In 1832 Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented one of the first moving-picture devices, the phenakistoscope.

The Phenakistoscope is a cardboard disk pierced around its circumference with a number of small openings and painted on one side with figures. When you spin the disk in front of a mirror while looking through the openings, the reflected figures, instead of becoming blurred as they would if you looked at the spinning circle in any other way, seem to stop rotating and perform movements.

Use these links to see more.

Flip Skeleton Dance Crysalis Dance Magician
We teach workshops on how to make phenakistoscopes, praxinoscopes and other optical toys.


Click here to see Sheridan Student Praxinoscopes 2001

The phenakistoscopes you see on this page were made by Amelie Collins.

copyright 2011 Amelie Collins and panelectric