Thursday, May 28, 2015

Electric Tachyscope -- May 28, 2015

German inventor Ottomar Anschutz created the electrical tachyscope in 1887 and demonstrated it at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. From Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography, edited by Albert Allis Hopkins. 

The apparatus which we are about to describe is an important link in the history of the synthesis of animated motion. The apparatus is the invention of Ottamar Anschuetz, of Lissa, Prussia. A special camera was used, adapted to take a number of photographs in quick succession. The instrument for displaying the pictures is called the "electrical tachyscope." It consists of an iron wheel of sufficient diameter to hold an entire series of positive prints on the periphery. The wheel is arranged upon a rigid standard, and provided with a series of pins which register exactly with the picture. Upon the standard behind the wheel is located a box containing a spiral Geissler tube which is connected with the terminals of a Ruhmkorff coil. The primary coil is provided with a contact maker and breaker adapted to be operated by the pins projecting from the wheel, so that every time a picture comes before the Geissler tube it is illuminated by an electrical discharge through the tube. This discharge, being instantaneous, shows each picture in an apparently fixed position. These pictures succeed each other so rapidly that the retinal image of one picture is retained until the next is superimposed upon it, thereby giving to the observer the sense of a continuous image in constant motion.

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