Thaumatrope

This optical toy was invented in 1824 by the Englishman John Ayrton Paris to confirm a theory on retinal persistence which asserts that an image remains on the retina one tenth of a second before blending into the following one. Although this theory is no longer valid, this device is still an important precursor of complex cinematografic instruments such as the zoetrope and the praxinoscope.

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Thaumatrope

This is a rotating disc with a different image on each side. A handle produces the turning speed, which creates the optical illusion of movement.  / The word comes from the Greek “thauma” = wonder and “tropion” = turn.