A book is technological feat, and so is a slide.
My parents have boxes and boxes of slides—not the playground kind, of course, but the photographic kind. Throughout my growing-up years (yes, this dates me), with the exception of a few ill-fated Polaroid™ shots, they took pics almost entirely with slide film. The projector my family owned was a “stacker” that came with a side-mount contraption into which one could load an entire box or two of slides in one fell swoop. Carousel-type projectors like the one shown here, much more common, took much more time to load and unload but were less likely to jam. Slide projectors still exist, and I used one like this carousel projector a few years ago when I wanted to convert some family history pics to digital images for my parents’ 50th anniversary.
As for myself, I didn’t think I owned any slides, but I did find one recently:
I had no memory of this item but had saved it in a “worship resources” file. Before personal computers and PowerPoint, and quite possibly with a desire to supplant overhead projectors, this “Worship Visions” outfit was apparently producing slides with worship song lyrics and marketing them to churches who used projectors. When my wife saw this slide, she asked, “What is that? Like a time capsule piece?” Well, yeah, I guess so. I’ve never been anywhere where worship slides like this one were used, but I did own some transparencies until about 5 years ago, when I finally came to terms with the need to get rid of them. (Since then, I’ve met with a group that actually still has an overhead projector, so maybe I should have donated my transparencies instead of making the assumption that they were completely obsolete.)
You know, this “worship slide” technology, in its time, would have been just as likely to contribute to real congregational worship as a transparency or today’s lyrics-only PowerPoint slides. (Here, I won’t go into the merits of using music notation; I’ve written uber-sufficiently about that elsewhere.) Every technology is merely a tool to be used, or not.
[This is an installment in the periodic Monday Worship Music series which looks at hymns and other topics related to worship music of the church.]