Projector used to view lantern slides. The illuminant is electric and appears home made. These lanterns were designed to be capable of using different types of illuminant, which could be slid in and out of the lantern chamber.

The company which manufactured this particular lantern was operational under the name Newton & Co. from 1858 and by the 1880s had become one of Britain's most important manufacturers of magic lanterns and slides. They continued in business into the 1940s. Circa 1913 the company moved from their longstanding address in Fleet Street, London to establishments in King and Wigmore Streets.

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

Rectangular polished wood body. Brass projection lens tubes and plates, brass detailing. Slide out metal plate in slide holder with large cut out circle and semi-circular metal springs. Japanned metal roof. Large rectangular aperture in roof for chimney/cowl. Metal lining to inside of illumination chamber, including door. Brass flange with slot located on front of body at base. Lateral side doors opening into illumination chamber. Both doors have circular apertures with dark glass and swivelling brass covers. X5 ventilation holes situated underneath either side door. 3/4 door flap at back of body. Condenser in place. Slide out electric illuminant fixed to crude wooden base. Illuminant incorporates reflector, light bulb socket and cord with plug.

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