Phenakistoscope, the 19th-century gif


One of several scientists working on optical devices in the early 19th century was Simon Ritter von Stampfer (1792-1790)), inventor of the stroboscopic disk, an early version of the phenakistoscope. He received a patent in 1833, began production, and published an account with Mathias Trentsensky. The first series of commercial disks sold out immediately. His book is available full-text online here: Ritter von Stampfer (1792-1790)), Die stroboscopischen Scheiben; oder, Optischen Zauberscheiben. Deren Theorie und wissenschaftliche Anwendung (Wien: Trentsensky & Vieweg, 1833).


Today, examples of the phenakistoscope are available in the graphic arts collection at Princeton and throughout the internet, as seen below in google image. Here are a few to enjoy.

In the 20th century, Magic Mirror Movies were a variation of the phenakistoscope, made for your 33 1/3 record player: