We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Zoopraxiscope?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A zoopraxiscope is a projection device for very short films and movies. Many historians consider it the first true movie projector, and although the zoopraxiscope is a long-dead device, the basic idea can be seen in many modern projectors and animation techniques. Several examples of the equipment used with zoopraxiscopes are on display at museums around the world, with one museum having a largely intact zoopraxiscope.

The device was invented in 1879 by Eadweard Muybridge, one of the early pioneers of photography. Muybridge was born in Britain, although he spent much of his life in California, where he engaged in some colorful adventures when he was not photographing and inventing. There are two basic parts to a zoopraxiscope; the projector housing and the discs which fit into it. Much like modern projectors, the zoopraxiscope had a lamp, a lens, and an adjustable shutter which was used to focus the picture. The glass discs had a series of frames printed along their margins.

To use a zoopraxiscope, a disc is mounted in the device and then turned. As the disc turns, the images printed on it are projected. When the disc is turned at the right rate, the images appear to move, illustrating the same basic principle which is used to create modern movies. The length of the film is, of course, severely limited by the diameter of the disc, so zoopraxiscope films are by nature very short.

The earliest films were made by painting the images directly onto the glass. Later films were made with photographs printed onto the surface, and color films were produced by hand coloring the glass. Muybridge used his zoopraxiscope to illustrate many principles of animal motion, another one of his passions. One famous zoopraxiscope film shows a series of photographs of a racehorse in motion. Muybridge used the film to prove that at one point, all the feet of a racehorse are actually off the ground. These photographs are now in the collections of Stanford University.

If you are curious, the first zoopraxiscope show was at the home of Leland Stanford in Palo Alto, California. If one considers the zoopraxiscope the first movie projector, this was also the first motion picture show. The 1879 audience probably had no idea that the zoopraxiscope would inspire technology which would ultimately birth a multibillion dollar global industry.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.