The day when Mechanical Flipbook leaves the nest and becomes a productive part of society. We’ve already begun nurturing that hope with “FlipBooKit”, a DIY kit based on our original (old fashioned) art works. The kit enables anyone to build their own hand-cranked miniature movie machine. We’ve been moved and amazed to see what other people have made with this artistic technology.

 

History of the Moving Image

The first flipbook appeared in Birmingham, England in 1868 when the British lithograph printer John Barnes Linnett patented his new invention under the name kineograph, literally “a moving picture”. Although the earlier phenakistoscope was able to produce a circular sequence of images, Linnett’s kineograph was the world’s first type of animation to use a linear sequence of images.

Almost thirty years later, Max Skladanowsky, the early German filmmaker and inventor, also prepared to unveil his own moving photographic images. He and his brother Emil had not yet developed their own film projector, and he exhibited his serial images as a flipbook in 1894. That same year, the American Herman Casler unveiled his new invention, the Mutoscope – a mechanized flipbook that, instead of binding the images as a flipbook, mounted them to a rotating cylinder.
 
It was Casler’s invention that truly captured the public’s imagination and his variation of the classic flipbook was a popular attraction well into the 20th century, often appearing in amusement parks and arcades. At the turn of the century, Henry William Short introduced the filoscope, a flipbook that included a small metal holder that made it much easier to flip the pages and see the images come to life.