Reflective technology was well established during China’s Han Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. Intricate brass “light penetration mirrors,” also known as Chinese Magic Mirrors in the west, were created by skilled metalworkers. The complex designs and motifs on one hand contrasted with the smooth metal surface on the back, which was riddled with tiny flaws. The decorative design on the opposite side appears out of nowhere as light bounces off the slightly concave mirror side.
Shadow Play theater presentations were invented in Asia at the same period in the first millennium BCE. On a backlit cloth set, performers told stories by projecting shadows. Ethereal cloth and leather puppets appeared on set.
Over the course of many decades, the projector has changed in size and technology. Today we see the projector as a daily tool used in office settings, classrooms, and homes! Here’s a quick history lesson on how the projectors became what they are today!
The Creation of The Magic Lantern
Back in 1659, there was an inventor named Christiaan Huygens. Renowned for creating the wave light theory and the true shape of the rings of Saturn, Christiaan created the device known as the Magic Lantern. Similar to a projector, the Magic Lantern used a concave mirror to shine light from a lamp through a glass slide with an image to project onto a wall. The Magic Lantern was used for educational and entertainment purposes.
Following in the 1750s, the Swiss physicist Leonhard Euler developed the first projector, Opaque Projector, better known as the episcope. This device worked similar to the Magic Lantern in terms of technology, however instead of a concave mirror with direct light being shined from a lamp, prisms and mirrors were used to project an object inside the projector to reveal an image on a screen.
The Golden Age of Projectors
During the mid-1900s, computers were finally being developed and technology had advanced immensely. The first-ever slide projector was made using the same concept as the Magic Lamp. Using transparent photographic slides, light from an incandescent light would pass through each slight and focused through a lens to project a large image onto a screen. Typically used for family pictures and slide shows, the slide projector was made for the people at home and presentations.
Following the Slide Projector was the Overhead projector. This projector uses light and transparencies to shine through a reverse mirror overhead of the projector to emit an image on a screen. An easier example of this would be shadow puppets! The Overhead projector was seen throughout the 1950s all the way up until the early 2000s, as they were typically used at schools for educational purposes.
The Digital Age of Projectors
Fast forward now to the present time, there are now multiple variants of projectors! Some of these variants consist of DLP Projectors, LCD Projectors, LCoS Projectors, 4K Projectors, Pico Projectors, and Smart Projectors. It was fairly easy to decide on what type of projector you wanted to buy back then. With these different variants, you can focus on the aspects and features you are specifically looking for!
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