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The Johnson Disney filmstrip projectors and strips.

The company of Johnson & Sons/Johnsons of Hendon.

In 1740, Richard Wright established a goldsmith shop on Maiden Lane in London. John Johnson becomes an apprentice here before taking over the company.

Around 1839, JOHNSON & SONS begins manufacturing the silver and gold salts necessary for the new photographic process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot, with which Johnson began his photography business.

During World War II, JOHNSON supplied most of the chemicals needed to process aerial photographs, especially after the destruction in September 1940 of the company "Ensign Ltd". Shortly after this destruction, the remaining stock of enlargers, epidiascopes and cinema cameras was acquired by JOHNSON & SONS. "Although Ensign Ltd is to be closed, we are pleased to learn that arrangements have been made allowing Mr. Stanley HOUGHTON, the outgoing Managing Director and Mr. Fred BUTCHER, the Technical Director as well as members of staff to join JOHNSON & SONS, from Hendon, which will soon be opening a new service in these areas of activity”.

After the relocation of the offices and chemical warehouse in 1927 from Finsbury-London to Hendon, the company changed its name in 1948. "JOHNSON & SONS Manufacturing Chemists Ltd", then officially became "JOHNSONS of HENDON Ltd", but this name has been already used on some advertisements since the end of World War II.  In 1972 JOHNSONS of HENDON was acquired by the Hestair Company and in 1977 the company was bought by Eumig who gave its name to this new structure: "Eumig (UK) Limited".
Beginning at least in 1952 and for a long time afterwards in the 1950s, the Johnsons of Hendon company sold a 4.5-volt battery-powered toy projector capable of displaying non-moving filmstrip images based on Walt Disney characters under the license. “Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Ltd”.
“ The JOHNSON DISNEY Movie Projector is a real small projector that produces sharp, bright colour images up to 60 square meters depicting genuine Walt-Disney artwork from famous cartoon movies. A well-designed optical system guarantees surprisingly clear and crisp results ”
The device consists of a painted metal battery housing with a hinged door at the back for placing the flat 4.5 volt battery. At the front, a very simple optical system fits on the housing. It consists of a small condenser lens, placed just behind the film transport, and a sliding tube with a projection lens.
Three different versions of this filmstrip projector were released.

Film strips were sold in a small cardboard box and placed in the strip holder by two wooden spools in the two spool holders. By means of the wooden spools the filmstrip could be moved forward to show the next picture.
Version 1.

The first version of this projector is black and looks very much like a flashlight, complete with a handle on the top.
Walt Disney's name is prominently displayed on the packaging, while the maker's name, "Johnsons of Hendon" is printed very modestly in miniature. The device is still presented here as a "Lantern". However the manual already calls it a "projector".


Version 2.

The second version of this projector has a silver-grey enamel paint finish. The handle is gone, but the switch on the front remains. The cardboard packaging is blue in colour. The device is called the "Johnson-Disney Filmstrip Projector". The term "Projector" makes it a much more modern device than the previous one.


Version 3.

The third version of this projector also has a silver-grey finish. The packaging, in sturdy cardboard with a removable cover, is red in colour.


The switch, made of white plastic, is located on the top of the battery housing.
The projector came complete in an attractive cardboard packaging designed by DISNEY Studios and printed in 6 colours. The device is accompanied by a user manual, a small bulb, a 4.5 Volt electric battery, a wooden core and some films; optionally the set No 1 with 1 film, No 2 with 6 films, No 3 with 12 films. In addition, it was possible to buy films individually or in sets of six.
Each film strip contains 24 coloured images plus the title. They are wrapped around a wooden shaft that fits directly into the projector. The films can be stored in a small cardboard box with different colours depending on the series. In addition, each box contains a slip of paper with comments for each image printed on it.

The film boxes can be stored by colour in a larger cardboard box that fits 6 boxes. For example, the dark blue boxes belong to "SERIES 51", the dark red to "SERIES 52", the green to "SERIES 53", and so on.

More battery powered magic lanterns
Mickey Mouse Toy Lantern outfit.
Mickey Mouse magic lantern and slides.
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Last update: 02-09-2021.
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