Know what is the ZOOTROPO

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ZOOTROPO, the ingenuity that was ahead of the cinema


The Zootrope looks like a toy

If the Zootrope now seems like a toy but in his time it was a spectacular invention. He left everyone with his mouth open and his eyes wide.

Conscientious Greek philosophers claimed that inventing an apparatus that showed an image in motion was impossible. And so give it to him again and again.

180 years before Christ

A chimera that for centuries was unattainable. And whenever there is talk of any invention, strange as it may be, who appears? … the Chinese.

Some news speak of something similar to the zootrope in the Han dynasty. They say that the inventor Ding Huan (180 BC) built a kind of censer. The fact that the heat of the candles rotated some paper shovels painted with figures of animals that were located on top of the "lamp". When they turned, they gave the impression that they were in motion.

The authentic Zootrope

But the real Zootrope and its magic really appears in 1834, William Horner is its inventor,


It is a simple and innocent toy that would change our lives for everyone. With the tremendous impact of his invention, other similar devices were created, such as the Fenaquistiscope, the Praxinoscope, the Traumatrope or the Toupie Fantoches. And shortly after nothing more and nothing less than the Cinematographer.

All these devices were the Trending topics of the first half of the 19th century for their spectacularity and innovation. And is that for the first time unimaginable things were seen until then. Moving images, something that now seems so normal was then an amazing discovery.


The invention of the Zootrope went from mouth to mouth and it was paid to be able to see it like today we do it with the attractions of the Theme Parks. They were incredible experiences that were based on what is called retinal persistence and whose veracity is still discussed today.

The magic of the Zootrope

The theory says that any image remains in our retina a tenth of a second before disappearing completely. Therefore, the images that we see overlap with each other. The brain hits them and creates a single mobile image and continues.

In principle it was thought that our eye saw with a cadence of ten images per second. Today the cinema projects generally 24 and television in Europe 25.

But let's go back to the zoetrope that, as you and I know, comes from the Greek Zoo, which means "alive" and from Trope which means "that turns".

It is also called Daedalum and as we have said it was created by William Horner in 1834. It is a cylinder with small rectangular windows through which you have to look.


Inside, different strips with drawings are placed. By turning it around, Eureka! Magic and movement occurs. You really have to see it to believe it and enjoy it.

And yes, if you think about it and reflect a little bit, you will see that the Zootrope has exactly the same mechanism of operation as cartoons and movies.



I hope you like it and thank you for visiting the post.



Firma cortesía de @azorahai77


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