L’illusion de Joseph

Joseph Plateau (1832)

Pask D’ Amico (2016)

Joseph Plateau was a Belgian physicist and mathematician. He was one of the first people to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image. To do this, he used counterrotating disks with repeating drawn images in small increments of motion on one and regularly spaced slits in the other. He called this device of 1832 the phénakisticope.

The¬†ph√©nakisticope¬†was the first widespread animation device that created a fluent illusion of motion. Dubbed “Fantascope” and “Stroboscopische Scheiben” by its inventors, it has been known under very many other names until the French product name¬†Phenakisticope¬†became common. The phenakistiscope is regarded as one of the first forms of moving media entertainment that paved the way for the future motion picture and film industry. Like a GIF animation, it can only show a short continuous loop.

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