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Text removed from the article by Andrewa 00:02, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC) as more appropriate to a talk page:

There were several such pre-cinematography animation devices. Might be an idea to have a page on them. I can't think of a good page name -- Tarquin

Rough list to be moved:

  • the flick book
  • that sort of spinning disc with string...
  • there's one similar to the zoetrope, but it's a disc with slots that's held vertically in front of a mirror and spun. One looks through the slots to the reflection beyond.


'The zoetrope was invented in 1834 by William Horner, who called it a "daedalum" or "daedatelum". Horner based his device on the Phenakistiscope built in 1836 by Joseph Plateau.'

...I'm sorry, how do you base something off something that hasn't even been invented yet? Jachra 22:22, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

You steal the concept drawings. --Davémon 14:08, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

"He called it the 'Daedalum' ('the wheel of the devil)." Wouldn't that be derived from Daedalus rather than diablos? -- (talk) 21:29, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

  • "The wheel of the devil"? My god, Daedalos was the greek ancient engineer of the Minotaurus and Icarus miths. Devil in greek is "daimon" (δαίμον). That name is the William Horner's tribute to Daedalos engineer. Please, you only must to consult a diccionary...

similar device[edit]

This too works by seeing still images through slits : 04:53, 25 October 2007 (UTC)tsand

Sony marketing[edit]

I cut some details out of the paragraph on the BRAVIA-drome. It's interesting and all, but we don't need to keep repeating the word BRAVIA over and over; nor do we need the Motionflow trademark in here, since it isn't well supported by the cited references (is it Motionflow 200Hz, or 240Hz Motionflow? If I'm learning about zoetropes, and not buying a Sony TV, do I care?) Last, the statistic about the thing going 50km/h is just senseless, regardless of what the reference says. Perhaps the outer shell passes the viewer at 50km/h when it's rotating at just over 2 revolutions per second? The whatever-drome itself stays put unless it's being transported in its two 40ft trucks, in which case I'll bet it goes a lot faster than 50km/h. Keno (talk) 22:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Image of linear zoetrope[edit]

{{Image requested}}Prof. Squirrel (talk) 23:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

(Changed, and moved to the top by Josve05a.) -(tJosve05a (c) 23:46, 14 October 2013 (UTC)


'ζωή (zoe), doesn't means "life", means "alive" ("active"), it's an adjective that combines with tropé (a complete turn).Please, you only must to consult a greek diccionary...

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 23 March 2012 (UTC) inserted a false etymology. This has already been discussed elsewhere. --Omnipaedista (talk) 06:15, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I've always known it as a zoötrope, and that's what dictionaries seem to call it. --Hugh7 (talk) 01:49, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Ding Huan invention claims[edit]

Whatever Ding Huan's device was, it was clearly not a zoetrope, which the second paragraph of the article quite correctly and in keeping with countless standard reference books describes as:

"...a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion." (Later variants are distinguished as "linear" and "3D" zoetropes.)

Where, for example, are the viewing slits in Ding Huan's device? Even if his invention had some other feature, such as flickering illumination, which could produce even a crude true animation effect, in which each image in the sequence appears to replace the one preceding it -- and the extremely vague ancient description makes that very far from clear -- it would still not be a zoetrope, any more than a phenakistoscope or a praxinoscope or a flip book is a zoetrope. An ox cart is not a horse-drawn carriage, and neither one is an automobile, even though all three have features in common.

It appears that user @Pixarlampjr: has been altering a number of animation and film-related articles by inserting or amplifying claims that Ding Huan was the inventor of the zoetrope. Responsible editors refrain from ignoring or attempting to redefine the long-established meanings of words in order to promote a certain point of view. (talk) 16:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

That paragraph was in the article before I started editing. The sources call Ding Huan's device a zoetrope. "Ding Huan also invented the zoetrope lamp, which had a thin canopy bearing veins at the top." Do you have a source challenging that claim?--Pixarlampjr (talk) 20:01, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Hello @Pixarlampjr:, I was referring to your related edits to other articles, especially to History of film technology, which had been blissfully free of even a short one-sentence version of the claim until you inserted a substantial paragraph. No offense meant -- you are clearly an intelligent good-faith editor who writes well and Wikipedia needs more of those, but please keep in mind that these articles get mirrored and "borrowed from" all around the internet and chunks of them now even turn up between hard covers. For good or ill, the information or misinformation we put into them has a way of rapidly becoming the received truth. Probably at least half of my editing time is spent cleaning up recklessly deposited misinformation within my fields of special interest, to prevent it from propagating any further, so naturally I start tearing my hair when I see a new load being spread around.
The statement that something long accepted as a 19th century invention was actually invented 2000 years earlier -- believe me, I would be delighted to learn that it is true -- is one of those "extraordinary claims that demand extraordinary proof". Fragments extracted from a couple of paragraphs by writers who have no evident credentials as experts on pre-cinema devices do not meet that demand.
My source is your sources' source and the ultimate source of all such claims, as far as I can determine: Volume 4, Part 1, pages 123-124 of Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China (1962). Unfortunately, it seems to be accessible online only in the form of a 40 MB PDF download -- presumably unauthorized, so no link can be provided here, but very little searching was needed to discover it. What may at first seem to be a Google Books-accessible copy is actually Volume 4, Part 2. An abridged version of the relevant subsection is in Volume 2 of The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China (pages 361-362), which is accessible via Google Books, but due to trimming Ding Huan is not even mentioned and several forms of the alleged proto-zoetrope are omitted.
A careful reading of what Needham actually wrote serves as a vivid reminder of the importance of checking up on any trail of cited sources if the object is to get at the truth rather than just to snag a good quote. It never fails to amaze me how scrambled something can become in only one generation of retelling.
Nothing in Needham even remotely justifies a statement like "Ding Huan invented the zoetrope", or even "...zoetrope lamp", the red-flag wording in one of your sources. Ding Huan is named as the inventor of only one of the several devices described, and it is not the one commonly attributed to him by derivative sources. Beyond that, it is clear enough to me that Needham's definition of "a variety of zoetrope" is essentially "something that has a series of images on it and rotates", which completely ignores the crucial feature of zoetropes and related devices. In Volume 4, Part 2 of the series Needham even uses the word as a name for the means of propulsion used by his first-described example, listing zoetropes between helicopter blades and watermills and calling a meat-roasting spit rotated by a rising current of hot air a "zoetrope-spit". (talk) 05:06, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
P.S. Pardon me for editing anonymously in this instance. I have a Wikipedia handle of four years' standing, but anything to do with cartoons seems to attract more than its fair share of obsessive and unbalanced people (as you may soon discover) so I am increasingly inclined not to make that handle readily available when occasionally editing on a closely related topic. (talk) 05:06, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Online gold mine[edit]

I have taken the liberty of adding Stephen Herbert's outstanding online essay From Daedaleum to Zoetrope (Part 1 and Part 2) to the "External Links" section and putting it right at the top. Well-illustrated, profusely referenced and a concise mother lode of information for editors looking to refine or expand this article.

Among other things, it demonstrates that while the linear zoetrope may well be something new under the sun (although I consider the application of the name "zoetrope" to a form so substantially different very debatable -- is a phenakistoscope disc a "flat zoetrope"?), the 3D zoetrope, with sculptural models instead of flat graphics (and using an actual traditional zoetrope, unlike the modern strobe-light-based creations), is certainly not. As to 3D of the stereoscopic kind, note the claim that Eadweard Muybridge was using a stereo-zoetrope to view the first photographic real-time 3D movie circa 1879, an antecedent overlooked in histories of that subject.

Herbert's site has valuable material about other pre-cinema animation devices as well. (talk) 04:31, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Spam alert[edit]

Does the subsection about "Forza/Filmspeed" that was added last October -- seven months ago -- not strike anyone else as blatantly promotional? The three references are a YouTube video, an online puff piece that focuses on Jeff Zwart, who appears to be none other than the contributing user Gs44b (see the summary for this image upload), and a link to an article at which did not bring up any such article when I tried it. Even if a live and truly independent source can be supplied, the long press release now in place needs severe trimming or replacement by a freshly written brief summary. (talk) 04:31, 26 May 2014 (UTC)