Another of those look-what-cool-stuff-is-on-Twitter posts. I vaguely knew about these whirly early animation type contraptions, but now thanks to this Daily Mail article I know there were a lot of different versions as the technology evolved.

The one featured in the article was invented by a blind man. That alone is interesting, but it moves on to amazing when you realize how complex it is, for what it is, and had to be viewed in a mirror.

It moves into the realm of the iconic images that pop up in pop culture periodically, of a painter painting paintings of himself painting paintings of himself, etc., etc., when you think about the smartphone you’re holding in your hand (a large number of us do the majority of our daily computing on our phones, so it’s a logical assumption) to view the gifs someone with creativity and computer smarts turned these already awesome moving images into. It’s a very cool melding of ingenuity from a century passed, with the modern day ingenuity we take for granted every day. There’s a real sense of technological and creative lineage in play here.

There’s also the fact that these images were delightfully charming to Victorians and are also way cool to us. You’d think a society so accustomed to fantastic CGI in movies would be too jaded to enjoy such primitive “movies”. I’m not society as a whole, of course, but I do feel like I just found a new old toy in greatgreathowevermany granny’s attic. Now, to thoroughly enjoy it until some misguided killjoy starts up with the threat that hasn’t come to fruition over the generations of visual technology… put that thing down…you’ll ruin your eyesight.

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