Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Magic Lanterns, supplied by
 W. Butcher & Sons part 1
The English supplier of magic lanterns and slides W. Butcher & Son was established at Blackheath, London, in 1866. By 1895 the firm was advertising using the 'Primus' trademark. Much of their extensive range was probably bought in from Germany and sold under their own name. In 1902 W.Butcher & Son became W. Butcher & Sons; from 1913 W. Butcher & Sons Ltd. Butcher produced also the well known Junior Lecturers Series using the 'Primus' trademark.
A superb high quality Magic Lantern in mahogany and solid lacquered brass with rosewood door panels and frames, and deep red leather bellows. Projection lens with focusing rack & pinion. The bellows will extend to a full 30.5 cm (12 inches) and with the rack & pinion and lens tube fully extended the lantern measures 76 cm(30 inches) in length and 43 cm (17 inches) when closed. The projection lens is a focal length of 12 1/4 inches and is capable of a wide range of projection distances given the length of extensions (Short length for long distance and large diameter image, extended length for shorter distances down to about 3 meter (9 or 10 feet) from the lens with a diameter of about 61 cm (2 feet). There is a mahogany and brass 'Eclipse' mechanical slide changer of top quality by R.R. Beard for 8.2 cm (3 1/4 inch) square glass slides.

The brass door observation ports have cobalt blue glass windows and the interior has a black steel lining to protect the wood from the original intense heat from lime light, gas or arc lamp illuminants.

Two brass framed makers plaques both state: W.BUTCHER & SON. Blackheath. LONDON. S.E. and the brass retailer's label below the lens mount states: SANDS HUNTER & Co 17 Bedford St, Strand, LONDON W.C.2.
A splendid vintage magic lantern manufactured around 1890. It is constructed of brass and Russian iron and has a magnificent brass lens and a rare brass roof and chimney. The chimney has a crinkle-top, allowing heat to be released while preventing excessive light spillage.

Inserted is a heavy slide carrier capable of holding two glass slides measuring 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" (8.2 x 8.2 cm).

Another large tin and brass magic lantern supplied by Butcher c. 1900.

This lantern is very similar to the one above.



Gorgeous lantern by W. Butcher and Son made of mahogany, brass and metal plate. The name of the manufacturer is engraved in the brass plate on the front to which the projection lens is attached.

An interesting "Boys Own" magic lantern, with a tin body, painted dark green. Brass lens assembly. Sizes 16" long, 5.5" wide and 10.5" high (41 x 14 x 27 cm).
This magic lantern was brought out in the early years of the 20th century by the popular English magazine 'Boy's Own Paper', aimed at young and teenage boys, published from 1879 to 1967.

The magic lantern was supplied by Butcher and Sons in three slightly different models.

This British magic lantern/enlarger was made around 1915. A small circular metal shield with the trade mark is attached to the wood on the front of the lantern (WB Sons Ltd). The lantern is made of oak with a black metal chimney and body. Adjustment knobs and hinges are made of brass. It measures 21” high, 12” wide, 19” long (53.5 x 30.5 x 48 cm); with the billows fully extended the length is 26” (66 cm). The lamp house and chimney portion slides back and forth in the wood frame grooves. The removable wooden slide tray holds 3” x 4” (8,2 x 10 cm) slides. It is adjustable for height and positioning.

Primus magic lantern gas Butcher


Vintage boxed Primus gas magic lantern.
Two little shields on this lantern. The one on the front of the chimney showing the text 'PRIMUS GAS LANTERN REGISTERED' and another front of the wooden lens holder saying  'PRIMUS GAS LANTERN REGd No. 262061.'

This 'Primus' folding magic lantern was manufactured circa 1890 by W. Butcher & Sons. The brass lens on this magic lantern is detachable by sliding off rails. The base that it fits on can then be folded into the body and secured for easy transportation by the leather carrying handle.

When folded the lantern measures approx 8“ x 8.5” x 5.25” deep (20.5 x 21.5 x 13.5 cm). When the lens is attached the lantern measures 16.75“ (42.5 cm) long and when lens is fully extended the lantern measures approx 22.5” (57 cm) long. The lantern has a name plate which reads ‘Primus’ Folding Lantern Patent 18579'.

merkplaatje W. Butcher  toverlantaarns
Aldis Butcher Projection Lantern circa 1915.

Obviously Bucher liked to make his magic lantern easily transportable. This rather different black metal lantern was made by W. Butcher and Sons Ltd, Camera House, London, EC4. between 1910 and 1920. It measures about 16" long, 6" wide and 9" high (40.5 x 15 x 23 cm), not including the removable projection lens or the original wooden slide changer. Lens and other protruding parts could be stored in the box-like body.

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Last update: 19-05-2021.
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