Metal projector used to view lantern slides, made circa 1880-1920. It has a three-wick oil illuminant.

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 japanned metal body. Brass outer and objective tube with swivelling lens cover. Ventilation holes (x7) along bottom margin on each lateral side. Further ventilation holes (x3) on each side of square metal outer tube. Rectangular aperture on roof for fixing chimney or cowl. Latched side door on right lateral side of body. Hinged 3/4 flip door on back part of lantern body. Cicrcular aperture in back door. Japanned metal removable part in slide aperture. This has large cut out circle in centre and semi-circular metal clamps top and bottom. Removable condenser lens. Rectangular slide out 3-wick oil illuminant. Top half of illuminant tilts to allow access to wicks. Circular blue glass viewing hole at back of illuminant.

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