SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Praxinoscope theatre. Historical artwork of a young girl watching a man using a praxinoscope. Invented by Emile Reynaud in 1879, it was a nineteenth century novelty item that was a precursor to modern cinematography. Praxinoscopes use mirrors, as opposed to slits, and are lit by a shaded candle (upper left). Sixteen sequential pictures are rotated on a revolving drum (centre left) to give the impression of movement. The theatre was an improvement on stand alone models, as it came packed in a box with interchangeable backgrounds, which were viewed through painted theatrical scenes.
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