The Praxinoscope, invented in 1877 by the Frenchman, Emile Reynaud (1844-1918), is a precursor of the moving picture. Here, a band of pictures, each slightly different from its neighbor, is placed inside a rotating drum, quite similar to the arrangement of pictures in the Zoetrope. In Reynaud's design the pictures were viewed in succession by reflection from a series of narrow vertical mirrors placed at the center of the drum. The drum is spun by hand, and the horse appears to gallop.

   This early optical toy is in the Wileman Collection of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

   The band of pictures in this praxinoscope from the Wileman Collection shows a clown lying on his back and tossing a barrel into the air. In use, the observer looks only at the image in the mirror directly opposite the eye.


   This group of picture bands in the Wileman Collection was designed to be used in the  praxinoscope above. 

   In each of the eight examples some repetitive motion is followed, such as the clown in the bottom strip juggling three balls. 

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