A magic lantern slide of an Edwardian car ferry

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There’s no caption on this slide to explain what’s happening. It could be motorists having a race from one side of the lake to the other and one has hired the local rowing club rather than driving around it. Or, perhaps it’s a stunt for the Edwardian equivalent of ‘You’ve been framed’.

However, on balance, it’s best to assume that it’s an early car ferry. Clearly no-one has thought about the consequences of the weight of the car shifting a bit or its brakes failing or an unexpected wake from another boat. In fact, there’s no evidence that they’ve undertaken even the most basic health and safety risk assessment. If they had, they wouldn’t be doing this!

The car registration number ‘CM 341’ denotes that it was registered in Birkenhead on the Wirral during or after 1904 but, from the photo, I can’t determine the make or model. I would like to know a little more about this photo so, if someone out there in social-media-land can identify the location or the make of car, please contact me.

If you found this interesting, please share it with your family and friends. If you’re not reading it on my ‘Magic Lantern World‘ website, then please visit. There are over one hundred illustrated articles about Victorian slide projection and links to my historical photo-booklets on Amazon, my Ebay shop for magic lantern slides and Etsy store for historical photo greetings cards with a twist. You can read about my authentic Victorian magic lantern shows and talks on ‘Optical entertainments before the movies’ and lots more!

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