A reflectoscope is a kind of magic lantern but instead of using transparent glass slides you can use any picture or opaque object such as the works of a watch, your hand, etc, and throw an image of it on the screen.
If you have a folding camera 56 you can convert it into a dandy reflectoscope, so get busy with your tools. Make a box - it is really two boxes fastened together - of the peculiar shape shown in Fig. 59, and it can be of wood or of metal as you wish.
Fig. 59 a cheaply made reflectoscope
A. The projector.
B. The illuminator
First make the larger box, which we will call the projector, and this should be 4 1/2 inches long, 5 inches wide and 5 inches high 57 - and leave the front, back and one side off. To the top and bottom fasten on two wood cleats 1/2 an inch square and 5 inches long to fix the projector to the camera with. This box is shown at A in Fig. 59.
56 A box camera can not be used because it's focus is fixed.
Fig. 59c. A Cross Section Top View Of The Reflectoscope
This done, make another box for the illuminator 3 inches wide, 3 inches long on one side, and 4 3/4 inches long on the other side, and 5 inches high. Bend a piece of bright tin for the reflector and set this in the back as shown at B.
Cut a 1 1/4 inch hole through the top for an electric lamp as described in the directions for making an enlarging lantern; the top should be tight fitting but so 57 It must fit the back of your camera.
made that it can be taken off and put on at your pleasure.
Now glue, screw, solder or otherwise fix the two boxes together and the reflecting part of the apparatus is done. To complete it fasten the back of your camera to the cleats on the top and bottom of the box with strong rubber bands as shown at C, which is a top view of the reflectoscope.
Fig. 59D. The Reflectoscope Ready For Use
Tack a white sheet to the wall and set the reflectoscope at a distance of about 10 feet from it with the lens pointing toward it, of course.
Next turn on the light in the box and turn off all the lights in the room and make it as dark as you can. Hold a picture of any kind against the opening in the back of the projector box and then focus the camera until the picture on the screen is as sharp as you can get it.
The way the reflectoscope works is like this: the picture is projected upon the screen in virtue of the fact that the direct light from the lamp, as well as that portion of it which is reflected back by the tin, is thrown against the surface of the picture or object held in the opening; from this the light is reflected through the lens which enlarges it and projects it on the screen.