Summary

Metal projector used to view slides. The manufacturer or distributor was W. Butcher and Sons Ltd. The original Butcher's business was established in 1866. The company's name changed to W. Butcher and Sons Ltd. in 1913, forming Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in 1915. The companies continued to produce items under their own names at this time.

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

The projector consists of two main parts: the illuminant end and the condenser end. The illuminant end has a latched door at the back to access the lamp housing and a door in the side with a circular window and sliding metal cover. There is a rectangular opening for the projector chimney in the top of the illuminant housing. Inside the housing, there is a reflector, a scalloped chimney cover and a metal lens cover. There is a lens glass between the illuminant housing and the front part of the projector. The front part of the projector, the condenser, consists of two brass cylinders with a gap between them for the slide carrier. There is a lens in a metal housing inside the front cylinder. On the outside of the front end of the projector there are two circular knobs facing each other on top.

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