Thursday, 15 January 2009
Initial plan drawing for the mutoscope.
Yesterday's 'thing' is a mutoscope, a Victorian animation machine. We built it in about 2001, I think, and there was very little information available. A book of 'Optical Toys You Can Make' from the library had a short description, but ended with the warning that it was impossible to make at home. Well!
We managed to find a few pictures online (nothing like you can find today - there are even videos) but didn't really understand how it worked. (Can you imagine - no Wikipedia, no YouTube! Kids have it so easy these days.) I put the moving image in the wrong place in the plan, and other things like ratchet cogs and bicycle pedals fell by the wayside as we figured out how to construct it.
It took a huge amount of work, with no power tools, very little money, and lots of experimentation. But in the end we showed a 2 minute animation on it!
I might be more upset about the imminent destruction of the 'scope than I realised - yesterday's post definitely had a tone.
**Some more great images of flipbook viewers here, if you're interested.