Zoetrope, c 1860.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The concept of the Zoetrope was first suggested in 1833 by the Austrian scientist Simon Stampfer (1792-1864) but it was not commercially expoited until 1867. It was a development of the Phenakistoscope (where a single visitor viewed images on a spinning disc in a mirror through slits in the disc). Using the Zoetrope, several viewers could look through the slits in the drum simultaneously to see the drawings move and it became a popular optical toy.