Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Biscuit tin magic lanterns and other home handicrafts.
Magic lanterns, sometimes manufactured industrially but mostly wonderful feats of home handycrafts, made from old biscuit tins and other packages.
Four characteristic beautiful proofs of home handicrafts. Common tin packages for jam, sweet biscuits, and other products transformed into real working magic lanterns by a skilful do-it-yourselfer.
German magic lantern in a biscuit tin this time made by an industrial manufacturer.

Very rich decorated biscuit tin that can be used, after eating the last biscuit, as a real magic lantern! The manual is printed at the front. Even the small oil lamp was provided.

Manual: Before using the magic lantern you have to remove the small slider at the back for circulation of the air. Remove the cardboard part from the gap for the slide and insert the tube with lens. Put on the chimney, fill the lamp with oil and put it at the bottom in the ring after lighting.

At first sight an industrial made magic lantern but when we open the back we see that it is made from a tin box that contained highly inflammable lighter fuel in the past.

Approx total depth 27 cm, height 15 cm, width 13 cm.
It's true that this magic lantern is not made from a biscuit tin or other package, but it certainly is a proof of home handicrafts because a handyman converted an old railway lantern to this magic lantern.

Tin toy station converted into a magic lantern. Originating from Germany.

Biscuit tin magic lantern made by the webmaster.

From the moment I saw the biscuit tin magic lanterns above I knew right away that I also wanted to make something like that myself.


In a charity shop I found a biscuit tin that seemed quite to been made for the job: the right size, the easy to process octagonal shape and, last but not least ...... the nostalgic pictures on the cover and edge. The children who were pictured on the cover looked enchanted at ' Mommy's Rich Fruity Cake ', but their facial expression was the same as that I knew of children who enjoyed a nice magic lantern performance. The lid of another old cookie jar turned out to be particularly suitable as foot and some screws and loose spare parts made the whole thing complete.

The last picture is entitled ' Satisfaction ', and that was exactly the feeling I felt after my afternoon of pottering.
Thank you, Mommy!

Persil-can magic lantern.

An old, nostalgic can in which the Dutch detergent Persil was sold, was transformed by the webmaster into a funny magic lantern.
The dimensions of the can are approximately 20 x 15 x 10 cm.
The dimensions of the magic lantern are approx. 34 x 23.5 x 10 cm.

The objective, the condenser and the flap door on the side wall come from an old abandoned magic lantern, the chimney is made of plastic pipeline parts that are sprayed matt black. The four beautiful legs came from the junk box.

Some other nice handicrafts from the webmaster.
Athanasius Kircher's Magic Lantern.

One of the inventors of the magic lantern was the German Jesuits priest and scientist, Athanasius Kircher. There is a stubborn story about this learned father that most probably is not based on truth, but hey, it's a nice story: The father had come up with a practical application for the device. When he paid a visit to the apostate believers in the evening, he kept a simple magic lantern hidden under his frock. If talking no longer helped, he went on to take tougher measures. On the glass of his lantern he had painted a realistic image of death that he projected from the outside onto the parchment windows of their simple farmhouses. That was successful! The next Sunday morning his church was packed out again.

True or false, when I saw a simple knickknack lantern standing in a thrift shop, I immediately thought of this German priest and got the idea to tinker this lantern into a magic lantern that might have looked like the lantern that Kircher used.

The glass panes were painted black. The glass at the front was replaced by a wooden board with a simple wooden slide holder and lens tube. A small old lens came out of the junk box that fitted perfectly. A candle from the Christmas box provided the lighting.



Somewhere in a recycling shop I found a very battered tea light containing a single lithophane that was also broken, cracked and very badly and carelessly glued. I could repair that glue. Of course the fractions remained visible, but it was not that disturbing anymore. But what do you have to do with such a loose lithophane? I looked for a suitable housing for it and after a long search and various bad bargains I found a wooden tea box that seemed to be made for it. Of course again in the unsurpassed cycle. I broke the plastic bin out and placed the lithophane in it. It has become, after some tinkering, a very nice and beautiful atmospheric lighting.

A beautiful table lamp with lithophane lampshade.
Some years ago I bought a rickety tea light, containing a beautiful funnel-shaped lithophane, for 7 euros. The lithophan did not fit into the tea light, which was so decrepit that I could deposit it immediately into the dustbin. After that I searched zealously for a better tea light in which the lithophan would belong. It was in vain, and that was not surprising because I was later told by lithophan-expert Louis J. Hart that this lithophane was probably a lampshade. I had found it already so strange that there were no recesses at the bottom for the stick of the oil lamp, but had been so fixed on that tea light that I had apparently closed for other possibilities. So I made plans to go through all the flea markets again, now for a matching lamp.

Next morning I woke up and my first thought was that I had once brought a pair of brass candlesticks at a giveaway store. Could I do something with those? Of course I had to know that right away and yes, the lithophane fitted perfectly on top of it.
Immediately after breakfast I electrified the candlestick with parts from the rubbish bin and some hours later a beautiful 'antique' lamp was flaunting in the living room. Costs ... 7 euros!
There are four images on the lithophane. They show a hunter with his sweetheart. We see the "Jäger und Liebchen auf Brücke", "Jäger und Liebchen am Zaun", and twice in other places. The lithophane is made in Germany ; on the inside a stamp is stamped with the text '25 GERMANY 42 '. I do not know yet what the numbers mean.
  Nederlandse versie......  What's new on this site?  ©1997-2021 'de Luikerwaal'
All rights reserved.
Last update: 17-05-2021.
Previous page......  Top of page......