Jeu du Thaumatrope

One of the earliest toys in the optical toy lineage, thaumatropes were invented around 1826. By a spin of the disc, images that are on opposite sides begin to appear as one image, completing the picture. Although there were a few claims to the invention, Dr. John Ayrton Paris, of London, was the first to commercialize the toy. The set that we offer dates, at our best guess, from the 1860's during the height of color lithography. It is a reproduction of the original twelve discs and box. Added to the set is an excerpt of a book written by Dr. Paris in 1827 that attempted to teach children scientific principles through the nature of different toys. The excerpt is the chapter on persistance of vision. Also included are two blank discs for drawing ones own thaumatrope.
SEE THE BOX COVER (in separate window)