Magnajector Model MJ 100 Projector

During the early 1970s, I attended college in St. Paul, Minnesota, and worked for a while as caretaker of an apartment house. When an elderly tenant moved to a nursing home, her relatives kept a few of her possessions and abandoned the rest in a huge pile in the apartment house basement. Mixed in with a mountain of trash were a few interesting old items, including a 1930s telephone (which I use to this day) and this lovely old projector.

It's an extremely simple device, basically a light bulb, a reflecting mirror, and a focusing lens. What sets it apart is the dramatic Buck Rogers style case with ventilating louvers and an integrated handle. The light bulb screws into the rear tailpiece and shines down at an angle, illuminating whatever the projector sits on. An angled mirror inside the case reflects the subject's image into the focusing lens.

The Magnajector name is molded in the side of the case. A little four-pointed star forms the dot above the letter j in the name. In smaller letters below the name you can read the manufacturer (Rainbow Crafts, Inc.), model number, and patent and trademark information.

The Magnajector was apparently manufactured in the UK as well as the US. The book Bakelite shows an identical model on page 87, identifying it as a 1930's Bakelite item from the Peter Austin Manufacturing Co.

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