Zoetropes (1834)

zoetrope inserts

the letter T

he zoetrope was invented by the British mathematician William George Horner in 1834. It was very similar to the phenakistoscope, but was more three-dimensional, did not require a mirror, and could be enjoyed by more than one viewer at a time.

a zoetrope

a zoetrope (click to enlarge)

Instead of a circular phenakistoscope-like image carrier, where each image (or “frame”) was allocated a pie-like wedge of space, Horner’s zoetrope had a round metal bucket into which a rectangular (and thus more film-like) animation strip was placed.

The metal bin could spin about the vertical axis of its pedestal base. And, once it was moving quickly enough, anyone who looked through the slits and into the chamber would see the images therein spring to life. 

Look into a spinning zoetrope (turn volume down):


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