Coleman Sellers II, chief engineer of William Sellers & Co., professor of mechanics at the Franklin Institute, professor of engineering practice at Stevens Institute of Technology and inventor, patented Kinematoscope, on this day, February 5th, in 1861.
A protean development in the history of cinema, it aimed to present the illusion of motion. On the filing, it was described as an “improvement in exhibiting stereoscopic pictures”. Coleman applied stereoscopy to the existing principle of toy phantasmascopes using rotating discs.
A series of still stereographic images with chronologically successive stages of action were mounted on blades of a spinning paddle and viewed through slits. The slits passed under a stereoscopic viewer. The pictures were visible within a cabinet, and were not projected onto a screen.