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12 discs illustrated with images from the time that demonstrate retinal persistence

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Based on the experiments of Newton and later Mark Roget and Michael Faraday on retinal persistence, the Belgian Josep Plateau invented the phenakistiscope in 1832.

The retina, which is a membrane that covers the inside of the eye, perceives and sends changes in the luminosity of the perceived image to the brain through the optic nerve.


This membrane secretes a substance that decomposes and regenerates with an approximate interval of one tenth of a second, with vision being “blind” during that small period of time, so after a complicated neurological process the brain collects the image already seen, the image is closed, to immediately perceive the next one and so on.

The result obtained is that  by passing them at a rate greater than 12 images per second, they are perceived as a single moving image.

The phenakistiscope essentially contains, therefore, the fundamental principle of cinema, since it is also based on the retinal persistence highlighted by the Plateau disc; The images drawn on the disk of the phenakitiscope have been replaced in the cinema by the photographic images of the celluloid tape, but the principle is the same.

Our phenakistiscope is made up of twelve discs with illustrations from the time and is presented in a beautiful case to make a perfect gift.


From the box: 27x24x5 cm

From the instrument:

Assembled with disc height: 33 cm

Diameter of each disc: 20 cm



Additional information

Weight 1,5 kg
Dimensions 0,3 × 0,3 × 0,08 cm

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