Phenakistoscope disc, c 1830.
3 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 31cm

Phenakistoscope disc, c 1830.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The disc features a cosack dancer and a man playing a double bas. This optical toy was invented by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau (1801-1883). It is held with the printed side of the disc facing a mirror. When the disc is spun the viewer looks at its reflection through the apertures on the disc's circumference and the drawings appear to move.

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