Who Invented the Projector? How Did The First Model Work?

Projectors help you bring a whole cinema to your home, maximizing your movie-watching experience with ease.

Have you ever wondered: Who invented projectors for your home theater setup? This article will give you a complete answer. Let’s read on to discover! 

Who Invented the Projector? 

Athanasius Kircher, a German clergyman, was the first person to apply the idea of a projector in 1646.

He used an oil lamp or a candle to display the hand-painted pictures on a plain white screen.

Invention context

From the 12th century, there were some theories of projecting pictures using mirrors. The concept of a projector, on the other hand, did not emerge until the 17th century.

Athanasius Kircher suggested utilizing a steganographic mirror, which is a primitive projection device with a focusing lens and pictures or text painted on a mirror reflecting natural light.

What should a projector’s contrast ratio be?
How can a MacBook Pro be connected to a projector?

How did the first projector look? 

The opaque projector, one of the oldest kinds of projector, allowed users to display printed material or tiny objects without converting them to another format.

For example, this machine could display a book (pages or the entire book) on a surface. People accomplished this task by placing the book in the machine. 

The projector at that time projected the object by illuminating a bright lamp on the item and transmitting the reflected light via a projection lens. 

Users could display their books, photos, documents, or small three-dimensional objects as long as they were aware of the heat released by the light source and potential damage. 

1. The old technology allowed users to display many objects

Evolution Of Projection Technology 

Since its invention in the 17th century, projection technology has progressed and improved its performance year by year. Let’s look at its evolution path! 

Late 1800’s: Magic lantern

Magic lanterns showed pictures on glass slides. The light beams for this gadget were candles and oil lamps. 

The first professionals to identify practical uses for this device were entertainers and magicians.

1920’s: Filmstrip

The first person to create this gadget was Christiaan Huygens. To show instructive films in classrooms, this device utilized filmstrips put directly down in front of the projection lens.

1960’s: Overhead projection

These machines were popular during World War II for training soldiers. They came in a big box equipped with a fan, a bright light, and an extendable arm. 

The most important part of this device is the mirror which rests on the arm to catch and redirect the lights toward the display. 

Related: Which projectors are used in movie theaters?

1980’s: Data projection

This device receives visual signals from a TV or a computer and projects them onto a screen.

2000’s: 3D projection

The machine creates two pictures that are nearly synchronous. Then, it sends the images to your eyes through passive or active glasses.

2010’s: 4K projection

4K projection now can project a lower pixel size, resulting in sharper pictures than ever before.

2. The technology has developed significantly


Hopefully, we have satisfactorily answered your question about “Who invented projectors?” For any further information, please feel free to ask. 

Thank you for reading! 

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Cameras (0)
  • Phones (0)