A Trip to the Moon, a triumph of science and scenic art
January 26, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

In 1889, the Urania Astronomical Society of Berlin put together an illusion of a trip to the moon and a solar eclipse, created with painted scenery, transparent screens, and a variety models, created live before an audience. Three years later, the same show was presented at Andrew Carnegie's Music Hall, as covered in Scientific American, a decade before Le Voyage dans la Lune, the film by Georges Méliès (previously). The stage show was documented in 1897, in Magic; stage illusions and scientific diversions, including trick photography (Archive.org, direct link to Trip to the Moon; also available on Google Books). [via io9, who have a summary of the special effects]
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I now realize that I will do all I can to get my son to re-create old science tricks in his school science projects, because there are enough examples of surface tension and soap, realistic volcanoes, and density of diet vs regular soda.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on January 26, 2013

"landscapes ... of the moon, which, under a sky of eternal blackness, glitter in a jeweled panoply of death, for the moon is a dead world."

Gotta love those Victorian-romantic text stylings. And the fanciful images of lunar crags.
posted by Twang at 2:25 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fantastic, thank you!
posted by jokeefe at 7:58 PM on January 26, 2013

Oh goodness, going to one of those shows would have been a real treat.
posted by aroweofshale at 1:38 AM on January 28, 2013

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