A History of Animation


A Mutoscope is also known as a Biograph, the device flicks a series of photographs on a wheel with a hand crank.


The Mutoscope was invented in 1895 in America by the Mutoscope and Biograph company. It became widely popular and these devices were seen all over America and the UK on pleasure piers and amusement arcades.


To operate the Mutoscope you had to put a coin in the machine and look through the lenses in the hood at the top of the device. This allowed the handle on the outside to be turned. Connected to this on the inside was a reel of black and white photographic prints. When the viewer turned the handle the prints rapidly flicked from one to the other (like the effect produced by a 'flick book') and a moving image would appear.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Armley Mills Museum, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 
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