Several devices that successfully displayed animated images began before the advent of the motion picture.These devices were used to fascinate, astonish, and sometimes even frighten people. The majority of these devices didn’t project their images, and accordingly could only be viewed by a single person at any one time.
The magic lantern 17th century earliest known example of projected animation, consisted of translucent oil painting, a simple lens and a candle or oil lamp. In a darkened room the image would appear projected onto an adjacent flat surface.
Thaumatrope (1824) name means “magic turn”, designed to amuse children, made of 2 pieces of paper and string. One image on the front, another on the back, as it spins it gives the illusion of combining the images. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two images appear to combine into a single image due to persistent of vision. The eye continues to see the two images on either side of the thaumatrope shortly after each has disappeared. As the thaumatrope spins, the series of quick flashes is interpreted as one continuous image. Zoetrope 1834 (180 AD) invented in 1834 by William George Homer, designed to actually animate. An expensive toy for adult and children. Made of a cylinder with slits in it, frames of animation printed on a paper strip placed around the interior circumference. The viewer would spin the cylinder to see the images move.
Flip book (1868) John Barnes Linnett patented the first flip book in 1868 as the kineograph. Flip books are made by layering sheets of paper with slightly altered images on a sequential order. As the viewer quickly “flips” through the book, they see a quick animation.
Kinetoscope (1888) The Kinetoscope is an early motion picture exhibition device. Not a movie projector, it was designed for films to be viewed individually through the window of the cabinet housing its components.
Cinematograph (1892) a film camera, which also serves as a film projector.