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Projector - Magic Lantern, Lampascope, circa 1899 Object Reg. No: HT 3805

A beautiful magic lantern produced for home use. The lampascope was designed to fit on top of a domestic oil lamp to utilise its light and thus did not require its own illuminant. Lampascopes such as this were a product of France and appear to date from 1861. The majority were globular in shape, such as this particular model. Many were coloured using an alcohol based varnish, often in an array of exuberant colours.

The Lapierre family and Louis Aubert were the two most prominent producers of this type of lantern, however there were many other producers, both large firms and individual craftsmen. This lamp is very similar to the Lapierre produced 'Boule' lampascope.

The glass lamp incorporates a 'Kosmos' burner, developed by the Berlin company of Wild and Wessel in 1865. This kerosene burner utilizes a flat wick which is folded into a tube. The distinctive chimney has a restricting 'pinch' which helps with air flow. In 1899 the company was taken over by Brökelmann, Jaeger & Co. The logo on the wick winder knob dates the burner from this latter period. This company did not necessarily produce either the lamp or the lantern, as burners were frequently sold on whole-sale.

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.
Complete object comprises glass lamp/ burner, glass chimney and metal lantern projector.
Acquisition Information:
Loan & Subsequent Donation from Australian Film Institute (AFI)
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: magic lanterns, projectors, lantern projectors, innovation design
Themes this item is part of: Francis Collection, Leisure Collection
Primary Classification: PHOTOGRAPHY
Secondary Classification: Image Viewing Equipment
Tertiary Classification: lantern projectors
Inscriptions: On illuminant control

Collector: Mr David Francis, London, Middlesex, England, Great Britain, 1990
References: http://www.geh.org/fm/magiclant/htmlsrc/magiclant_sum00001.html
Accessed 8 August 2008

Accessed 8 August 2008

Accessed 8 August 2008
  1. [Book], Stephen Herbert, Richard Crangle, David Robinson, Encyclopaedia of the Magic Lantern, The Magic Lantern Society, 2001, 2001, 157-8 Pages

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