Metal projector used to view lantern slides. It is thought that the manufacturer was instrument maker and retailer William Hume of Lothian Street, Edinburgh, Scotland who advertised in the last decade of the 19th century up till at least 1913. Sources have his business founded in 1873.

While the invention of the magic lantern is generally seen to be in the 17th century, its greatest popularity as an optical projector spans the late 18th century to the early decades of the 20th century. It was used both as a means of entertainment and education.

This lantern projector is part of the Francis Collection of pre-cinematic apparatus and ephemera, acquired by the Australian and Victorian Governments in 1975. David Francis was the curator of the National Film and Sound Archive of the British Film Institute as well as being a co-founder of the Museum of the Moving Image in London, which was operational between 1988 and 1999.

Physical Description

Japanned metal rectangular body with curved roof. Brass lens tubes. Brass tubes fixed to base by ornate metal feet: x2 at inner tube, x1 at outer tube. The front feet on the left and right side of the lantern have been repaired by welding. Ventilation holes x6 running along lower margin of left and right sides of the body underneath outer tubes. Hinged brass flange located at centre front along base of body. There is a hole in the flange for fixing the lantern to a base. There is a rectangular aperture in the roof for the chimney. There is a hinged 3/4 door on the back of the body, allowing access to the illumination chamber. The door has a circular drawn wire handle. The lantern is missing its condenser and objective tube.

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