Historical information

This image shows a semi-aerial view of a property along a river adjacent to Beechworth in approximately 1900. The photographer has capitalised words in the label, indicating that 'The Precipice' may have suggested a particular rather than a general vantage point to local people at the time. Although the exact location of the photograph is yet to be determined, Beechworth Gorge is popular today with hikers and nearby Mt Stanley is noted for its views.

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 built environment and natural landscape in the early Twentieth Century, around the time of Australia's Federation. 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 square 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.

Inscriptions & markings

Image from The Precipice. /