Photo Collection (PC) 153

WSC Instruction Lantern Slides

ca. 1890-1949

Acquisition And Processing Information

Most of the slides in this collection were received at the Washington State University Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) at an unknown date prior to 1998, and retained without an accession number. Most likely the majority of them were held in the Libraries’ Audio-Visual Services department, and transferred to MASC ca. 1992 when that department was split into what is now Academic Media Services (AMS) and the Libraries’ Media, Materials, and Reserves (MMR). The slides in the Northwest Power series and the Palouse River series were received at MASC from the Department of Civil Engineering on June 7, 1983, and retained without an accession number. All the materials were processed and re-housed by University Archivist Mark O’English and Katrina Burch between June and August of 2012.

Extent/Quantity Information

Number of containers: 4 box

Linear feet of shelf space: 1.5

Approximate number of stereoviews: 330


At Washington State University (then College) lantern slides were commonly used for classroom instruction from the earliest days of the school up into the 1940s and 1950s, using either commercially produced slides or slides created either by the professor or the school’s media department. Lantern slides were originally introduced in 1849; they were photographs printed onto glass plates for projection onto a wall or screen for viewing. They became ubiquitous in classroom use following the development of the electric light. The majority of the slides in this collection were probably created or collected for classroom use.

Collection Description

The collection consists of a variety of small collections of glass lantern slides, most likely used for educational purposes between 1892 and 1950.


The images are arranged in a number of series which reflect the original series they were either created in or used in, as best as we could tell. Within those series, slides are ordered numerically if a numbering system exists on them, but otherwise mostly unordered. These numbers were likely either an order of display created by the instructor who compiled them, or an inventory number/sequence applied by the company which created them. If another system of ordering exists for a series, it is noted within the description for that series below.


This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright may apply.

Preferred Citation

The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
WSC Instruction Lantern Slides, ca. 1890-1949 (PC 153)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA

Container List

Box Series
1Agricultural extension. Produced by International Harvester Co., Chicago, IL. Approx. 20 slides.
1“Decorating Low Cost Houses.” 1948-1949. WSC Home Economics Department. 20 slides & a 2-page descriptive text, written by WSC professor Ruth M. Smith, depicting interior decoration for two experimental low-cost GI housing units at WSC. Two slides, B3 and B6 were missing at time of precessing.
1Early northwest scenes. 13 slides of drawn or painted scenes depicting historic inland northwest places of events.
1Mining. 33 slides, apparently used for mining instruction. The first 9 are identified Montana locations (Anaconda, Butte, Great Falls), but the remaining 24 are identified.
2Northwest power. Arranged by location.
    Chelan. 1 image.
    Rock Island. 3 images.
    Skagit powerhouse. 20 images.
    Spokane Falls. 2 images.
2Palouse River (downtown Pullman) flow models & flood (1935) images. 12 slides.
2-3Panama Canal construction. Produced by Victor Animatograph Co., Davenport, IA. Approx. 40 slides.
3Roads. Produced by Office of Public Roads, USDA, Washington, DC. 15 slides.
3Roads & bridges. Produced by Victor Animatograph Co., Davenport, IA. Approx. 30 slides.
3-4Roads, bridges, transportation. Produced by Enterprise Mfg., Portland, OR. Approx. 35 slides.
4Silk production. Produced by Keystone View Co. Factories, Meadville, PA. Approx. 45 slides.
4Sluices (primarily inland northwest). 11 slides.
4Small bridges & dams (primarily inland northwest). Approx. 35 slides.
4Washington State College Audio-Visual Center instructional slides. 5 slides & a 3-page descriptive text.