Historical information

Thornton-Pickard was a British camera manufacturer which was established in 1888 and closed in 1939. The company was based in Altrincham, near Manchester, and was an early pioneer in the development of the camera industry. The Thornton-Pickard company was founded by John Edward Thornton and Edgar Pickard in Manchester,. Also referred to as a Magic Lantern Projector, the Ruby enlarger was used to project images from glass negatives using a variety of light sources and eventually adapted for electricity.. As photography technology developed the size of slides became smaller and the "magic lanterns" were replaced by more compact film and slide projectors.


This item is significant as it represents a step in the development of photographic technology and home entertainment in the early 19th century.

Physical description

A large photographic enlarger made primarily of wood, tin plate and glass. The enlarger is fully intact and has the original patent and registration on a badge attached on one side. The enlarger extends when in use but folds up accordion style when not required. Its length at maximum extension is 90 centimetres. It has a slot on one side for glass negatives negatives to be inserted in a wooden holder.

Inscriptions & markings

On metal rectangle: "PROTECTED BY / PAT. No. 18478. 08. / REG. No8. 529944 & 580047."