This image shows the gorge adjacent to Beechworth in approximately 1900. Although the exact location of the photograph is yet to be determined, the present-day Beechworth Gorge Walk includes views of the Cascades at the point at which Spring Creek flows into the valley on the level below. Gold-sluicing techniques in use in the town during periods of active gold extraction may have altered the landscape since the photograph was taken, however. In the 1850s a mill was built at the top of the Spring Creek falls by Russian-born Louis Chevalier, brother of artist Nicholas Chevalier. The mill supplied the town with lumber that supported the town's initial construction boom.
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.
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.