Magnet pictures a Magic Lantern exhibition in a 1760 drawing room. The projection of painted images on glass slides, ancestor to the slide projector, is first mentioned in the mid 1500s by Italian scholar, Giambattista della Porta in Natural Magic. Magic lanterns remained popular for almost four centuries. In the late 1800s, prior to the advent of silent films, traveling lecturers sometimes used Magic Lanterns to enhance their performance. A Magic Lantern show and purveyors are included in AMC's new western drama, Hell on Wheels.