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Main: Thaumatropes


Bird in a Cage Thaumatrope

Optical toy called an Optique
Around 1759 to 1794

Thaumatropes are really the world's first motion picture. Invented in about 1850 in England, they may seem pretty normal today but in those times they were unusual and stunning indeed. Just twist the ropes with you fingers and watch the bird and the cage turn into a bird in a cage.

We now supply blank wooden white thaumatrope discs by special order. Please ask for information and pricing.

All Three "Original" Thaumatropes

Photo from "A History of Toys" by Antonia Fraser

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Page last modified on February 25, 2011, at 12:13 AM