Similar items over time

Projector - Archer & Sons, Magic Lantern, Englarger, Liverpool, England, circa 1880-1920 Object Reg. No: HT 26835

Mahogany and brass projector used to view lantern slides. It is illuminated using a limelight burner and features an unusual leather bellows lens extender. The chimney is missing.

Archer & Sons were a lantern manufacturing firm based in Liverpool. They were operational from 1848 and in the 1880s and 1890s were one of the largest manufacturers of lanterns in northern England.

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.
Rectangular body mahogany magic lantern with brass detailing. Brass lens tube with brass swivel cover. Concertina black leather bellows lens extender contained within wooden housing. Brass knob on right side of lantern front body for extending same. Centre front of base plate flat brass flange with cutout slot for fixing lantern to flat surface. Each lower lateral side has long rectangular top-hinged flaps into illumination chamber. Each later side has square hinged side-opening door into illumination chamber. Each has blue glass circular viewing hole with swivel brass cover. Condenser insitu. Japanned metal top cover with large oval aperture for chimney/cowl. Latched side-swinging 3/4 door at back of illumination chamber. Illumination chamber floor has rectangular metal mesh above illumination. Slide out limelight illumination unit.
Acquisition Information:
Loan & Subsequent Donation from Australian Film Institute (AFI)
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 290 mm (Height), 200 mm (Width), 500 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: projectors, magic lanterns, lantern projectors, photographic enlargers
Themes this item is part of: Francis Collection, Images & Image Making Collection, Leisure Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Audio-Visual Systems
Tertiary Classification: image production equipment
Inscriptions: On rectangular brass plaque placed on each lateral side of lantern body: 'ARCHER & SONS/73 LORD ST./LIVERPOOL'
On right-hand tap of illuminant: 'O'
On left-hand tap of illuminant: 'H'
Collector: Mr David Francis, London, Middlesex, England, Great Britain, 1990
Manufacturer: Archer & Sons, Liverpool, England, Great Britain, circa 1880-1920
References: The Magic Lantern Society UK; Glossary and Lantern Alphabet; Archer & Sons
Accessed 18 March 2011

A Division into Manufacturers; Miscellanous, England, Archer & Sons
Accessed 18 March 2011


WILLIAM BARTOW Posted on 30 Dec 2013 1:22 AM
i just purchased this exact magic lantern in mint condition at a consignment shop,with the chimney. I paid $435 US. I think I did quite well. It is for sale
phil davidson Posted on 13 May 2015 11:31 PM
Excellent article am just about to watch a slide show using one of these projectors The presenter is looking for a source of carbon electrodes for the arc light mechanism. Do yo know of a source please?

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No