If you draw complementary pictures on both sides of a cardboard disc (such as a bird and a cage) and twirl it with the help of strings that are attached to it, at a certain speed the two pictures will blend into each other, making the impression that e.g. the bird is sitting inside the cage. The scientific description of this phenomena was first published in 1827 by Dr. John Paris. In his book he described that the first picture is still on our retina by the time the other picture already appears so that we perceive both simultaneously. As one of the antecedents of motion picture thaumatropes (thauma ‘wonder, tropos ‘turning’) often featured short texts or puns and soon became popular. Our series of hand-drawn motifs are available in the form of postcards that anyone can assemble at home.

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