Movie Wheels (phenakistiscope)

Movie Wheels Index

Here is a preview of what it's like to use a movie wheel (with the cat pattern), from my friend Thomas Buchwald. Thomas also figured out how to keep the wheel stable, with a small piece of foam glued on, which you can see at the beginning of the clip.

It's the ultimate optical illusion

They say that, "Seeing is believing." But however real the worlds that movies and videos create, they will always be a clever optical illusions."Animation" means "brought to life," and you can rediscover the excitement the pioneers of animation felt as they breathed life into pictures

It takes little more than half an hour to make a movie wheel out of a recycled cereal box. You could spend a lifetime watching TV without ever understanding how our eyes can see still images seem to come alive. But when you build and use a movie wheel, you can't help but start to grapple with "persistence of vision," the principle that allows our brain to see progressions of still images as moving.

Here are instructions for an even simpler "persistence of vision" toy, a Thaumatrope (not in instructional video format yet).

Here are some pictures from North Carolinian Louise Omoto Kessel--homesteader, homeschool mom and camp organizer showing the camp museum of various and some kids using them without the mirror.