Perken and Co Ltd
Wood, metal and glass
450 mm (length); 178 mm (width); 405 mm (height)
Place of origin
National Trust Museum of Childhood
An 'Optimus' magic lantern housed in a rectangular wooden case. A circular brass lens cap at the front, with a hinged disc, unscrews to reveal the glass lens. The top of the wooden case housing the magic lantern contains a black metal sloping roof structure with a tall rectangular metal chimney, which is removable. The chimney has lost most of its paint and is rusty. On either side of the base of the wooden case are five drilled ventilation holes. At the back of the wooden case is a hinged flap. When raised it allows access to the barrel shaped burner attached by a hinge to the paraffin reservoir below. The circular front of the 'barrel' also opens on a hinge. There are three dials attached to rods. Each corresponds to a rectangular wick which may be raised or lowered by twisting the dials. The burner and reservoir unit slides in and out of the wooden casing. Total number of items is 4.
Marks and inscriptions
Beneath the dials on the burner, inside an oval shape: 'PERKEN SON AND Co/ LTD/ OPTIMUS/ LONDON' On the label on the front edge of the wooden case: 'MADE BY/ PERKEN, SON AND Co/ LTD/ HATTON GARDEN/ LONDON.'
Makers and roles
Perken and Co Ltd, maker