Persistence of Vision Toys

We are calling the devises from our collection we show in these pages "persistence of vision" instruments without intending to argue against current scientific theory* that says we do not preserve motion and combine images because of the persistence of an image in the brain from one frame to the next. Even if this name is not scientifically correct it is how we still identify them in our collection.

- The Thaumatrope
- The Zoetrope
- The Praxinoscope
- The Phenakistoscope
- Flip Books

These toys are the genesis of motion pictures. They are, in effect, single frame animations like a modern movie cartoon. A series of still images, each showing a slightly different phase of a movement or two images to be combined are presented to us in rapid succession with some kind of "shutter" effect between the imges.The "shutter" can be a slot in a drum, a mirror surface, or images on different pages or sides of a the moving object.

Below are links to five pages that show some of our "persistence of vision" toys.

* A page on the Grand Illusions site discusses the point that "persistence of vision" is a misconception.


Above is a case containing a selection of our "persistence of vision" toys. In left of the front row is a Mechanical Cinema toy that spins to show movement by combining the images on two sides of the card. Next is a 19th century Phenakistoscope with a selection of reels. On the right in that row is a Praxinoscope, a drum with a center of mirror facets. Back left is an early 20th century variation of the Phenakistoscope, the Motion Picture Show or Ludoscope. Back right is a large Zoetrope (wheel of life) on a base.

Optical Toys in our collection *Expanded and updated 10/1004
Persistence of Vision Toys < You are Here
Our Peepshow Toys
- Diorama Prints
- Peepshow Changing Views
- Peepshow images
Our Zograscope Viewer
Our Magic Lanterns
- Magic Lantern Graphics
- Magic Lantern Slides

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**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

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Updated on 10/2004