Suggested that a 3D moving picture could be achieved through the use of the Phenakistoscope by using 100 cameras taking Stereoscopic Pictures.  
  Desvignes designs a system that suggests the use of an endless stream of film as well as Stereoscopic Photographs in motion. His device was in the vein of the Zoetrope however Desvignes did not name it. He also instigated the use of models for recapturing motion, as did Muybridge and Marey. The Zoetrope was invented by Horner and later copied by Lincoln.  
  Although he never builds it, Du Mont designed on paper, a camera, which he believed, was capable of photographing motion.  
  Shaw constructs an eight-sided drum housing Stereoscopic Photographs, and views them through the Stereoscope by Wheatstone. Shaw's device is known as the Stereostrope.  

Alexander Parkes

ALEXANDER PARKES (1813 - 1890)

Parkes patents his long worked on plastic-based cellulose (the word celluloid will be coined by J. W. Hyatt in 1888). It is made by dissolving nitrocellulose or guncotton (the same base in making collodion) with naphtha, amyl acetate, fusel oil, and camphor. It was poured into moulds or larger, flat sheets and strips. Parke's celluloid was first suggested as a substitute for ivory, bone, combs and billiard balls.

Obviously too thick and tough and optically unsuitable, it would be over twenty years before celluloid would become the final element that photography had been waiting for. Originally, this product of Parkes was known as Parkensine and was shown at the London International Exhibition in 1862.


Alexander Parkes  





Holmes was the first to indicate the value of photographs for analyzing how various movements were actually made. In 1861 he reported in Photographs of street scenes, that pedestrians were often accidentally caught in mid stride. He collected a great number of such views and made drawings in detail of subjects walking, eventually obtaining a kind of animators' sequence chart of the movement of the knee, ankle and foot. He used this finding in his work at that time; improving the design of artificial limbs for civil war amputees.

He was a physician who coined the phrase 'anaesthesia'.

Oliver Wendall Holmes Senior

O.W. Holmes Sr.

  This Frenchman of whom we have little substantial documentation, apparently came up with a process by which he could photograph action naturally either in humans or animals. The process was developed into a camera whereby Du Mont geared a shutter to expose plates once they became perpendicular to the axis of the lens. The writer/historian Olive Cook in her book ‚€˜Movement In Two Dimensions‚€™ [Hutchinson, London, 1963] documents the cine-camera as . . . . . ‚€œThe sensitive surfaces succeeded one another at regular intervals, being placed either on a prismatic drum or sliding frame, or else dropped in turn from an upper chamber into a lower one.‚€Ě (p131).  
COLEMAN SELLERS (1827 - 1902)
  Sellers obtains a patent in the U.S. for his Kinematoscope. This was a children's motion-recreation toy utilizing a wheel with paddle-action showing posed photographs. This gadget was also known briefly, as the Motoscope. Sellers posed his children working in his factory in Philadelphia, for the photographs. His photographs were stereoscopically produced in a double-lensed camera. The term ‚€˜cinema‚€™ comes from ‚€˜Kinema‚€™-toscope and is derived from the Greek word kinema-matos meaning the science of pure motion. Sellers was quite the distinguished and honoured scientist, engineer and inventor. He was appointed professor of mechanics at the Franklin Institute in 1881, earned the standing of non-resident professor of engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1888, honoured with the order of St. Olaf by the King of Sweden in 1877 and many other degrees and honours. Since his childhood Sellers was knowledgeable in the art of sleight-of-hand. Between 1861-1863 he was a member and correspondent of the British Journal of Photography.  
  AUTHOR'S NOTE: We believe it important to note that up until the work of Marey and Muybridge (1872), pictures used for the purpose of motion recreation, where all drawings or photographic-type transparencies of posed motion. Even though Plateau suggested using photographs in their place in 1848, it took another 24 years before happening. Muybridge especially with his work in stop-action series photography ultimately paved the way for photographs to finally be used (over 50 years after their discovery) in the formation of moving pictures. Then, subjects did not have to be still or even pose as still. They could move freely and be captured as moving, and then presented as if captured that way.  

A Carlo Ponti  Megalethoscope ca. 1862

CARLO PONTI (1823 - 1893)

This Swiss-born Venetian optician and photographer created what he called a Megalethoscope. The Megalethoscope was a rather large viewing device, a full five feet wide in some cases, which showed mostly travel photographs using daylight magnified by a large lens. The views were up to 11 by 14 inches in width. Mirrors are placed inside the doors and when light is directed onto the photo a daytime view was achieved. A night view was achieved by lighting the rear of the photo.

Ponti was optician to King Victor Emanuel ll of Italy and made different models of the Megalethoscope for both prints and transparent views. These large magnified photographs were achieved with a magnifying glass. Ponti's photographs were mostly famous landscapes.

Carlo Ponti's Megalethoscope (above) ca.1862  
A Carlo Ponti  Framed Photograph For His Megalethoscope 1862

A Carlo Ponti  Megalethoscope 1862

A Carlo Ponti  Megalethoscope 1862 With Painted Doors

A Carlo Ponti Framed Photograph (above) For His Megalethoscope
A Carlo Ponti Megalethoscope (above) From 1862
A Carlo Ponti Megalethoscope (above) With Painted Doors From 1862
Carlo Ponti learned Photography in Paris and opened photographic studios in several European locations including Venice. He received a patent for his Megalethoscope this year. A simple yet impressive photographic viewing device, the Megalethoscope was designed to use natural light as well as an oil lamp (attached to the rear for viewing the effect of night time photographs). Ponti's photographs were placed within the rear of the Megalethoscope. Mirrors attached to the inside of the doors (the two photos above [right] show the doors with button handles), reflected the light onto the photograph. To view a daytime view of the inserted picture, light was shone onto the front of the photograph by opening the doors. The mirrors reflected the light onto the photo. To observe a nightime impression, the doors where not opened, and light from an oi lamp was shone through the rear, onto the backside of the photograph. A photograph by Carlo Ponti above (left), framed for insertion into the Megalethoscope .
Image Source (above 3): The James Weber Collection

  1862 -1863
JOHN HENRY PEPPER (1821 - 1900) and HENRY DIRCKS (1806 - 1873)
  Combining a little of theatrical magic and a magic lantern show is the work of Dircks and Pepper. The final outcome - Pepper's Ghost. As the story goes, an engineer from Liverpool named Henry Dircks created a model of an apparatus capable in theory of projecting a life-like ghost onto a stage before an audience. As Thomas Weynants has correctly pointed out, this 'appearance' of a ghost-like projection was in fact the "illuminating [of] a real actor, dressed as a ghost" (Weynants, Early Visual Media / Pre Cinema / The Ghost in the Theatre: Pepper's Ghost Effect). Enter John Henry Pepper, a chemist from London who takes it a step further; building a practical working model for use in the theatre. Pepper's Ghost was presented as a three-dimensional transparent sensation in 1863. Utilizing one sheet of stationary glass angled to 45 degrees along with accurate and sensitive lighting, Pepper's Ghost shocked audiences then, and has continued to be used in plays, television and films up to this day. Back projection as it was (and still is) known by lanternist's, is called The Shuftan Process in film. It has been incorporated by Hitchcock, Disney and Coppola, and used in films like A Christmas Carol (Dickens), MacBeth and Hamlet.  

Pepper was a chemistry professor at London's Polytechnic Institute. He had heard of an idea and had seen a model by Dircks, which described and showed a ghost projection on stage. This was known as the Dircksian Phantasmagoria.

Pepper built a large-scale presentation based on the model and began to exhibit it. His first attempt was a success, incorporating Pepper's Ghost into "The Haunted Man" by Dickens. Due mostly to this production and many others that followed, John Henry Pepper's name became synonymous with this phantasmagoria event. Dircks and Peppers' relationship was short-lived partly due to this fact. In Dirck's 1863 book 'The Ghost' he pretty much summed up his view that he felt deceived by Pepper over the development of Pepper's Ghost.

Pepper also wrote in 1890 his views of the relationship he had with Dircks, saying he wanted Henry Dircks to also have his share of the credit.

A Depiction Of How Pepper's Ghost Was Devised And Appeared

Pepper's Ghost (above) as it would have looked in 1863

The foundation of Pepper's Ghost was the actor whose image was projected through the 45-degree angled mirror upward and on to the stage as it were. The projectionist operated from beneath the stage along with the actor(s). Other characters on the stage would interact with the 'ghost(s)'. The image (above right) shows how it would have appeared. The effect of Pepper's Ghost is often seen today in modern cinema.

16 Page Book Of Surprising Spectral Illusions

Optical Illusions and Optical Toys where as popular in the late 19th century as where projecting toys like the Magic Latern and Stereoscope, and motion toys such as the Zoetrope.

A fine example of an inexpensive optical Illusionary toy for the children is a book with multiple-coloured pages of images and drawings which used Persistence Of Vision to benefit from.

When stared at for a few seconds, the image (usually of a ghostly figure) would be emblazened on the back of the eye (retina) and remain for the same period.

The viewer would then turn to the next page which was white and would see the ghoulish character dance on the page as the eye moved. Because the page was white, the character would appear 'above' the page.

(Left) James G. Gregory Publication 'Spectropia, Or Surprising Spectral Illusions Showing Ghosts Everywhere', New York, 1864

  Image Source: Optical Toys    

  Designs and patents a motion picture photographing projection system in France for ‚€œan apparatus designed to reproduce by photography any scenes, with all the transformations undergone during a predetermined time.‚€Ě  It appears from research completed, that Hauron never actually produced the thing in a physical sense. In the patent forms, Hauron gave us only a vision when he stated;  
  ‚€œMy invention consists in substituting rapidly and without confusion to the eye, not only of an individual but when so desired a whole assemblage, the enlarged images of a great number of pictures when taken instantaneously and successively at very short intervals . . . . . The observer will believe that he sees only one image, which changes gradually by reason of the successive changes of form and position of the objects which occur from one picture to the other. Even supposing that there be a slight interval of time during which the same object was not shown, the persistence of the luminous impression upon the eye will fill this gap. There will be as it were a living representation of nature and the same scene will be reproduced upon the screen with the same degree of animation . . . . . By means of my apparatus I am enabled especially to reproduce the passing of a procession, a review of military maneuvers, the movements of a battle, a public fete, a theatrical scene . . . . . . ‚€œ  
  What we do know about Hauron‚€™s patent is found in #61976, March 1864, when we read where his thinking was taking him. In it, we see that he suggested; using the camera and projector in slow motion, time-lapse photography, magnified images, mounting successive images on a band of either paper or some fabric (as in Celluloid), using the camera in a moving vehicle as a pan or moving dolly shot, and instant pictures taken rapidly. Du Hauron had described motion pictures.  

  Laing designs the Motorscope, something similar to that of Shaw's Stereostrope. Few details are known.  
A. MOLTENI ( - )
  Invents a machine he calls a Choreutoscope Tournant, using an intermittent movement similar to that of Armat (1897).  


This year Beale 'animates' pictures he had drawn, using his invention, the Chorentoscope (or Choreutoscope). This very simple optical toy is hand-held and is cranked by a small handle, which draws a lanternslide through the apparatus using a small gear. Six images are seen in succession for a split-second each.
The Chorentoscope Of Lionel Beale  From 1866
Dancing Skeleton Lantern Slide For The Beale Chorentoscope

Glass-painted slide (above) used in the Chorentoscope of Lionel Beale. This one was known as the Dancing Skeleton. An animation (right) of the dancing skeleton.
Animation Of A Dancing Skeleton Slide For The Chorentoscope Showing How It Looks

Above we see a Beale Chorentoscope ca. 1866. The slide, viewing area and crank are all clearly visible. As the cranking takes place the 'dancing skeleton' dances through a sequence of six images (left).

Movement is obviously not fluid as the number of images is few and, the speed of the cranking would never equal 14 frames per second. Even if cranked faster, six images disappear quickly before any fluidity would be detected.

  Illumination for this toy is simple daylight however it can be held before another source such as a lamp, on the slide-side of the device. A shutter closed in between images, keeping unwanted light from the view opening. To see a working Chorentoscope using Adobe Flash, go to The Getty Museum's Devices Of Wonder. Choose the Chorentoscope image in the lower right corner and see this optical device as it would have (and still does) appear.  

  AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ceram, on page 24 of Archeology states that Beale projected drawn pictures with his Chorentoscope or Choreutoscope in 1866. My research also suggests that this event may have happened in 1872 as Quigley states (p172 of Magic Shadows). Both men however agree that Beale accomplished this in England. Still mysterious is the entry directly above this, where Quigley on the same page states the Choreutoscope is that of Molteni. These two entries [ MOLTENI 1865 "Choreutoscope Tournant, using an intermittent movement similar to that of Armat (1897)" AND BEALE 1866 ] are interesting because of the similarity in dates, names of device and the description of each. Both Ceram and Quigley are quoted as saying these (or this) machine(s) had the Maltese Cross intermittent movement mechanism, and both are off only by one year. No other research has uncovered what the truth of the matter may be. SEE 1872 BEALE and 1897 ARMAT.  
  Born as Edward James Muggeridge, Muybridge sails to the United States in 1852 and opens a bookstore in San Francisco shortly thereafter. After a head injury and recuperation period in England, he sailed to America again and began photographing western landmarks. One such series of photographs was of the Yosemite Valley, which he sold under the pseudonym Helios, The Flying Camera (Helios being Greek for Sun). Muybridge would become a major player in the story of the discovery of motion pictures. Muybridge's first photographs were taken using the Wet-Collodion process.  



Another Wheel of Life such as the Zoetrope is introduced in the U.S. and patented by Lincoln. Lincoln has no problem calling his a Zoetrope and fashions his almost identically to the Daedaleum of Horner. The name is taken from Greek words "zoo" meaning life and "trope" meaning to turn.

In the United States Lincoln had his Zoetrope manufactured by the Milton Bradley Company of Massachusetts. This 'drum' style optical illusion displayed successive images on a length of paper which was placed within the drum facing inside. It was then viewed through the slits as it spun.

Subsequent versions of the Zoetrope may have had disc-shaped cards in it, (or along with) the strip of pictures.

A Zoetrope Of William F. Lincoln 1867
Image Source & Copyright George Eastman House
The Zoetrope of Lincoln

  This photographer suggested the reproduction of movement through the use of Plateau's Phenakistoscope. He stated that if photographs were taken of a man walking and then mounted on a disk, "the image might walk at the same pace as the subject had done."  
  Hyatt begins studies in the formation of what will become known as Celluloid. An improved version to that of Parkes whose product was plastic-based. Hyatt‚€™s flexi-based invention combines camphor and collodion. He is issued a patent for this product.  

Richard Leach Maddox 1868

Maddox begins studies in, and publishes a description of a Gelatin Dry-Plate process of developing photographs. His work in developing this new method becomes the fastest form of process photography.

Richard Leach Maddox

  Produces a photograph with three colours and is granted a patent for the process. Du Hauron used different filters to photograph his scenes and then printed the negatives on thin sheets of bichromated gelatin. The plates contained carbon pigments of red, blue, and yellow. He publishes Les Couleurs en Photographie, describing subtractive colour photography.  


Linnett develops what is known as the Kineograph. It resembled a book and when revolved vertically, successive pictures flipped giving the appearance of motion. He called his invention an "optical illusion" and in the patent went on to describe it as “Improvements in the means of producing optical illusions . . . . . producing optical illusions by presenting to the eye in rapid succession a series of pictures of objects representing the objects in the several successive positions they occupy when in motion, and thereby producing the impression of moving objects”.
A Drawing From Linnett's 1868 Patent For His Kineograph
Drawing (above) of a booklet of windmill images in Linnett's 1868 Kineograph patent

A. B. BROWN ( - )
  Brings the projector of Uchatius to the U. S. and patents it. Uchatius‚€™ Lantern Wheel of Light and Plateaus‚€™ Phenakistoscope being quite similar in design and use, Brown incorporated into the machine a Maltese Cross arrangement and shutter, essential to the completion of cinematography as we know it today. This ensured the intermittent movement required between frames.  

James Clerk Maxwell 1869

Maxwell improves on the Zoetrope by placing lenses in the slots, which eliminates distortion.

James Clerk Maxwell

Main Page Contents Preface Introduction Bibliography Related Sites Critiques About The Author Copyright Information 900BC-1399 1400-1599 1600-1649 1650-1699 1700-1749 1750-1799 1800-1829 1830-1849 1850-1859 1860-1869 1870-1879 1880-1884 1885-1899 1890-1894 1895 - 1900 Planetel Communications Email The Author Top of Page
Home Page Table of Contents Preface Introduction Years 900BC - 1399 Years 1400 - 1599 Years 1600 - 1649 Years 1650 - 1699 Years 1700 - 1749 Years 1750 - 1799 Years 1800 - 1829 Years 1830 - 1849 Years 1850 - 1859 Years 1860 - 1869 Years 1870 - 1879 Years 1880 - 1884 Years 1885 - 1889 Years 1890 - 1894 Years 1895 - 1900 Bibliography Related Sites Critiques About The Author Copyright Information