This glass slide captures the unveiling of the two cannons at Queen Victoria Park which were secured by Sir Isaac Isaacs and presented to Beechworth in 1901. In the foreground, elegantly dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen can be seen gathering around the park's iconic rock, with excited children looking on from the sides. Atop of the rock stands an intricately designed gas lamp that has since been removed but evidence of its existence still remains. The unveiling of these two cannons would have been a celebratory affair for those in attendance, marking a momentous occasion for Beechworth residents that was captured in this lantern slide.
Sir Isaac Isaacs was an influential figure in Beechworth, having grown up and studied there. He began his education at the Common school and eventually graduated as dux of the Beechworth Grammar School. His commitment to public service was evident early on and he was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1892, representing Bogong, a district which included Yackandandah and Beechworth. During his time in office he pushed for better education, healthcare, employment opportunities and housing for the people of Beechworth.
Lantern slides, sometimes called 'magic lantern' slides, are glass plates on which an image has been secured for the purpose of projection. Glass slides were etched or hand-painted for this purpose from the Eighteenth Century but the process became more popular and accessible to the public with the development of photographic-emulsion slides used with a 'Magic Lantern' device in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Photographic lantern slides comprise a double-negative emulsion layer (forming a positive image) between thin glass plates that are bound together. A number of processes existed to form and bind the emulsion layer to the base plate, including the albumen, wet plate collodion, gelatine dry plate and woodburytype techniques. Lantern slides and magic lantern technologies are seen as foundational precursors to the development of modern photography and film-making techniques.
This glass slide captures social and historical significance as it represents a moment of celebration for Beechworth residents and symbolises an important milestone in the town's history. This lantern slide stands testament to a special moment in Beechworth’s history and its significance continues to be remembered today. It is also an example of an early photographic and film-making technology in use in regional Victoria in the time period.
Thin translucent sheet of glass with a circular image printed on the front and framed in a black backing. It is held together by metals strips to secure the edges of the slide.