What do you call this type of classroom projector?

I know they exist because I’ve used them but I can’t remember their name:

They project solid print materials and books (i.e. not just transparencies) onto a screen. I tried “opaque projector” but that brings up something else entirely.

Anyone know the generic term for these devices?


Overhead projector.

Document Camera

Coupled with a document camera.

Edit: Ninja’d

Opaque projectors are what they were called in my grade school. I’m having trouble finding a pic of the sort we used, but it looked like sort of a big domed cabinet on a wheeled cart, with a slot near the bottom to stick the book in.

I think you have it backwards - an opaque projector sits on top of the book and projects it onto a screen. The overhead projector uses transparencies.

FWIW, back when I was in school, it was always overhead projectors and the teacher often wrote on a clean plastic sheet with a grease pen - or they had prepared slides.

That’s exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!

They used to be opaque projectors before modern electronics. Now teachers use document cameras, which are much better.

Note that there is a Wikipedia article about opaque projectors, separate from the one about document cameras.

Love it - old-fashioned photographic “Copy Stand” (used when the customer has a print but not the negative) is re-purposed with a digital camera.

I suspect you can thank the Mickey Mouse Protection Act (copyright extension to eternity, + elimination of exceptions). Teachers used to copy the pages and hand them out.

Is that no longer done?

Teachers do that too. But sometimes it’s just really convenient to be able to show something on the big screen. For instance, suppose you’re demonstrating how to use a compass, or protractor, or calculator. Put the tool on the camera platform, and everyone can see exactly what you’re doing. Or maybe one student answered a question really well on the last quiz: Put it on the camera, and show everyone.

And the old-style opaque projectors were incredibly hot, to the point that you had to restrict the materials you put in them lest they melt. As a result, there were very few applications where they were at all practical.

The old-style opaque projectors also projected a horribly dim image on the screen that could hardly be seen even with all the room lights out. I rarely saw these projectors being used in any school classes I ever had.

Overhead projectors (that project transparencies) were a little more common.

Just like to say this answers a question that’s been rattling around in my head since 2[sup]nd[/sup] grade (early 70s)! My teacher used one of these once to display pages of an actual open book on a projector screen. But it wasn’t a simple overhead projector with transparencies, nor was it an electronic camera displaying on a TV screen. I remember it used an incredibly bright light to illuminate the book’s page. So bright that even though the platform where you put the book was mostly sealed, tons of light still shown out thru it. The platform was also a movable belt with hand cranks because the light made it so hot that you couldn’t put your fingers under the light long enough to move the page.

Only time I ever remember seeing one of those. After that it was just overheads and filmstrips and film projectors (w/ sound). We did have a TV in each classroom (B&W) but it was OTA only, no prerecorded video media (that showed up in middle school).

And foot o’ snow both ways etc…