Accession Number: 2019.ast.249


This item is contained inside a metal box with the black mottled surface. There is a large woven cotton strap connected to either side; this is broken. Just above this, there are small metal latches to hold the lid on. The lid lifts off completely.

The projector is largely made of metal and sits on six legs. It consists of a rear box shape, with circular holes punched along the sides for ventilation and slit vents along the lid. The lid is wedged in place. In front of this, there is a box that contains a large lens. In front of this, there is a slot into which a wooden slide holder can be inserted. On top of this there is a metal handle and under the handle a screw knob that, when tightened, presses against a metal bracket inside the slot that holds the wooden slide holder in place.

In front of this there is a bellows and then a metal plate connected to which there is a lens in a cylindrical holder. Two rods on either side of this plate can be raised and lowered in metal slots in order to raise and lower the front of the projector. Rods along the side of the bellows can be extended to open the bellows and adjust the focus of the projector. There are screws underneath these rods to fix the rods in place.

There is an electrical cable insulted in brown plastic connected to the rear of the projector. This has a large switch partway along its length, and a two-pronged plug at the end.

The wooden slide holder consists of a wooden frame into which a smaller longer frame is fitted. When the wooden frame is inserted the internal frame can be slid back and forth to insert and remove slides. The slide holder is the correct size to hold 3″ glass slides. There is a photocopied set of instructions inside the box.

Primary Materials:

Metal: Iron Alloy, Glass, Wood, Plastic, Textile: Cotton (Strap).


On a paper label affixed to the front of the projector: “AST56”

Roughly scratched into the lid: “ASTR”

On a paper label affixed to the top of the lens box: “DEPARTMENT OF ASTRONOMY”

On a metal label affixed to the side of the light bulb box: “BAUSCH & LOMB OPTICAL CO.
NO. 134780 115V ; 500W”

Written on the side of the photocopied document: “ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS FILED

Dimensions (cm):

Box: Height = 26, Width = 19, Length = 43.


Projectors project and expand an image on a glass slide onto a flat surface for teaching or demonstration.


Good: The box is in good condition, with little damage to its surface. There is some rust visible in the interior, particularly at the corners, and the box is dirty along the base in one corner. The buckle end of the strap is dirty but intact. The other end ripped or cut, and crudely punched with holes down its centre; it is also quite dirty. The latches are worn and rusty where the paint has worn off.

The projector’s lid is rusted, particularly around the edges. It appears to be rusted in place. The exterior of the box is in better condition, with only small patches of rust on the lid handle, knob edges. Rust is visible through the ventilation holes of the box, suggesting the interior of the box is rusted.

The wooden slide holder, originally painted black, is worn along its tops and sides, particularly where the wood has rubbed against metal components. The bellows is worn on the corners and edges, but intact. The cable is a replacement of an earlier cable; underneath the box a section of the original cable is visible and the textile insulation is very worn. There is white tape affixed in two places along the length of the plastic cable.

The lenses are present and in good condition.

The photocopied instructions are wrinkled and have a few tears along one edge.


Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A.

Date of Manufacture: c. 1910s-1930s


This artifact may have been used for teaching at the Department for the Astronomy & Astrophysics or at the David Dunlap Observatory. If the former, it was probably moved at some point to the Observatory for storage. The sphere was kept at the David Dunlap Observatory until 2009. Upon the sale of the Observatory, it was moved to the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the St George Campus. In 2017 it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.