Children's toy magic lantern projector, designed for domestic use with miniature glass slides. The illuminant could possibly be a candle or a paraffin or similar burner. This lantern projector would originally have been part of a box set, which would also have included a number of slides.

This toy magic lantern was manufactured by the German company of Gebruder Bing for J & A Boyes, who were ironmongers situated at 241 and 243 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, Victoria. Newspaper advertising show them operating from at least 1893. In October of 1921 the entire stock of the store was auctioned off due to the retirement of the Boyes.

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.

Physical Description

Barrel shaped toy lantern of red enamelled metal. Body has gilt enamel band decoration. Has removable nude metal chimney with elbow. Removable two part nude metal lens barrel with brass ending. Bottom-hinged circular back door into illumination chamber. Lantern body fixed to rectangular wooden base.

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