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John Wilbur Ripley - Page

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A photograph showing John Wilbur Ripley, a successful Topeka businessman and author, putting a lantern slide into a projector. His interests included photography, writing and early 20th century music, but his favorite pastime was collecting lantern slides, which are a colorful remnants from the end of the 19th century. A unique type of entertainment, also called illustrated song slides, were shown daily in the nation's 10,000 five-cent theatres or nickelodeons. It was a vocal act aided by a collection of hand-colored glass lantern slides, custom designed to illustrate the song's story line. Normally the slides were shown between films while the projectionist was changing the reels. Of the comparatively few accumulations of song slides that escaped destruction, the largest collection once belonged to John Ripley. Combining his interest in lantern slides and a flare for writing, John published several articles in American Heritage, Smithsonian, and a number of local publications.

Creator: Kansas State Historical Society. Library and Archives Division
Date: 1963

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Item Number: 222138
Call Number: B Ripley, John *4
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 222138

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