Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Large magic lanterns or Sciopticons Sorts of Magic Lanterns.
 
Large Magic Lanterns
 
Select another sort of magic lantern by clicking one of the images below:
Toy- or children's magic lanterns Home magic lanterns Large magic lanterns or Sciopticons Plural magic lanterns Special magic lanterns, cinematographs, episcopes Fancy magic lanterns
Larger lanterns. The kind of magic lanterns that were used to present lectures in large rooms and for teaching students at schools or universities. The slides for those lanterns were nearly always square and with the sizes 8.3 x 8.3 cm or of the American format measuring 8.3 x 10 cm. For the changing of the magic lantern slides lanternists made use of wooden slide holders. The lanterns were made of blued steel, often using brass for the larger parts like the optical system. More powerful light sources like a multiple wick oil lamps, carbon arc lights, and lime light opened up new possibilities like the projection from behind a large room.

From England came also many lanterns that were made of oak or mahogany wood and brass. Inside they were covered with metal sheets because of fire risk.

 
Because of the wide variety of magic lanterns it is almost impossible to classify them in categories. There will always be borderline cases and exceptions and we always could class many of them under several groups.

Besides many models were launched in several sizes and in that case we could classify the smaller ones as toy lanterns and the bigger ones as parlour lanterns.

Nevertheless we will have a try.

Toy lanterns or Children's lanterns. These magic lanterns have small dimensions, have a plain construction and were cheap. They originally were provided with a candle or a small oil lamp as source of light. They are only suitable for showing small magic lantern slides of about 2 till 4 cm wide.

Parlour lanterns.
These lanterns are already a bit larger, have a more solid construction and are consequently more expensive. Because of the larger and more dangerous oil lamps they must not be considered as a toy.

Larger lanterns.
The kind of magic lanterns that were used to present lectures in large rooms and for teaching students at schools or universities.

Plural lanterns.
These lanterns were mostly made of wood and brass and consisted of two or three single lanterns that were placed on top of each other or sometimes placed side by side.
Thus amazing effects could be performed, like dissolving views.

Special lanterns.
By this we understand among other things the magic lanterns that are able to show not alone glass magic lantern slides, but also films or non-translucent cards or films, like the cinematographs and episcopes. Also remarkable lanterns like the lamposcope and the street lantern are classed here. 

Fancy lanterns.
An exclusive category is build by magic lanterns that are not recognisable as a magic lantern at first sight because they are disguised as something else, like a Buddha, a mosque or an Eiffel tower.
grote toverlantaarn Laterne Universelle 3 pit olielamp voor toverlantaarn
Large magic lantern made of blued metal, the optical system and some other parts made of brass. C. 1900, French, Laterne Universelle C&G Paris.

Sizes: long: 42 cm, wide 14 cm and tall (without chimney) 26 cm.

The right photo shows the accompanying 3-wick oil lamp (opened) with its long chimney that consists of three parts and can be pulled out up to a length of 38 cm.
  
The magic lantern slides that were used in those large magic lanterns mostly had the format 8.2 x 8.2 cm or 8.2 x 10 cm. Those slides could not be simply placed in the slide holder of the lantern. A wooden slide carrier was needed to place the slides and exchange them. The pictured carrier is the patented Eclips self centring carrier, invented in 1886 and made by the Englishman Robert Beard. The slides above are three slides from the set of 'Aesop's Fables' made by Primus Junior Lecturers' Series.
 
Toverlantaarn Optimus
 
Large magic lantern made by 'Optimus'.

This large magic lantern is also made of blued metal and brass. The lamp house is ornamented using a pattern of small holes and has a small window with red coloured glasses on both sides. The base is a tank that contains the oil. The 3-wick oil lamp is connected to the tank. The chimney rises above the lantern through a rectangular opening in the roof of the lantern. The lens can be focussed by means of a small cogwheel. A small shield with the name of the manufacturer is placed in the front of the base and also on the back door.

Optimus is a trade name of the English manufacturer Perken Son & Co., London.
The maker of this magic lantern is the Danish manufacturer Kongsbak & Cohn, Copenhagen. The original lighting is replaced by an electric lamp, as is unfortunately rather usual nowadays.

The large lantern measures 50 cm long.
toverlantaarn Kongsbak Denemarken
 

 
This large magic lantern has been made by Walter Tyler and has a optical system that contains of no less than six telescopic extensible parts. On account of the very large focal distance of the lens this lantern was suitable for use in large rooms.
 
Large, black painted magic lantern made by an unknown manufacturer. Parts of the lens and the lens holder are plated with nickel. The back door is hinged upwards and can be secured by a small rod.

The box 'Gekleurde Lantaarnplaten' beside the lantern contains the fairy tale of the Wolf and the seven Goats.

The base of the lantern is 39 x 14.5 cm.
 
grote zwarte toverlantaarn
 
Torpedo shaped magic lantern, marked ERKO, c. 1920, Dutch? Trade name and logo are printed on the lamp house.
Suitable for a wooden slide carrier for slides measuring c. 8 x 8 cm. Lens uses a rack-and-pinion system for focussing. Socket for an electric bulb inside

Mounted on a wooden base.
Sizes c.:  long 57 cm, wide 13 cm, tall 16 cm. Base 19 x 40 cm.

 

 
While continental magic lanterns are nearly always made of metal, English magic lanterns are very often made of shining mahogany, the interior covered by metal shields because of the fire risk. Between the wooden lamp house and the metal casing was some room for the cooling.

This beautiful lantern is made by the manufacturers Newton & Co. from London. The company also produced many magic lantern slides.

 
Select another sort of magic lantern by clicking one of the images below:
Toy- or children's magic lanterns Home magic lanterns Large magic lanterns or Sciopticons Plural magic lanterns Special magic lanterns, cinematographs, episcopes Fancy magic lanterns
 
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