Kinematoscope Patented

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.


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