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What is a thaumatrope?

Learn about the thaumatrope, the world's first cinematographic device.

The thaumatrope (or wonder turner) consists of a piece of cardboard with a picture drawn or pasted on each side, the two pictures being upside down from one another. Two pieces of string are attached to the cardboard and when they are spun, it produces the visual effect of merging the two pictures into one. Invented by J.A. Paris in 1826, it is believed to be the first cinematographic device.

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