Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Magic Lanterns, manufactured by
W. Watson & Sons
part 1. 

This brass and mahogany magic lantern is made by the English opticians and scientific instrument makers W. Watson. The company was established at 71 City Road, London, from 1837 and moved to 313 High Holborn in the 1860s. As the Watson trade label in the wooden carry case indicates the latter address, the lantern must date from after 1860.
The key in the foreground is used to ratchet the extending chimney up or down. The paraffin burner by Stocks has four wicks. No marking on lens.

Measures approx: 18" (46 cm) long x 7"(18 cm) wide x 10.5" (26.5 cm) high (without chimney).
The original lantern had an oil burner for lighting but the lantern at the right is converted to electric.

The lens cover has an ebony knob to open and close it.

On the lens cover is stamped 5 inches.

It has a wooden slide holder.


Impressive Victorian magic lantern with very long front lens with a rack an pinion focus mechanism. The lens cover is stamped 18 in Reg no 230577. Inside the lamp housing is a large reflector, a condenser and the lamp holder. The size is c. 26" long, 13" high and 7" wide (66 x 33 x 18 cm).

Overall size when extended is 75 x 20 x 36 cm tall.


A large mahogany and brass lantern with a massive triple extension tube. It has a fine carved mahogany base and lantern chamber with ebonised detail. There are two side opening doors with blue glass peepholes in brass frames, one only with a cover. There is also a rear door. The chamber is lined with Russian iron. The ivory maker's plate reads 'John Watson Lantern Depot 34 Grainger St. Newcastle'. One of the family?


The Watson University Extension lantern with tilting base (c. 1896)

A fine 19th century brass and mahogany magic lantern made by 'Watson & Sons, 313 High Holborn, London'. The body and base are constructed of mahogany with two side doors, each with blue glass windows with sliding covers. At the back of the lantern body are two shaped doors that swing open allowing access to the gas burner. The four-jet gas burner sits on a tray that slides into a rail inside the lantern body. On the front of the body is the large and heavy 6 inch brass lens with two knobs for rack and pinion focusing. The lens is protected by a sliding lens cover. The lantern can be raised and lowered with the two adjustable nuts on both sides.

Another fine mahogany and brass magic lantern made by W. Watson & Sons, London, circa 1895. The optical system features a central bellows, with rack and pinion focusing for a John Wrench 12 1/4" lens. On both sides is a panelled door, with a round brass-bound blue glass window. A velvet curtain at the rear is mounted on a bended brass rod and has a hole cut in it for viewing at the lighting system.

The height of the lantern is about 20" (51 cm) to its double crinkled chimney roof and its base measures about 11" x 21" (28 x 53 cm), or 27" (68 cm) when the lens on its mahogany platform is fully extended.

The brass lens is signed "JW" (for John Wrench) and "London Made", Wrench's Trademark insignia, on the lens cover. The present 12 1/4" Wrench lens is believed to be his longest. It features rack and pinion focus, a small draw tube, and it works with a bellows mechanism for achieving its full extension. The entire lens assembly is hinged at the top and can be raised up for easy access to the condenser or slide area. The front of the lens assembly can be fixed to either of two pairs of threaded rests, for different extension of the bellows.
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Last update: 23-05-2021.
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