Kircher's disc viewer, 17th century

Kircher's disc viewer, 17th century

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Credit: SCIENCE, INDUSTRY AND BUSINESS LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kircher's disc viewer. 17th-century artwork of the 'parastatic microscope' constructed by German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680) for his museum in Rome. The scenes at right (from the Passion of Christ) were viewed through a lens and the glass disc rotated, similar to how a slide viewer operates. Artwork from the 1671 edition of 'Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae' (The Great Art of Light and Darkness) by the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680). First published in 1646, it was mostly about optics and magic lanterns.

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