In 1894 sheet music publishers Edward B. Marks and Joe Stern hired electrician George Thomas and various performers to promote sales of their song "The Little Lost Child." Using a magic lantern, Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen during live performances of the song. As a result of the illustrated song performances, "The Little Lost Child" became a nationwide hit, selling more than two million copies of its sheet music. The illustrated song became a popular form of entertainment, and is considered the first step toward music video
"The Edward B. Marks Music Company was founded in 1894 by Mr. E. B. Marks, a traveling salesman of hooks, eyes, and whalebones who teamed up with a necktie salesman, Joseph W. Stern. Originally called Joseph W. Stern & Co., because Marks did not want to risk losing his regular job, it was among the first firms to usher in the modern era in pop music, which it did from a 100-square-foot basement space at 304 E. 14th Street near Second Avenue in Manhattan. Their success was launched with a song they penned themselves (Marks as lyricist and Stern as composer), a tear jerker in the popular current of the day called “The Lost Child.” This was followed up with their own first publication, another “weeper” called “Mother Was a Lady.” (Among the many firsts accredited to Marks is the first-ever music video, when he accompanied performances of “The Lost Child” with graphic colored-lantern slides which were screened opposite the performer.)" (http://www.ebmarks.com/about/, accessed 01-23-2014).