Bausch & Lomb Model BC Balopticon or Magic Lantern
Bausch & Lomb Optical Company’s description—under Slide Projectors—of its Model BC Balopticon in its 1927 catalog runs thus:
"This Balopticon follows the general lines of Model B, but is enough larger to accommodate the 600-watt tubular-shaped Mazda lamp—the most powerful illuminate allowed on an ordinary lighting circuit by the Board of Underwriters. It is an ideal instrument for classrooms and moderate sized auditoriums where the regular 110-volt lighting system only is available."
"With the 600-watt lamp, the only illuminant regularly supplied for this model, ample illumination is provided for screen images up to 12 feet in width. The highly corrected Balo projection lenses are furnished in either 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22 or 24-inch focal lengths, depending upon the projection distance and the size of the picture required."
"A spherical glass reflector with a mounting by means of which it is attached directly to the lamp bulb is supplied, thereby assuring the user of the greatest efficiency from the Mazda lamp."
"The specifications, except as stated above, are similar to those of Model B. The extended length of the lantern is 26 inches; the height is 13 inches and the weight, without care, is 14 ½ pounds."
The pictures of our Bausch & Lomb Model BC Balopticon, scattered throughout this Web page, show a Westinghouse 1000-watt Mazda lamp being employed. We do not recommend this lamp for the user of this particular magic lantern because the projector case get very hot when it is in use.
Below are a couple of the extra lenses that may be used with this magic lantern patented in 1911, for greater picture area and projection distances.
The smaller one has a focal length of 18 inches and the larger lens is ground for 22 inches.
The price list included for the balopticons offered in the 1927 Bausch & Lomb catalog is included below. Depending on what method is used to calculate the 1927 dollar’s worth, you can multiply these prices by 10 to 100 to get an idea of how much these mgaic lanterns would cost in today’s paper dollars. The Model BC would cost anywhere between $750.00 and $7,500 in today's American money.
The BC Balopticon or magic lantern below—purchased recently on Ebay—included the 10 inch lens on the projector as well as the two extra lenses and slide carriers pictured below.
This animation demonstrates that its Westinghouse 1000-watt lamp with reflector still works very well.
The Ebay magic lanterns with carbon arc lamps—some of which we hope to display on another Web page soon—sometime go for higher prices than the Mazda powered slide projectors on Ebay.
Carbon arc lights—rivaling the brilliance of the sun—are much brighter than Mazda bulbs.
This page was last modified on Tuesday, January 19, 2016