Man to Eat Rats once more

By far the most popular magic lantern slide of the nineteenth century was ‘Man Eating Rats’. Lanternists would even specifically promise it in their newspaper advertisements, so audiences knew they could go along and enjoy themselves making the requisite snoring and chomping and lip-smacking noises. I’ve had a copy of the slide for a while. But while the circulating rackwork rats worked perfectly, the sleeping man’s gluttonously bearded jaw was missing. Fortunately the ANU School of Art has a wealth of skill and knowledge and Waratah Lahy was able to paint me a  beautiful new jaw and beard (on a replacement piece of polycarbonate) which works perfectly. I’ll be showing it this Friday evening at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. I’ve also just brought a slipping slide of a phrenologist alternately examining a head of a ‘low’ type and a head of a ‘high’ type. Once again Australian National University historical expertise, through my colleague Alexandra Roginski, was able to provide me with actual phrenological readings from the period. So we’ll be performing this slide as well. There’ll be heaps of other slides, including The Gin Fiend.

'Man Eating Rats', hand painted and copperplate printed rackwork and slipping slide, c1890s.

‘Man Eating Rats’, hand painted and copperplate printed rackwork and slipping slide, c1890s.

'Phrenologist', hand painted and copperplate printed slipping slide, c1890s

‘Phrenologist’, hand painted and copperplate printed slipping slide, c1890s

'Phrenologist', hand painted and copperplate printed slipping slide, c1890s

‘Phrenologist’, hand painted and copperplate printed slipping slide, c1890s

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