28 January 2014

These Incredible Animated GIFs Are More Than 150 Years Old



With the incredible cold experienced recently (and still) by many and more snow on the way for the mid-Atlantic and ice forecast for the deep south, today’s post is just something light and frivolous and yet historical!  A nice distraction from mother nature.

An article in Wired back in December bearing the title These Incredible Animated GIFs Are More Than 150 Years Old starts out with ...

More than 150 years before Buzzfeed uploaded its first cat GIF, people were already captivated by looping animations. In those days, of course, there was no photoshop or screen grabbing, no Tumblrs and Twitter to help craft and share the perfect GIF. Rather, artists relied on optical tools—things like zoetropes, phenakistoscopes, thaumatropes and other gadgets with very strange names to bring their illustrations to life.

Check out these interesting and sometimes almost disturbing animated images (equivalent to modern-day GIFs) as enjoyed by our ancestors.

I did a Google (TM) search on phenakistoscopes and there are quite a few images to be found if you feel you need more distracting!


 ... and here are thaumatropes ...


... and zoetropes ...


Are there other forms of entertainment enjoyed by our ancestors that we might want to take advantage of when winter weather keeps us indoors?








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