(Sir) DAVID BREWSTER (1781 - 1868)
  Brewster wrote his Treatise On Optics suggesting the ground glass plate could be replaced by a plate that had ‚€œa thin film of dried skim milk‚€Ě when he said . . . . .‚€œI have found that a peculiarly effect is given to the images formed in the camera obscura, when they are received upon the silvered back of a looking glass, smoothed by grinding it with a flat soft bone. In the portable camera obscura, I find that a film of skimmed milk, dried upon a plate of glass, is superior to ground glass for the reception of images.‚€Ě He said the portable camera obscura was a ‚€œuseful invention‚€Ě which ‚€œdelights every person‚€Ě.  
PETER MARK ROGET - (1779 - 1869)
  Some reports claim the Phenakistiscope to be the invention of Roget. We believe this to be erroneous in that no facts or proof have been offered in any documentation we have seen to substantiate this. Multiple spellings of the word also appear from commentary to commentary; Phenakistoscope, Phenakistascope and Phenakistiscope which we believe is the correct spelling. An excellent compilation of these instruments and other inventors, inventions and subjects relating to cinematography can be seen at Russell Naughton's website Adventures In Cybersound.  

Stereopticon By Charles Wheatstone 1832 1832
(Sir) CHARLES WHEATSTONE (1802 - 1875)

Wheatstone had been working on his idea of a projector-type system that would present photographs stereoscopically but without any form of movement. This year he commissions an optical maker in London to construct two of these devices. One will use reflecting mirrors and the other refracting prisms. He will announce them in 1838.
This stereo viewer or Stereopticon by Charles Wheatstone (above left) was one of several devices he designed over the next two decades. The user could handhold the device or place it on a simple stand. (Drawing Courtesy the Bill Gamber and Ken Withers Collection).
The modern grandchild of the Stereopticon is today known as the Viewmaster. This toy can be attributed to William Gruber and was first introduced at the New York World's Fair in 1939. It is based on Wheatstone's invention. Three-dimensional Kodachrome images are used and it can still be purchased at many department stores throughout the world.
The Viewmaster

The Fisher-Price Viewmaster



Plateau constructs what he called a ‚€˜Phenakistoscope‚€™ (he later named it a Fantoscope [not to be confused with Robertson‚€™s Phantoscope which has been written as Fantoscope]). The contrivance consisted of a series of drawings or painted pictures of figures in steps of motion. It had two disks with the inner disk holding the pictures in order on the rim, and the outside disk which the viewer (one at a time) looked through. The outer disks had blackened slits to ensure a constant clear frame and to shield unwanted light off the picture once seen. Both turned on the identical axis. When turned together the impression of motion was achieved. By 1832 Plateau was slowing going blind, the mistake of having looked at the sun for more than a second (suggested to have been 20 seconds), in 1829. Plateau was completely blind by 1843.

Plateau's Phenakistoscope required disks (right) with 14 to 16 images, all showing the progression of movement in successive order. When turned in the device, the subject would appear to dance. The disk provided a one second glimpse into the future of cinematography, slowly advancing the discovery that much further.
Plateau's Phenakistoscope Disk 1832


It is not known whether Stampfer (of Vienna) knew Plateau or of his work. Stampfer would build his ‚€˜Stroboscope‚€™ this year with almost exact dimensions as that of Plateau. The Stroboscope and Phenakistoscope were so similar in construction, operation, looks and achievement, that they have oft times been mistaken as the other, by non historians of the craft without a careful look see. Stampfer also developed something he called a Magic Drum which he fashioned around the Zoetrope.
Stroboscope Or Phenakistiscope Disks
Stroboscope Or Phenakistiscope Disks
Stroboscope Or Phenakistiscope Disks
The disk presentations of Stampfer and Plateau were very similar that few knew the difference at the time. The fundamental understanding of how these disks appeared to move is based on the fact that an image remains on our retina (back of the eye) for approximately 1/14 of a second. This is known as 'persistence of vision', and is easily seen by viewing a disk, Zoetrope presentation or Thaumatrope.

  Finishes his current studies on persistence of vision and submits a paper on the magic disks that he used in the Phenakistoscope.  
  Do primitive motion pictures pre-date primitive photography? Notwithstanding the earliest work of Niepce (1826), the Daguerrean process was announced to the world in 1839. However, the early work of Uchatius would make us wonder. Uchatius was fascinated with the possibility of projecting actual motion. It is documented that he lined up several magic lanterns each containing a single sequential image and pointed them each at the same point on a wall. He then took a candle and moving from one to the other, attempted to illustrate sequence motion. In theory this plan sounds plausible however, one wonders how quickly he had to move between lanterns, and did the air current blow the flame out?, or was the flame brilliant enough?

Ceram wisely suggests that he probably used a torch, however we still wonder at the ability to carry even a torch and move rapidly behind a series of lanterns (12-16 minimum?) in such a manner and speed as to illuminate effectively and at length, then to see enough of the image for any persistence of vision to take effect. And of course without persistence of vision, we have no appearance of motion. No documentation has been found that suggests Uchatius had assistance with this endeavor.
  Having also studied the persistence of vision phenomenon, this physicist presents a paper to his colleagues on his Daedaleum (it was renamed Zoetrope in 1867 by William Lincoln). The Zoetrope or Daedelum was a horizontally rotating drum ( about 12 inches in diameter) which held pictures of different sorts on the inner rim. These pictures showed forms in successive stages of forward motion. On the outer rim were equally spaced slits which the viewer looked through. As the drum is spun at speeds reaching 14 frames per seconds, the figures appear to perform natural movements. Horner will publish a full description of his machine in the Philosophical Magazine. The word Zoetrope is derived from the Greek, as 'wheel of life'. The word Daedaleum is interpreted as 'wheel of the devil'. Horner can also be remembered for the effects seen in the Diorama.  

William H.F. Talbot

This Englishman made a photograph negative on paper known as Photograms, within a camera obscura. This work of Talbot‚€™s followed closely in the footsteps of the works of Wedgewood, Scheele and Schulze. The frame was one inch square and was of a window in his home known as Lacock Abbey. Talbot was vacationing in Europe, using the camera obscura when his thoughts drifted back, towards his work . . . . "It was during these thoughts that the idea occurred to me - how charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably and remain fixed upon the paper." He took those ideas with him back home, and in August of 1835 Talbot produced a photonegative on paper which is extant. It resides in the Science Museum at the NMPFT Bradford, U.K.
W. H. F. Talbot
An Early Calotype By Talbot, c. 1835

Henry Fox Talbot's work, in particular between 1844 and 1860, was instrumental in advancing the process of photography.

One of his discoveries was the unique property of potassium dichromate and how it would harden colloidal gelatine in correct ratio according to how much light was exposed.

Talbot had made many experiments, as had all pioneers of photography.

An early calotype by Talbot, c. 1835 (left)

Henry Talbot's Lattice Window Photograph  1835
  The one that paid off for him was accomplished late in the year 1835 at his home in England. The photograph to the right is of a window in his home which Talbot took in a camera obscura. It was a negative on paper and is on display in the photography collection at The National Media Museum (formerly the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television), in Bradford, U.K.  

  Daguerre is able to produce an image after exposing mercury vapor to a treated silver iodide plate.  


Plateau stated the law of the ‚€˜Stroboscopic Effect‚€™. The law stated in effect; "If within one second, a series of images (14-16) showing successive movement can be seen with the eye, and if these pictures are shown in succession, the laggard sense of sight causes these pictures to be seen as movement and not as single pictures." Studying the illusion of the forward-turning wheel appearing to move backwards, Plateau designs the Anorthoscope to reverse the phenomenon when viewed.
Joseph Plateau
Joseph A.F. Plateau

Wheatstone's 3 Dimensional -View Stereoscope 1838
(Sir) CHARLES WHEATSTONE (1802 - 1875)

Wheatstone gives us two Stereoscopes which present a sense of depth, but no movement. The viewer looked at two images separately through each eye at the same time. Just like looking through a pair of binoculars with the subject fusing as one. Mirrors especially located in the one machine help provide the view, while in the other design refracting prisms were found. Wheatstone reported to the Royal Society on the phenomenon of ‚€˜binocular vision‚€™.

The Wheatstone Stereoscope (left) was first patented in 1838 and is believed to be the first. It provided a three-dimensional view. Prior to photography becoming a common practise, drawings were used. This device was commonly known as a reflecting stereoscope. (Drawing Courtesy the Bill Gamber and Ken Withers Collection).

  Another educational use of the magic lantern (SEE CHESELDEN 1733) comes to us by way of Moigno. He uses the lantern to examine and illustrate the reactions to certain chemicals.  

A typical outdoor room camera obscura is shown in the inaugural edition of the new Magazine of Science this year. It in fact appeared on the front cover and was described as ‚€˜a favourite amusement to view it‚€™s varied and animating pictures.‚€™The article described further how the camera obscura could be used to form images and how different lenses could be used in place of others. The writer concluded that the camera room "is of such simple construction as to be easily understood, and represents the objects subjected to it with so unerring a fidelity, and in all their vivid colours . . . . . or it may be made still more easily in that form usually called a Portable Camera, a description of which will appear in our next number." In the next issue, the magazine made mention of Talbot and Daguerre and their "newly discovered and important process of Photogenic Drawing."
Illustration Of A Room Camera Obscura From 'Magazine Of Science' 1839
To the right we see the rendering by the newly established Magazine of Science in 1839. This camera obscura was depicted on the front cover and celebrated the new process of Photogenic Drawing, which was the natural phenomenon of the camera obscura, made permanent. The article accompanying the picture gave 'co-' and equal credit to Talbot and Daguerre.

  Madler was a German astronomer and uses the word photography in a science report he wrote. Sir John Herschel also begins use of the word in his communication on the subject.  
  Herschel meets with Talbot and shows how sodium thiosulfate can ‚€˜fix‚€™ the image without further blackening. Herschel reports to the Royal Society this Hypo, as well as the ways of making copies. As well, one Pastor J. Reade also announces this year a way to ‚€˜fix‚€™ the image.  
  The inventor of the Telegraph, Morse is believed to be one of the first to see the Daguerreotype when he visits Daguerre.  
  Both pronounce to the world that they have individually and independently, discovered photographic systems which will fix the image caught in the camera obscura. The Daguerre Daguerreotype Process receives the wider attention and prominence and is announced by the Frenchman Francois Arago. Talbot reports to the Royal Society, his earlier findings.  
HIPPOLYTE BAYARD (1807 - 1887)

Bayard begins to produce a direct-positive image in the camera. The first photographic exhibit in the world is arranged and hosted by Bayard in Paris when he presents thirty direct-positive photographs made on paper.
Hippolyte Bayard



Daguerre, as well as the estate of the late JOSEPH NICEPHORE NIEPCE (1765-1833) are awarded pensions for life by the French government.

This was an honorary pension in light of the work and discoveries of both men, as well as compensation for the use of their processes (Heliography, Daguerreotypes or Photography) by all. Just five days after a patent is granted in England for the Daguerreotype process, it is provided free to the world.

One of the first Daguerreotype Cameras (right) commercially manufactured, 1839.

One Of Daguerre's First Commercialy Made Daguerreotype Photographic Cameras, 1839
  An early 1840's article published in the New York Mirror puts into perspective the prevailing attitude towards this new "refined amusement". The article appeared in the Fine Arts section and discusses the how to's;

The Daguerreotype.--We have seen with no little pleasure the whole process and practice of this new and interesting art, as exhibited by Mr. Gouraud on the principles of Daguerre at the Granite Buildings, corner of Chambers Street and Broadway. The process which is very simple, is minutely explained by Mr. Gouraud, and the time occupied in obtaining a finished proof is something less than one hour. The highly polished surface of a metallic plate, composed of copper and silver, is first covered with diluted nitric acid, the plate is then placed in a close box over a small vessel of iodine, where it is left ten minutes, and the colour of the plate, originally that of polished silver, is changed to a fine yellow; the plate is then placed in the camera obscura, before the object of which a view is desired, and submitted to the action of light upon its surface; it remains in this position some ten or fifteen minutes (the time governed by the strength of the light and heat,) and is then placed in a close box and submitted to the action of mercury for a few minutes, when the impression is complete. During the whole process the greatest care is requisite, not only in keeping the surface of the plate free from the slightest touch or contact with any object, but also to keep it from the light. The great obstacle in the way of taking portraits by the Daguerreotype is the difficulty of keeping the countenance, particularly the eyes, immovable during the time required for the plate to remain in the camera obscura -- but it is the expectation of M. Daguerre to bring the art to such a state of perfection that likenesses may be taken as suddenly as a mirror will reflect them. To those who have taste and leisure the Daguerreotype will afford a new source of refined amusement; with the necessary apparatus, a knowledge of the process may be acquired in a few hours. Those who have not time to study the art themselves should not fail to attend Mr. Gouraud's interesting lectures and exhibition.
- The New York Mirror, February 15th 1840

  Child attempted the ‚€˜Dissolving View‚€™ by placing different sources of light behind various painted glass plates. By diminishing the light as one scene was changed to the other, Child was able to project a sort of animation however audiences were not confused as to the lack of true motion. Dissolving Views were introduced by Childe at the Royal Polytechnic Institution in London. Traditionally a single lens instrument, the magic lantern became biunial and triunial as a result of the dissolving view. This allowed the operator to 'dissolve' one lantern view into another, providing not only an entertaining story, but also the thought of motion or movement as the story unfolded. In today's cinema we see the fading from one scene to another scene, or fade from one shot to another as the great-grandchild of the Dissolving View.  
  Herschel comes up with a process known as the Cyanotype. It required ferrocyanate of potassium and allowed for inexpensive but permanent prints.  
ROBERT HUNT (1897 - 1887)
  Hunt gave us a ferrous sulphite paper negative in 1844 known as an Energiatype.  

The Von Uchatius Lantern Wheel Of Light 1845 1845-1846

Uchatius' next attempt at recreating motion was more technologically advanced than his first. The original version of his Lantern Wheel of Light is built using an oil lamp replacing the candle. This device contained a glass disk with an opaque shutter. The thin-slitted shutter however did not allow for a strong throw. This particular invention was created at the request of a commanding officer that wanted his troops to be trained using a 'teaching aid'. Uchatius was a lieutenant in the Austrian forces.
Uchatius' Lantern Wheel of Light of 1845 (left). Using a kerosene lamp to replace his original candle, Uchatius built this with a glass disk full of sequence drawings (12) , two lenses and a crank. When turned, the disk would revolve, as did the images thereby throwing a series of pictures on the wall and the subsequent 'motion' with it. These images however were cast upon the screen at approximately six inches square and were therefore too small to be effective. Uchatius would work on perfecting this device and in 1853 had an improved version. (Diagram Courtesy Adventures In Cybersound)

Poster For Robert Houdin Show 1845 1845

The French born Houdin must be mentioned if not for the marvelous work he did in the art of sleight-of-hand, than for his contribution to the art of automata. As magic is not the theme of our study, we must suggest that Houdin (of whom the great magician of the 20th century, Harry Houdini, took his name) added to the dream of motion through his abilities not only to repair but also design and build his own automatons, namely, his famous writing and drawing figure of the mid 19th century.

However as a great magician of his time, Houdin was not conscious we believe, of contributing to motion recreation outright. We do believe however, that as automatons present a realistic attempt in the illusion of motion, they can be remembered as significant entries in the history. Houdin presented his first private and public performances this year which included the figure, which he later sold to the American circus entertainer, Phineas T. Barnum. Houdin also created an automaton known as the Vaulting Trapeze.

  1845 - JOHANN MULLER ( - )  
  This physicist and scientist begins to use the Fantoscope and its use of disks, to study wave motion in light.  


Invents and introduces a Panoramic Camera which takes panoramic photographs 5 inches by 4 3/4, on a curved plate.

Von Martens camera was the first to use a swing lens and curved film plate. On the far right image - hand crank (a) turned gear (b) which swiveled lens (c) slit (d) projects the image onto film (e)
Friedrich Von Marten's Panoramic Camera 1845
The Von Marten camera is considered a true panoramic camera. The photo does not need to be cropped to get a panoramic result. The view is exposed onto film through a narrow slit and a continuous image is built up as the slit is moved across the film. (Image Courtesy Clayton Tume - Bigshotz Panorama Photography)

  A Frenchman, Victor announces a process of making albumen negatives on glass. The albumen process consisted of glass plates being used in the place of paper. It was an extract from the white of eggs added with other light-sensitive agents. In 1850, Albumen prints will be made by Blanquart-Evrard.  

CHARLES FONTAYNE (1814 - 1901) and WILLIAM S. PORTER (1822 - 1889)

In September of this year Fontayne and Porter took a Panoramic photograph of the Cincinnati waterfront consisting of eight plate Daguerreotypes. The picture was at the time, titled "Daguerreotype View of Cincinnati Taken from Newport, Ky." but is today known as The Cincinnati Panorama. Fontayne and Porter placed their camera on a roof, on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. The Panorama is part of the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Panorama of 1848 By Charles Fontayne And William Porter
This Daguerreotype Panorama of the Cincinnati shoreline of the Ohio River was taken using eight individual whole-plates and is in the possession of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It was taken in 1848. (Thanks to John R.Reusing, Development Director, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County)
View A Large Format Of This Digitized Daguerreotype Here.
  View This Cincinnati Waterfront Panorama Daguerreotype At The University of Rochester Here . Zoom in or out, plate by plate.  
  View How This 1848 Daguerreotype Panorama Brings Middle America's Past to Life From Wired Magazine Here. Learn how the panorama was restored and much more.  
  Thanks to John Reusing.  

E. M. CLARKE ( - )
  Publishes a book in London on the use of the oxy-hydrogen blowlamp (invented by Robert Hare in 1802) and its use in educational presentations. He calls it ‚€˜Directions For Using The Philosophical Apparatus In Private Research And Public Exhibition‚€™.  
  Suggests the use of photographs in the use of motion study analysis, in place of the still-used drawings.  
  The first "history" written on the photographic process and discovery is published this year in New York.  
(Sir) DAVID BREWSTER (1781 - 1868)
  Designs a Stereoscopic Camera with binocular lenses for photographing stereoscopic pictures. Until now, all Stereoscopic Photographs had been taken using two successive exposures using a single lens.  
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