Dissolving Stereopticon & Projectionist

Photographer Unknown


MediumGelatin Silver


View Additional Information & Tags

Men: Occupational, Photography, Stereoscopic, The Stage


Image Dimensions: 13.6 x 9.7 cm
Support Dimensions: not mounted

The limelight dissolving stereopticon consisting of two stacked magic lanterns seen here is believed to have been manufactured by T.H. McAllister Manufacturing Opticians of New York City around 1900. An unknown model lantern, the fittings are however consistent with this firm’s “New Universal” model electric light stereopticon featured in their 1901 catalogue.


The bearded and well-dressed projectionist standing behind the tripod-mounted lanterns uses his left hand to control the flow of an oxygen/hydrogen gas ´╗┐mixture produced in the container seen at lower right through a valve. The flow of this gas set ablaze maintains the illumination levels of projected glass slides when directed onto a cylinder of quicklime (calcium oxide) mounted within the rear housing of each lantern.


Additional knowledge of this stereopticon are solicited and welcomed!


print notes recto: fold to upper left corner


provenance: acquired 2016 from collector in Ontario, Canada

Dissolving Stereopticon & Projectionist