Infusoria Five Acre Lights


Formerly Ono Yasumaro’s Illumination Factory. Operated in Surrey, England during late 1968 to early 1970 by Neil Rice, Ken Smith, Phil Cate and Cathy Henshall.

Equipment was as Ono Yasumaro’s Illumination Factory plus:

An overhead projector. This was used with glass clockface bowls sourced from Laphams in Clerkenwell Road, London, the original centre for Englands watch and clock makers.

Unfortunately this fine emporium no longer exists. The gentleman who regularly served us at Laphams I’m sure could not believe his luck as we continually returned to replace broken bowls !

Black and white, positive and negative, graphic slides. These were used on projectors behind a giant 4 foot (1.2m) diameter colour wheel driven by a large variable speed electric motor.

Polarising Slides. These were produced from various types of birefringent material such as ‘Sellotape’, stretched polythene, cellophane and melted crystals. These were used in the light show and also sold to other light shows and the emerging retailers of light show equipment.

One subsequently important device was a pair of Bridget Riley’s famous black and white radial moiré patterns mounted onto a large diameter ball race. I first noticed this effect on the flight deck of the Enterprise on the early black and white episodes of Startrek and I was determined to project it. The patterns were available from a shop called Proops in the Tottenham Court Road, London.

This shop also sold polarising film, diffraction grating material, small slow electric motors and many other useful lightshow items. The patterns were large and on acetate sheets for manual use on an overhead projector so they had to be photographically reduced before being mounted on the bearing.

This ‘invention’ lead to the development by Krishna Lights and subsequently by Optikinetics of the Effect Cassette which is still produced by the latter. However the principal existed much earlier as ‘The Chromatrope’ a twin glass rotating effect used in Victorian ‘Magic Lantern’ projectors during the 1800s

The Aldis ‘Star’ projectors with their delicate 500 watt incandescent filament lamps were sold and replaced with Ranks new Tutor 2 projectors. These had the then revolutionary Quartz Halogen low voltage lamp, which was brighter and more rugged than its predecessor.

Infusoria Five Acre Lights

Copyright © Neil Rice 2001