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Lighting, Lantern, Brass, Photography Darkroom, Manhattan Optical Co., Antique, c. 1890s


Brass Darkroom Lantern
Manhattan Lamp
Manhattan Optical Co., New York & New Jersey: c. 1894-1902
Brass kerosene lantern with red lens
7 inches high; 3 inches wide, 1.75 inches deep

Also available for prop rental; please inquire as to rates.

A brass lantern, rectangular, surmounted by a round ventilator, and with a rectangular swiveling carrying or hanging handle. The hinged front door opens upwards to reveal a red glass lens for photography darkroom developing. A hinged contiguous rectangular compartment below the lens allows access to the kerosene font at the bottom.

Product description continues below.


The Manhattan Optical Company began operations in 1892, engaged in the manufacture of cameras, lenses, and optical equipment. A factory was built in 1894 in Cresskill, New Jersey. The firm was sold in 1897 and incorporated in New York City. In 1902, it was sold again, this time to Gunlach Optical Company, Rochester, New York, which changed the name of the company.


Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall wear, minor indentations and abrasions, handling. Incised lettering on door a bit worn from polishing. Lamp overall a bit tarnished could be polished bright. Kerosene font complete with wick adjustable by thumbscrew, not tested with kerosene for use or for leaks. Sold as a decorative collectible, not for use with kerosene.