Historical information

This image shows a pathway in the gardens adjacent to Beechworth's Town Hall at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, around the time of Australia's Federation. The pathway leading to a circular rotunda or covered seating area with a steep conical roof is lined with shrubs set in grass verges that appear to be covered with snow. It is unknown whether the snowfall or a factor to do with the gardens occasioned the taking of the image, which at the time may have been an exotic practice. Climate records going back to 1908 indicate that snow in winter is not unusual due to Beechworth's elevation and orientation, and the Town Hall itself was built in 1859.

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 is significant because it provides insight into Beechworth's social amenities and climate in the early Twentieth Century, around the time of Australia's Federation into one nation. It is also an example of an early photographic and film-making technology in use in regional Victoria in the time period.

Physical description

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.