Cinema & Pre-cinema and the invention of motion pictures
Pre-Cinema is a term that refers to those devices that lead up to the invention of motion pictures and the cinema. The first of these devices is the magic lantern (an early form of transparency or ‘slide’ projector) which was in use well before the invention of photography. The second group of these devices are often called ‘optical toys’ and comprise apparatus and toys that demonstrate the principle of persistence-of-vision which was key to the invention of motion pictures. Persistence-of-vision is the phenomenon that causes still pictures that are shown in rapid succession to appear as if they are moving.
With the development of photographic roll-film in the late 1880’s it was not long before motion pictures and the cinema was invented. The collection includes examples of the earliest motion picture cameras and projectors.