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Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) Equipment Archive


Universal Balopticon Opaque/Slide Projector

Universal Balopticon Opaque/Slide Projector

Manufactured by Baush and Lomb Optical Company, Rochester, New York, 1914 - 1918.

The Universal Balopticon was a versatile projector. The dual lens feature of the machine allowed users to easily alternate between opaque objects and lantern slides during a presentation. When equipped with a slidefilm attachment, strip films could also be projected with the Universal Balopticon.

The Universal Balopticon is about three feet long, almost two feet high, and weighs over thirty pounds. Designed for use in auditoriums and large classrooms, it has a heavy power cord and a large switch, neither of which would meet current electrical standards and codes. The lamp, missing from the white, ceramic socket in the rear compartment, could be moved along its adjustment rod to provide optimum image quality. Though the rear compoartment was hot enough to literally burn up insects, moths that entered the front compartment housing the deflection mirror simply dehydrated. The moth in the photo at left could easily have entered a class lecture well before most of us were born.

Donated by M. I. Smith, 1972.

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