Main Parts Of A Magic Lantern

1) Chimney. Tall chimneys were only used to provide an updraft for oil burning illuminants

2) Slot for slides. These were always placed between the illuminant and a focus lens

3) Focus Knob

4) Focus lenses. In early lanterns 1 lens was used later 3 were introduced.

5) Door. Adjustments to the illuminants were made through here

6) Inspection window usually fitted with tinted glass to avoid glare

7) Carrying rail usually made of brass.

Lantern design varied according to materials it was made from and its intended use. Lighting systems were interchangeable. Main illuminants were :-

1) Oil burning lamp where a powerful illuminant was not necessary (e.g. entertaining at home)

2) Lime light. Lime produces a brilliant light if heated to a high temperature a combustible gas (often hydrogen) and oxygen could achieve this.

3) Carbon arc

4) Electric filament bulbs were eventually to supersede all other illuminants but were only found on later lanterns