Five Fantascope discs, 1833.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Made by Ackermann and Co in 1833, these scenes depict couples dancing, a woman beating a man with a stick and a jumping jack. The Fantascope is another name for the Phenakistoscope, which was invented by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau (1801-1883) in 1832. By spinning the disc picture-side towards a mirror and looking through the slits, a brief reflection of each succesive picture can be seen, making the subjects in the pictures appear to move.