Magic Lantern or Slide Projector) Pictures, History, and Descriptions
Magic lantern or Balopticon links below lead to the rest of the stories on these old slide projectors:
Magic lanterns (slide projectors) or “Balopticons”*—the trade name used by the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company for its product—are early forms of optical projectors used to project transparent slides of still pictures on screens or elsewhere. A 1927 Bausch & Lomb sales book claims, “It should be borne in mind that the trade name ‘Balopticon’ stands for the highest type of ‘still’ projection apparatus.” The photographs below depict some of the illustrations in that catalog. Written descriptions of them, which we will add as time permits, are based on Bausch & Lomb's information provided therein. Just click the image of any magic lantern with a model name and/or number below it to go to the Web page with its particular information. If you want to know more, be sure to check back here occasionally to keep yourself updated with these pieces of rare history as we build this Web site.
The magic lantern pictured above was priced at a hefty $54.00 in 1927. This Balopticon came with a 500-watt, 115-volt Mazda lamp, with a ground and polished glass reflector, 15 feet of extension cord with a connecting plug and switch, double slide carrier, metal carrying case, and a 1 5/8 inch diameter, 6-inch-focus projection lens in a spiral-focusing mount. The Bausch & Lomb catalog described it as follows: . . .
The Bausch & Lomb Model BT Balopticon is pictured above and below
Bausch & Lomb Model BC Balopticon (With 600-watt Mazda Lamp)
Bausch & Lomb Model CL Balopticon (With 1,000-watt Bulb)
Bausch & Lomb Model Double CL Balopticon or Magic Lantern
Bausch & Lomb Electric Carbon Arc Model D Balpticon or Magic Lantern
The magic lantern above is the Model D Balopticon with a hand fed electric carbon arc lamp. The 1927 Bausch & Lomb Optical Company catalog describes it as follows: . . .
*The trade name Balopticon is not just a random name. It has purpose. It is obviously an acronym for the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company. We have B for "Bausch," a for "and," l for "Lomb," opti for "optical," co for "company," and n for "name." Its founders left it for us to figure out.
This page was last modified on Tuesday, January 19, 2016