Pre-industrial animation?

Flip-books are a pretty simple technology. The ancient Egyptians probably could have cobbled one together with papyrus thousands of years ago. Is there any evidence that anyone prior to the 19th Century thought of flipping through a series of drawings to make them move?

Oldest Animation Discovered In Iran

Hmmmm … calling this bowl “animation” isn’t accurate. Here’s a link to photosof the actual artifact. There’s no shutter mechanism so if you spun it all you would see is a blur. And the bowl doesn’t look like it would spin very easily anyway. It may be a good example of early sequential art, but its not animation.

The ancient Persians *had *the technology to make a zoetrope, but this bowl isn’t one.

I agree about the Persian bowl – I’ve seen it before, and it also struck me that you’d just se a blur.
It’s possible that things like the “Bird in Cage” illusion existed before the 19th century, but even that’s a stretch to call "animation

The work on modern motion pictures is held to start in the 19th century with
Roget’s 1824 paper “The Persistence of Vision”,
http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=216967
and the Phenakistoscope of Plateau and von Stampfer (and von Stampfer’s Storoboscope)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenakistiscope

It was the work of an artillery officer, Franz von Uchatius, that gave us the first projected “animated” images:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Uchatius

Before this, I’m not aware of any sort of toy or device that tried to store and recreate motion that wasn’t simply mechanically duplicated.

By the way, you can make the argument that cartoons preceded “motion pictures”. Virtually all of these were drawn images – Plateau’s and von Stampfer’s and Von Uchatius. In the later 19th century people used “moving” magic lantern slides, with jointed and independently moving arms and appendages, all of them hand-drawn.

Unless you blinked at the right frequency. And, if the pot was turned on a wheel – well, they’d have the right mechanism to make the finished bowl spin.

Or you built yourself a hand-turned stroboscope*. Or were lucky enough to be watching it when lightning flashed at the right rate.

*I built one as a kid, from instructions in a science book. Just a cardboard disc rotating about its center with slots cut around the periphery to look through.

The easiest way to make such a thing woud be to put vertical slits in the side of the bowl, and then watch through the slits. This is like CalMeacham’s strobe wheel, but automatically synched. But it doesn’t look like that bowl has slits in it.

Books are not trivial technology. Before the nineteenth century one wouldn’t have casually wasted paper on something like flip books when one didn’t yet fully understand the principle of persistence of vision. For that matter, I don’t think that paper airplanes existed before the nineteenth century. Only at the point that the persistence of vision phenomenon was discovered did anyone begin to think about the fact that flip books might use this to make moving pictures, and by that point they were beginning to think about using photographic technology to make movies. Casual uses of paper to make speculative things like flip books or paper airplanes didn’t exist until the principles were understood in other ways (such as movies and as real airplanes) because paper was actually somewhat expensive compared to today. Paper is so cheap today that this is hard to remember, but it was once expensive enough that it wasn’t wasted on children’s toys.

Try this page on the history of cinematography. A fascinating read.

http://www.precinemahistory.net/index.html

Wikipedia on the history of paper planes

O.K., it appears that paper airplanes existed in China 2,000 years ago, but they were adult items. They were treated rather as they treated kites at the time - a little too expensive to be common children’s toys. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that making paper airplanes became common.