On Saturday evening, Feb 7, Vicki and Walt hosted a magical evening of wonderful memories and experiences none of us had. How can that be? Why, you need a time machine! And they had several.
Larry Cederblom of the Magic Lantern Society presented a show that was first presented in part over 100 years ago using a Magic Lantern projector and old and new hand-painted emulsion-on-glass slides. Included in the mix of slides were very early cartoons, commercial advertisements, and even animations.
By today’s standards these are quite simple and primitive but enfolded in a good rolling story line the show proved to be very entertaining and educational. Larry set up a display of several examples of Magic Lanterns dating to the earliest years of the last century. Once illuminated by candles, lamp oil, kerosene and even “limelight”, they’re now lit by modern electric lamps and project quite well. Larry has a practiced routine that sets up the slide series and animations as a continuous and entertaining history lesson.
To learn more about the Magic Lantern Society and their efforts to collect and restore these time travelers, visit their website at www.magiclanternsociety.org, and if you have or know someone who has one of these machines or slides then contact the society to learn more about your treasure. Be assured Larry will be your new best friend!
Frank Sakae Matsura, Photographer
Following the theme of time travel, Kay Sibley presented the too-short life experiences of Frank S. Matsura. Frank was a photographer who came to Washington state from Japan in 1905 at age 29, and set up a photo and printing business in Okanogan, Washington but not until he’d paid his dues working odd, sometimes very odd jobs and taking work where he could find it.
The dapper Mr. Matsura was also something of a man of mystery, and gaps in his life’s story prior to arriving in the Okanogan were filled with social gossips and fanciful and imaginative tales. He proved to be hugely industrious, very likeable, and also quite artistic. It is clear too from many of his photographs that he had a wonderful sense of humor, a keen sense of showmanship, and a penchant to use his photography to build friendships and business relations. And he proved to be a valuable photo-historian at a time and in a place that provided unlimited opportunity for a man with his skills.
Matsura died in 1913 of tuberculosis leaving his photography collection to his good friend Judge William Compton Brown. The collection passed from Judge Brown to the University of Washington and to the Okanogan County Historical Society. All of Matsura’s imagery that has been cataloged is available on line in the digital archives of the University of Washington at the Frank Sakae Matsura Archives. Additional information about Mr. Matsura can be found at the Wikipedia online Encyclopedia.
There are books available at book stores on line and off that feature Frank Matsura’s work and should be a consideration for anyone interested in the history of the Okanogan area. If your family roots extend back to the early 1900’s then it is quite possible you will see members of your own family captured by Mr. Matsura.