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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Magic Lantern Slides
Magic Lantern Slideshow - Abraham Lincoln ➔ Lantern Slide, Bombardment of Fort Sumpter

This illustrated, hand-painted lantern slide is labeled "the bombardment of Ft. Sumpter by the batteries of the Confederate States. April 13, 1861". The attack by the South Carolina militia (as the Confederate Army did not exist yet), the return gunfire. and subsequent surrender by the US Army started the American Civil War. 

This lantern slide depicts eleven armed men in a trench. Five of the men are wearing the full Civil War general attire while the rest wear blue pants with either a brown or white shirt. On the left side of the cannon that was just fired, there are seven men, three of which are working the cannon while three other men stand by. One man has climbed up a latter to look through a telescope. To the right of the cannon, there are three men with shocked faces as they look at an explosion in the trench. One man is dead on the ground. Across the sea is Fort Sumpter which has multiple areas on fire. On the left side of the background, a town is on fire. On the right side of the background are several ships, a few of which seem to be on fire. 

This slide is part of slideshow 2021.6.2 about the life of Abraham Lincoln utilized for educational purposes by the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
1900 – 1950
Glass, Paint
4" h 3.25" w
Museum Collection
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History was established in 1854 by a group of civic leaders, inspired by a movement sweeping the country. Followers of the Lyceum Movement believed that education, in the form of libraries, museums, lectures and discussions, and public schools, could help right the illnesses of society and preserve democracy.

In the early 1860s the Civil War had put a halt to the activities of the Lyceum. But in the summer of 1865, the war was over, and the enthusiasm of a group of teenage boys for new ideas about science and nature would bring the fledgling Museum back to life.

In 1868 the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History and the Grand Rapids Scientific Club merged to form the Kent Scientific Institute. The new organization successfully combined the youthful enthusiasm of local high school students with the experience of prominent civic leaders to create a successful museum for their community.

In 1881, the Kent Scientific Institute reached an agreement with the Board of Education which allowed them to store their collections at Central High School.

In February of 1903, the Board of Education agreed to purchase the Howlett House, at the corner of Jefferson and Washington, to be the permanent home of the Kent Scientific Institute.

The "new" Grand Rapids Public Museum was built during the Great Depression with WPA funds from the Federal Government. The building itself was a radical departure from most contemporary museums, and was described by Museum Director Frank DuMond as "accessible as a dime store and friendly as your next door neighbor."

The Grand Rapids Public Museum began experimenting with planetarium equipment in the early 1960s, and hired its first curator for the new technology in 1964. The planetarium was eventually named after Grand Rapids astronaut Roger B. Chaffee, who was killed in the Apollo I disaster on January 27, 1967.

In 1989, the Grand Rapids Public Museum took over the management of the Voigt House in the Heritage Hill Neighborhood. The opulent home was built in 1895 and includes more than 100 years of the Voigt family's possessions.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum's current facility opened in 1994 on the west bank of the Grand River in the heart of downtown. It contains three floors of exhibits, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, the Cook Carousel Pavilion, Meijer Theater, cafe, and gift shop.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.