Antique A.L. Simpson of Simpson's Celebrated Slides, New York, Magic Lantern Slide: Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean


Shipping to United States: Free

*Please note that only the slide is for sale and not the wire stand in which it is displayed.

This Simpson's Celebrated Slides antique slide, 4" x 3 ¼", is circa 1800s and produced by A.L. Simpson of New York City.

Rick Altman, in the book Silent Film Sound, writes about illustrated song slides:

As a vaudeville attraction, the illustrated song would have to wait until the mid-1890s. Sung by Allen May to photos of Brooklyn photographer George H. Thomas, the 1894 hit 'The Little Lost Child' sold over two million sheet music copies. Soon many others were dressing up their song routines with slides, including Alonzo Hatch, the Silvers, and Maxwell and Simpson, as well as Meyer Cohen and Charles K. Harris, who both claimed to have originated the genre. By the end of the century, illustrated songs were a vaudeville fixture. In this early period, sixteen to twenty slides would be used to illustrate each song. Photographed in black and white with live models staged to represent the words of the song, the slides would then be hand-colored and projected while a singer belted out the lyrics. Audiences would usually be invited to join in the chorus, reading the words off the screen. At first commissioned and given away by music publishers, slides were eventually produced by a small number of specialized firms (Chicago Transparency Co., A.L. Simpson, Dewitt C. Wheeler, Scott and Van Altena) and distributed for a modest feel through slide exchanges modeled on their film counterparts. At the height of the sheet music craze and at a formative moment for phonograph records, illustrated songs played an important role in marketing popular music to the masses.

Thank you to,_the_Gem_of_the_Ocean for the following information on "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean."

"Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" is a United States patriotic song which was popular during the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, especially during the Civil War era.[1] It functioned as an unofficial national anthem in competition with "Hail, Columbia" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" until the latter's formal adoption as the national anthem of the United States in 1931. For many years, the song's melody was used as the Voice of America's interval signal.

"Columbia" was a common poetic nickname for the United States of America in the 19th century. The United States was often represented in illustrations and cartoons as a heroic female figure named Columbia dressed in flag-like bunting. Other nations used similar figures, notably the French Marianne and the British Britannia.

*Please note that only the slide is for sale and not the wire stand in which it is displayed.

Thank you for looking.


Collection of Sales Tax

New York State residents, please read this concerning the collection of state taxes. As a New York state based business, I must comply with legal requirements to collect a sales tax from any resident of the state of New York who is purchasing anything from my shop.

Because of the variation in sales tax throughout of the state, I am charging a flat rate of 8.875% on purchases made by residents of New York state.

Shipping from United States

At this time, I am offering free shipping within the United States for orders $35.00 and over. If you are outside of the U.S., please contact me for a shipping quote.

International Shipping
I do ship internationally. If you don't see postage for your country listed, please contact me.

Customs Fees (Foreign Customers Only)
Duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees may be levied once the item you've purchased arrives in your country. The item may be held at the post office until you pay the required fees. I am unable to calculate what you will have to pay once your item has arrived in your country as this is up to your country's postal service.

Third Party Shipping
I do not ship to third party shipping companies. Please know that if you have something shipped to a third party shipping company without my knowledge, the item is not insured or covered for any loss or damage. I'll be happy to ship anywhere in the world. Just ask!

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations

Just contact me within: 3 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 7 days of delivery

Request a cancellation within: 12 hours of purchase

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)

Questions about your order?

Please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Returns and exchange details

If you're unhappy with your purchased item, you may return it for a refund of the purchase price of the item. Please contact me within three days of the delivery of your item. You have seven days from the delivery of your item to ship it back. Upon the item's return, I will issue a refund for the purchase price of the item to the buyer as long as the item is in the condition in which it was when it left my shop. Buyer satisfaction is my #1 priority so if there's a problem, please let me know what I can do to make things right.

Legal imprint