Peter Hornbeck Lantern Slide Collection

Title

Peter Hornbeck Lantern Slide Collection

Subject

Lantern slides - Hand-colored - 1930-1940
Hornbeck, Peter - 1936-1998
Williamsburg (Va.)--History.
Architecture, Colonial - Virginia - Williamsburg

Description

Mr. Peter Hornbeck, a Landscape Architect and Harvard professor who died in 1998, assembled the Peter Hornbeck Lantern Slide Collection. He collected these slides produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s as examples of visual aids used by early landscape architects to discuss the Williamsburg restoration and eighteenth-century garden history. The slides encompass a variety of images of Williamsburg available commercially from A.D. Handy, F.S. Lincoln, Eldredge Studio, and the National Geographic Society. They also include some images of other historic homes and gardens in Virginia and England.

This collection is significant as a record of how landscape architects interpreted and presented eighteenth-century garden history during the 1930s and 1940s. It also provides a visual record of Williamsburg buildings and gardens before, during, and after the restoration work of the early 1930s. In addition, the collection documents how the Williamsburg Restoration publicized its work through commercial slide sets. For example, Mr. F.S. Lincoln, a New York photographer hired to document restored Williamsburg buildings in 1935, created colorized lantern slides of his photos for sale in Williamsburg shops. The Hornbeck collection contains numerous examples of these early souvenir slides.

A precursor of 35mm slides, lantern slides are large format positive transparencies, usually 3.25 x 4 inches, sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Many were hand-colored. A projector allowed the slides to be viewed on a wall or screen. Instead of automatically advancing from one slide to the next, the lantern slides had to be manually placed into a slot on the projector.

Invented in 1848, lantern slides evolved from those associated with magic lanterns in the late nineteenth-century to the format represented in this collection. Between 1848-1870, oil lamps served as the light source for magic lantern projectors. By the 1890s, the carbon arc lamp offered a better lighting method. The introduction of electricity in the twentieth-century allowed the projection of lantern slides to become common in schools and universities. Lantern slides became obsolete in the 1950s when the Kodachrome three-color process brought about the introduction of 35mm slides.

Items in the Peter Hornbeck Lantern Slide Collection Collection

Governor's Palace Supper Room, Williamsburg, Virginia
Interior of the Supper Room in the Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1935. A Chinese wallpaper pattern is visible on the walls, though it has since been removed. Among the room's furnishings, an elegant marble-topped sideboard table…

General Court, Capitol, Williamsburg, Virginia
Interior view of the General Court Room in Capitol, circa 1935.

Blue and Crimson Bedroom, Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia
Interior of the Governor's Bedroom in the Governor's Palace, view toward the bed, 1935. Interior furnishings and decor reflect curators' views in the 1930s as to how Williamsburg's historic interiors may have looked in the eighteenth century.…

Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia
Entrance detail of the Raleigh Tavern's southern facade, viewed from the southwest along Duke of Gloucester Street, 1935. The tavern's signboard and a fence stand in the foreground, while the front entrance of the building is visible in the…

Governor's Palace Bedchamber, Williamsburg, Virginia
View of the southeast bedchamber at the Governor's Palace as it appeared in the 1930s. Surviving inventories of colonial governors provided guidance to curatorial staff as they furnished the reconstructed Palace.

Garden Parterre, Williamsburg, Virginia
A section of a garden parterre featuring a decorative shell border is shown along a brick pathway in an unidentified garden at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Governor's Palace Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
Boxwood hedges and flowering trees accent a walled garden within the grounds of the Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Governor's Palace Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
A costumed interpreter pauses at the top of the steps leading to the canal on the Governor's Palace grounds, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Colonial Williamsburg Parking Lot, Williamsburg, Virginia
Automobiles parked in a lot adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Travis House Restaurant, Williamsburg, Virginia
Close-up view of a meal typically served in the Travis House restaurant when located on Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Travis Tea House, Williamsburg, Virginia
Teahouse in the garden behind the Travis House restaurant when it was located on Block 13 along Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1935.

Prentis Barber Shop, Williamsburg, Virginia
A costumed interpreter smokes a pipe outside the Prentis Shop during the period when it housed the Barber and Peruke Maker's Shop. The Ludwell-Paradise House is visible in the background.

Bridge Over Governor's Palace Canal
A Chinoiserie style footbridge in the Governor's Palace garden arches gracefully over the canal, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1930s.

Governor's Palace Canal and Grounds
View of the Governor's Palace canal, 1935. The canal, in addition to the garden terraces to the left (also known as "falling gardens") and Ice House (out of view), are original eighteenth-century features of the Palace gardens. The structure to the…

Palace Canal
View of the Governor's Palace canal, circa 1935. The canal, in addition to the garden terraces to the left (also known as "falling gardens") and Ice House (out of view), are original eighteenth-century features of the Palace gardens. In the distance,…

Governor's Palace Terraces, Williamsburg, Virginia
View of the garden terraces, also known as "falling gardens," leading down towards the Governor's Palace canal, circa 1935. The canal, in addition to the garden terraces, are original eighteenth-century features of the Palace gardens.

Governor's Palace Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
View of the Governor's Palace garden terraces, also known as "falling gardens," 1935. In the foreground, a female costumed interpreter (originally referred to as a "hostess") sits on a bench. These falling gardens, in addition to the canal (at base…

Courtyard Garden, Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia
Geometric parterres form a small courtyard garden beside the outbuildings on the left side of the Governor's Palace complex, Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1935.

Governor's Palace Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
View of the Revolutionary War burial ground, behind the formal gardens of the Governor's Palace, 1935. Soldiers' bodies were interred here when the Palace served as a hospital during the Revolution. The structure to the far right, built into the…

Governor's Palace Kitchen, Williamsburg, Va.
View through a window of the Governor's Palace Kitchen, Williamsburg, Virginia, looking towards the kitchen garden, where a costumed interpreter is at work, 1935.