Film On display
Photograph by Egmont Contreras, ACMI

How do you cage a bird? With a thaumatrope, an optical toy that binds a disc to lengths of string. Illustrated on each side of the disc are distinct images that become one when you pull the string and the thaumatrope spins. The first known thaumatrope was invented by John Ayrton Paris in 1824, when he used it to demonstrate his theory of ‘persistence of vision’ to London’s Royal College of Physicians.

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Not in ACMI's collection

On display until

16 February 2031

ACMI: Gallery 1

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ACMI Identifier

Curatorial section

The Story of the Moving Image → Moving Pictures → MI-02. Play and Illusion → MI-02-C02


30936 times

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=Thaumatropes |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=24 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}