Muybridge and Zoetropes / Phenakistiscopes

Work in progress, incomplete, January 2012.

Zoetrope with cardboard drum. c.1870s, 80s. With printed picture strip of silhouette images derived from Muybridge sequence photographs. (c) Yale University.

25 January 1879 Report of Emile Duhousset making zoetrope strips based on Muybridge's published sequences. Cited by Haas (1976) p.117, as being reported in L'Illustration.

15 February 1879 'THE CONVERSAZIONE OF THE IPSWICH SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY' review of local event, Ipswich, England, includes details of photographer Mr. Vick displaying 'instantaneous photographs of a trotting horse, taken by electricity' and animated in a zoetrope. (Muybridge knew William Vick.) [online research]

• 19 April 1879 L'Illustration offers zoetrope for 10 Francs, with images: 'sur des bandes de papier les silhouettes photographiques obtenues par M. Muybridge et representant tout les positions successives du cheval au gallop.' [Scrapbook]

• 28 June 1879 'The Paces of a Horse'. W. B. Tegetmeier, editor of The Field, states that he had mounted Muybridge photographs in a zoetrope: 'The action of the horse was immediately reproduced...' Sequence of galloping horse reproduced. [Mac 27] Note: surviving strips are actually for Reynaud praxinoscope. [Mannoni (Crangle) 309]

• 29 June 1879 window of The Field attracts crowds to see Muybridge horse sequence in motion in zoetrope.

• 4 July 1879 British Journal of Photography records The Field public zoetrope demo. [Hecht 299E]

• 9 July 1879 Art Interchange: 'The Zootrope': D Fairman Rogers discusses series by Muybridge and by Eakins. [Mozley 117]

• 18 July 1879 English Mechanic, 'INSTANTANEOUS PHOTOGRAPHS OF HORSES' ...article, includes 12 silhouettes of galloping horse and rider for use in praxinoscope. '...by means of the telegraph and instantaneous photography and our humble instrument, the famous Derby winner could, without absenting himself from England, give lessons in the noble art of riding to his less experienced brother jockey across the Atlantic? T. Weisendanger.' [Scrapbook]

• July 1879 artist Fairman Rogers mentions that he had constructed a zoetrope to animate drawings based on Muybridge photographic sequences.

• August 1879 Horne and Thornthwaite give demo of praxinoscope with Muybridge horse pictures, to the British Association, at Sheffield. [Hecht 299E]

• at about this time Muybridge constructs a stereoscopic zoetrope, based on the Wheatstone mirror principle.

• Autumn 1879 adopts motion sequence photographs into painted images for Zoogyroscope (later known as the Zoopraxiscope), and projects them privately.

• 1879-80 Bertalan Szekely, Hungarian academic, produces (for teaching purposes?) sequence drawings and zoetrope strips based on Muybridge's sequence photographs of horses. [Prodger 164]

6 January 1882 Knowledge 'The Magic Wheel', phenakistiscope of trotting horse, to cut out and use.
'THE MAGIC WHEEL.' 'We are able this week to give a series of views of a trotting-horse ... and to explain how the picture is to be arranged to produce a life-like effect, we repeat Fig.1, as the two have to be considered together.

The views have not been made to guess-work, as in most of the series used in zoetropes, but are from a series of actual photographs taken instantaneously at equal successive intervals of time during the trotting past of the celebrated racer, Abe Edgington. They were obtained by Muybridge, of San Francisco. Next week, or the week after, we shall give a series showing a galloping horse.

The above views are from the Scientific American....' [Herbert Collection]

• 20 January 1882 Knowledge 'The Magic Wheel', phenakistiscope of galloping horse and rider, to cut out and use.
'THE MAGIC WHEEL.' 'We give, this week, the series of pictures of a galloping horse. We have to notice, however, that the instructions in the Scientific American are erroneous. If a slit is cut exactly beneath each figure of a horse, we get a view of a horse galloping without advancing. Eleven slits should be cut (which the reader will find no difficulty in doing), at equal distances, when the horse will not only be found to move his legs, tail &c., but to advance, as might reasonably be expected fom a galloping horse. The same remarks apply, of course, to the trotting horse, in number 10, in fact, the trotting horse alone is taken from the Scientific American, the ten views of a galloping horse being from a series kindly supplied to the editor by Mr. Muybridge, of San Francisco, who photographed them. Twelve slits will produce the desired illusion even better than eleven, a correspondent notes, and their places are more easily measured. [Herbert Collection]

• 15 November 1882 Photographic Times and American Photographer describes zoetrope strips with Muybridge images, available from Scovill Manufacturing Company. [Hendricks 120]

• also in 1882, British Journal of Photography 1882, p. 734. "A great attraction in this room was a number of zoetropes exhibited by Mr. John J. Atkinson, of Manchester-street, Liverpool, and supplied with the now celebrated Muybridge pictures of running horses." [online research]

The Photographic Times and American Photographer, Volume 13, p.133, p. xxiv (?) and elsewhere is a display advertisement for a set of 12 Muybridge zoetrope strips. [online research]

Spring/Summer 1893? series of 50 [some sets contain 51] b/w 'Zoopraxiscope' paper discs published by Muybridge, to be sold at Chicago World's Fair: 'tracings from Animal Locomotion'. [Muybridge letter to E F Faber, 11 March 1901]

Set of 12 coloured perforated paper discs published, to be sold at Chicago World's Fair. [Muybridge letter to E F Faber, 11 March 1901]

From Duhousset, 1896

1896 The Gaits, Exterior and Proportions of the Horse by Emile Duhousset published in English by Percy Young, London.


Modern Muybridge zoetrope for you to make

(Paper toy), here.


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