wilderness and Native Americans in their natural element.

Below are some magic lantern slides from c.1870-1890.  These glass slides were very popular as teaching aides in schools and others  used them in a traveling lantern shows to small towns.  In rural America in the 1800’s individual lived their lives from birth to death. Rarely did they travel no more than 30 miles from the center of their universe.

What is amazing about the early magic latern slides is that they where al photographed in black and white.  They had tables of talented young woman hand tinting these slides.  Their accuracy in their rendition made these slides look as if they had been photographed in color.

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Magic Lantern Slide by William H. Rau, Photographer headquartered in Philadelphia, Penna. No. 13754 Canada, Field, Mount Burgess, Emerald Lake

Below we see a closer view of the log cabin showing the roof covered with felt tar paper held in place with lengths of  branches. You can always click on the image to make  it larger.

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Log cabin with detail showing the notched ends of the logs. Tin smokestack protruding through the roof

Close-up image of Mount Burgess and Emerald Lake

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In this image you see the horses tied to the pine tree with their saddles laying on the ground next to them.

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Below is the above image cropped leaving out the label and the rounded corners.

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The next image below is a hand painted slide showing a First Nation camp. This is a Saulteaux branch of Ojibwe tribe that resides in Alberta Canada.

The central figure in this slide is an dishevel old woman standing next to her horse which has been strapped up with traverse poles.  Her hair is in disarray and she seems to have not had a bath for a while.  This was life in the blistering elements that guaranteed that only the strong survived.

Fortunately this slides are very detail that you can count how many times the straps are wound around the poles. These crude strips of leather have no rhythm or reason in how they are used to hold the traverse poles onto the horse. Centuries had made living in the harshness of the element for them to be very effective in their survival.

These strips of leather rest on a  blanket that seems to have a pouch near the tail with a applique design of a cross.  When examined closely, the old woman  holds a strap in her bony arthritic fingers.  On each of her fingers she has a silver ring displayed proudly.

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Below is a wonderful detail of the teepee construction. It is hard to imagine how these flimsy branches they could make the leather so taunt.

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Panorama view of the Indian camp with teepee’s spread out, some seem to be a thousand feet distance.

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In these photo’s below you can see the old woman wearing a stripped blanket, her most essential possession and seems to be holding a long handle hatchet.

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Below is a close-up of the horse and the crude straps that holds the traverse poles. Two furry visitors watch the activity in the distance. You can click on the image for a closer look. Also you can make out the pouch towards the tail with fringes hanging from it and the applique design including the cross (not a religious cross.)

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In this close-up below you can see another dog lying next to the teepee.

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Handwritten caption on the slide below c.1890.

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Below you see many outdoor sleeping teepee’s without the skin on the skeleton.

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Below is a c.1900 Canadian Banff Indian camp in black & white.  There are two young man setting up camp while their dinner cooks over a fire. On the slide it has printed in red McCain Lecture.  Men used to go around to small towns and have magic lantern shows, bring the outside world to people that had never traveled outside their conclave. This was the movies before there were movies.

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Interesting sign at top of the teepee’s (X inside a box) could this be their way of distinguishing which tribe they belonged to.

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Below is a close-up of these two North American Native Canadians with wonderful classic features preparing to eat in a moment of their existence. We will never know anything about but them, not their name, birth, death, who their children were.  But thanks to this magic lantern slide we know they existed and they will live forever in this image.

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Below is the full view of the slide.

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