Lecturer's reading/signalling oil lamp from around 1890-1900. It was manufactured by Spiers & Ponds Stores. The lamp operated from paraffin oil and would burn for about an hour on a filling.

Often magic lantern shows involved a lecturer as well as a projectionist.

A reading/signal lamp was used to illuminate the lecturer's notes and to signal to the projectionist when to change a slide. Some lamps were fitted with a bell to give an audible signal for the next slide.
To alert the projectionist, the lecturer lifted and then closed a shutter, which covers a red lens.

This reading/signal lamp 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

An upright, rectangular, black, metal oil lamp. Designed with four segments: the bottom segment has only three walls and houses the stand for lamp wick; the second segment holds paraffin oil to fuel lamp; the third segment has a lift up shade to direct light onto the lecturer's papers and a glass to keep the flame away from papers, on the opposite side of this segment there is a red lens, concealed by a shutter, which can be exposed by raising a brass handle so that the projectionist can see when to put up the next slide; the fourth / top segment is a chimney with a rounded, metal cap at the top.

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