Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reynaud’s Praxinoscope for the Lantern -- April 29, 2018

This article, from the 10-November-1882 Photographic News, describes Charles-Émile Reynaud's projecting praxinoscope.


THE photographing of animals in motion has led to some ingenious improvements of the lantern. Many of our readers saw Mr. Muybridge's lantern when in this country, how he brought his pictures, by a sort of Zoetrope action, rapidly before an audience one after the other. The Reynaud praxinoscope does the same thing, and does something else besides: it projects a scene upon the wall, and then animates this scene with living characters.

M. Reynaud's apparatus is said to be capable of being worked by the aid of an ordinary lamp. In the picture here shown, which we take from our contemporary La Nature, the whole mechanism is displayed so that our readers will be able to understand the arrangement. There are two projections, although only one lamp is used; one lens projects a scene, the other—the upper lens shown projects the moving figures.

With the scenic picture or photograph we have nothing to do; that is very simple. As regards the photographs “of motion” which are to follow one another, these are cemented together by joints of fabric, so as to make a band, such as is shown lying on the table. The slides may be coloured if desired, and made to harmonise in this way with the tinted scene on which they are to appear. The bands, which should be made flexible with rubber binding, are placed around the praxinoscope or zoetrope, whichever it may be termed, the instrument, as will be seen, having its sides or circumference distended; the praxinoscope is, moreover, pierced with openings, one corresponding to each picture, as in an ordinary zoetrope. The way in which the praxinoscope is revolved is also shown.

To understand how the luminous rays that form the images are made to fall properly, the reader must imagine a condensing lens which is placed close to the flame of the lamp, but which is not shown in our picture. There is, moreover, a mirror inclined at an angle of 45°, which reflects the luminous rays, and sends them through the pierced openings we have just spoken of. In this way luminous figures of the moving praxinoscope are formed upon the facets of glass in the upper portions of the instrument, and are thence projected through the upper lens upon the screen.

By converging upon the screen the two lenses of the instrument, we get at once an animated scene.

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