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Summary. The history of the animated cartoon is traced from the earliest devices used to depict motion, before the introduction of photographic processes, to the realistic and artistic colored cartoons of the present day. The various innovations developed for reducing the labor and cost of producing the thousands of different photographs in seriatim for motion picture cartoons, is. described briefly in relation to their chronology and application.

The history of the animated cartoon goes back farther than that of the motion picture; in fact, motion pictures had their beginning as hand drawn pictures. Long before photography had become practicable, many devices were introduced that portrayed motion by a series of cartoon pictures. These early devices were nothing more than toys, and were impracticable for depicting a story; however, they were popular and did much to crystallize the demand for motion pictures.

Five years after the discovery of the "persistence of vision" by Peter Mark Roget, in 1826, the first attempts were made to show motion pictorially by a series of drawings. With a device, called the Phenakistoscope, invented by Joseph Antoine Plateau, motion was depicted by a sequence of drawings, fourteen in number, each drawing blending with the next in the series to show some simple bit of action. The device was composed of two disks mounted on a shaft, the front disk having a series of slits around its outer edge, while the rear disk carried the drawings. The drawings were aligned with the slits, and on peering through the slits as the two disks revolved, the illusion of motion was created.

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