Phenakistoscope Disc of Man With Double Bass

1833 in United Kingdom
William Soffe

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Phenakistoscope disc: Bass player and Russian dancer
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford
Science Museum Group Collection

'The Phenakistiscope (sic) or Living Picture'. Published by W Soffe, Strand. One of eight hand coloured lithographic designs on 180mm diameter cards; man with double bass.

A Phenakistoscope disc, published by W Soffe in London, c.1830s.

The Phenakistoscope disc shows a man with a double bass and a Cossack dancer. The Phenakistoscope was invented in 1833 by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau (1801-1883). It is held with the printed side of the disc facing a mirror. The disc is spun and the viewer looks at its reflection through the slits on the disc's circumference: the drawings appear to move.

The disc could also be placed on the base of a Zoetrope and viewed through the slits on the Zoetrope's circumference as it is spun.


Object Number:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • toy - recreational artefact
  • optical toy
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

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