This metal projector was used to view slides. This optical lantern was possibly used in Melbourne, Victoria, at least at some stage as the projector box has a Victorian Railway sticker for Camberwell.
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.
The projector is housed in a black, rusty metal box with a door at one end that opens from left to right. The original latch is missing but there is a new latch made from wire. There are two wire handles on top of the box. The projector consists of two main parts: the illuminant end and the projector end. The illuminant end has a latched door at the back to access the lamp housing and a door in each side with a circular window. There is a rectangular opening in the top of the illuminant housing. Inside the housing, there is a plate with a long nail (used as a handle) that can be slid out. There is also a rectangular chimney piece and a lens in a brass housing stored. There is a lens glass between the illuminant housing and the front part of the projector. The front part of the projector has two brass cylinders with a gap between them where the slides are placed. There is a ring of metal between the two cylinders with two missing springs and screws. There are remnant scraps of paper peeling front the front and side of the box with largely illegible text.
On scraps of paper (label stuck to outside of box):"VICTORIAN R[A]ILW.../CAMBERWELL"; "TICKET/BRIC...E/....all'
Type of item
375 mm (Length), 160 mm (Width), 230 mm (Height)
Dimensions are for the metal box.