Treasures of pre-cinema history
The magic lantern
Willi Simon, Wiesbaden-Dotzheim
Willi Simon was born on 27 March 1896 in Wiesbaden. The family register does not give a clear information about his parents. He was registered as the son of the pharmacist Simon and his wife Luise,...
..., but in a handwritten addition by the priest the first names were rewritten as Gustav Simon and Helene Rossel. Willi Simon grew up in Dotzheim near Wiesbaden. His father practiced the profession of a roof builder. In 1913, Simon received a diploma from the "Nassauer Gewerbeverein" as an apprentice fitter. Simon took part at the First World War, from which he returned home with a nervous disease. This resulted in a claim to a war pension. In his working life Simon was head of the mechanical workshop of the Wiesbadener "Photo-Apparaten-Bau" company, owned by August Horn. At some point in time, Willi Simon took the company over. It is probably there, when Simon get first in contact with the art of projection. In 1924, Simon took a slide projector and slide lending series (from Ed. Liesegang in Düsseldorf) to offer schools in the Rheingau and the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate lectures for children. It is very fortunate that the documents of his preparation have been preserved. Handwritten notes about his income and expenditure during the time of his travels give insight into the economic situation of a traveling lecturer. The almost one hundred surviving letters of reference allow to reconstruct his travel route of the year 1924 in detail. Willi Simon lived in the Wilhelmstraße 21 (today Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße 21) in Wiesbaden-Dotzheim. In 1932, very few lectures took place. The address book of Wiesbaden mentioned Willi Simon in his 1936/37 edition.
The available documents are all accessible and give an exciting insight into the life of an lecture of the 1920th.
Im Fluge durch die Welt
A trip around the world
Das Leben Jesu
Published by the Lichtbilder-Verlag des Evangelischen Vereins für kirchliche Zwecke