Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Magic Lanterns made by 
Ensign Ltd.
 
The George Houghton Company, which was founded in 1836 in London, had been specializing in the manufacturing of optical devices for almost a century when it decided to launch a series of Disney magic lantern sets under the Ensign Ltd. brand.

The magic lantern slides sets were often sold in combination with a special projector but also sold alone. At least four different types of magic-lantern-projector-plus-slides kits were sold by Ensign before the Second World War.

The slides were divided in several categories: the first series was composed of 11 square sets in black and white, with Mickey Mouse playing the leading part. Those stories, based on the book 'Mickey Mouse Illustrated Movie Stories' released by Dean & Son Ltd., were later reused for a second series of 11 sets in black and white, this time in a rectangular format.
This is a set of 8 Magic Lantern Slides size 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" in the original card board box. It is Story B from the series of 10 Mickey Mouse sets produced by Ensign Ltd in the 1930s and is titled Traffic Troubles.
Mickey Mouse story in a rectangular format (part 1 of 2). It should be noted that these were made with an internal film between the glasses which always had bubbling.
In 1933 Ensign released a series of twenty-four '3 Little Pigs' square slides that probably marked the first creation of a colour Disney slide set by Ensign and was to be followed by dozens more. These slides were rectangular and based on Mickey Mouse and other well known Disney characters.

Although the magic lantern slides and lanterns were by far the most successful Disney items Ensign Ltd. produced in the 30s, the company also launched a lot of other products, like a Mickey Mouse camera outfit, several 'Silly Symphonies' 16mm films, and even a little music toy which was intended to accompany the film projection shows.

In September 1940, the offices of Ensign Ltd. were destroyed in a bombardment and within a few weeks Ensign Ltd. was completely wound up. Its remaining stock was sold to Johnson & Sons of Hendon, who produced at least one more Disney magic lantern set after the war.

Have a look at the twenty-four magic lantern slides after the story of the 'Three Little Pigs'.
Universal Diascope, made of blue painted metal. The slide holder is made of wood and is removable. The lantern measures 16" inches long by 10 inches high and 5 inches wide. (40.5 x 25.5 x 13 cm).


 



 



Ensign Junior Optical Lantern
, c. 1930.


 


ENSIGN OPTISCOPE No 5, SOCIABLE.



 




 
ENSIGN OPTISCOPE No 6 large format slide projector. The front lens is an Aldis-Butcher projection lens 8 inch focus. The projection lens is placed in a movable panel mounted on two rods and has extendable bellows. The projector can be pivoted on the cast-iron base and secured by means of a chrome lever.

The built-in lamp is a 240/250 volt, 500 watt type. The overall size is approx 14.5" (bellows not extended) x 12" x 6" (37 x 30.5 x 15 cm).


 


 
This is a slightly different and probably somewhat older version of the Optiscope No. 6.
It has a rectangular bulb holder that can be shifted to and from to find the right position of the projection lamp. There is a simple winged nut in stead of the chrome lever to secure the projector when pivoted.
 

OPTISCOPE No 8, MADE IN ENGLAND, ENSIGN LIMITED LONDON.


This Optiscope No 8 magic lantern measures approx 22 inches (56 cm) long and is mounted on an adjustable aluminium stand.

It has a nickel plated, lens ensemble. consisting of twin 4 inch condenser lenses and a brass bound projection lens with telescopic sliding focus.
 



 


 
An Ensign Comet No.5 magic lantern. Tin body with black crackled finish and electrified illumination, complete with similarly finished tin carrying box.



 







 
Mickey Mouse Magic Lantern Projector, c. 1931. Black wrinkle finished metal.
This is the original 1931 Mickey Mouse Magic Lantern offered by special arrangement with Walt Disney for displaying the special 3 1/4 Disney glass slides. Size of this lantern is 12 x 9 x 5 (30.5 x 23 x 13 cm).


 


 





A slightly different design of the Mickey Mouse lantern. It measures approximately 30 x 20 x 14 cm.
 


This superb battery operated Mickey Mouse Toy Magic Lantern was made by Ensign in the late 1930s. All the slides, boxes, packaging etc were made in Great Britain while the lantern itself was made for Ensign in Czechoslovakia.

See also:
- Mickey Mouse toy magic lantern outfit
- Mickey Mouse Magic Lantern Outfit.




 
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Last update: 31-05-2017.
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