Praxinoscope Animation

The Praxinoscope is a typical optical toy from the 19th century. It consists of a cylinder and a strip of paper showing twelve frames for animation. As the cylinder rotates, stationary mirrors in the centre reveal a ‘single image’ in motion. The Praxinoscope was invented in 1876 by Charles-Émile Reynaud (1844-1918), a Paris science teacher.

The simplicity of the device means there is  are several limitations to what sort of animation can be produced. For users in the 19th century it would have been a totally new experience to see still images moving however for us in the 21st century this is something of relative normality. This doesn’t mean the appreciation for amount of interaction it provides is different now from when it was a new technolgy.

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