Projector used to view lantern slides. The maker of this particular lantern is probably William Charles Hughes.

W.C. Hughes was an optician as well as a designer, manufacturer and retailer of magic lanterns, taking out numerous patents over the years. Prior to operating his business as an optician Hughes had been a showman, giving dramatic readings in theatres, as well as performing songs and magic shows.

Hughes made this particular lantern projector for the evangelist Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness. This particular projector was later used at the Theodore Road, London, Baptist Church, members who had the lantern adapted and rebuilt.

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 wooden body on wooden base plate. Brass detailing. The lantern is missing its roof. Brass front and back stage plates insitu, but no projection lenses. Condenser in situ. Long, narrow hinged brass doors on either lateral side open into illumination chamber behind the condenser lens. Wooden door on each lateral side open into illumination chamber. Each door has brass bound circular blue glass viewing window. Brass handle can latch door closed. On base plate brass cradle is fixed on a brass stick to support missing projection lenses. Illumination chamber is metal lined, with felt cloth between lining and wooden body. Back door is missing. Electrical illumination is fixed within illumination chamber. It comprises globe socket and small sections of electrical cord. There are separate brass knob controls to adjust the height of the globe and allow sideways movement.

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