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Zoetrope, c 1860.

NMPFT Photo Studio

Zoetrope, c 1860.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm


The concept of the Zoetrope was first suggested in 1833 by the Austrian scientist Simon Stamfer (1792-1864), but it was not commercially exploited 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 slits in the drum simultaneously to see the drawings move and it became a popular optical toy.

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© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

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