Summary

Adjustable triple flat-wick lamp burner, fuelled probably by oil. Part of a magic lantern projector used to project images. The height of each wick could be controlled in order to get the maximum intensity and evenness of light for projection of the images.

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

Cube shaped, lamp burner for a magic lantern projector. Comprises an illuminant tank, a triple wick holder and three wick controls. Top half of illuminant tilts to allow access to the wicks. There is a circular blue glass viewing hole at the back of illuminant. The top has a rectangular outlet which attaches to the main chimney of the projector.

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