A direct descendant of magic lantern programs of the mid 1800s, the 4” x 3” slides consist of a black and white positive image sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Color was applied manually or using a stencil directly on the emulsion. Eventually replaced by Eastman slide film by the 1940s, these slides were used in classrooms, lecture halls, and theaters around the country through most of the first half of the twentieth century.
When PPS originally produced the slides, farmers had hoped that flax would become a cornerstone crop of Oregon’s agricultural industry. Despite a fertile growing area and government support — including a flax processing plant built at the state penitentiary in 1915 — the industry collapsed after World War II. Since that time, there has been continued interest and excitement in reviving the crop in Oregon.