On October 14, 1801, Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau was born in Brussels, Belgium, and he would become the mathematician and scientist that pioneered the use of fixed images to create the illusion of movement, the primitive forerunner of our cinema. The fabulous featured image of his invention in this posting has been reproduced from a Wikipedia article.
In 1829 he submitted his doctoral thesis where he discussed in a mere 27 pages the data on his experiments of the effects of color on the retina, the intersections of revolving curves, the distortion of revolving images and the reconstruction of distorted images through counter-revolving discs. On December 1832, he made a primitive stroboscopic device that gave the illusion of movement to the observing eye, which he initially named as the fantascope. It basically consisted of two discs rotating in opposite directions; the front disc had several little windows carved out and the back disc had a series of images. Provided with the right spinning speed, an illusion of moving is recreated in our brains.
In a June 1833 article in the daily Le Figaro, his new stroboscopic device was re-named as the phénakistiscope, which is a compound derivation of the Greek Language; the word phenakisticos means “to deceive” and the word óps means “the eye” or “the face.” His critical invention is certainly to blame for the zillions of hours of enjoyable deception that Humankind has been enjoying in the glimmering light of a cinema or at home.
Coup de chapeau pour toi, génial inventeur et grand innovateur. Bon anniversaire!
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