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Flick Book - Fox Film Corporation, 'A Movie of Me, Shirley Temple', USA, 1934 Object Reg. No: HT 25048

Alternative Name(s): Kineograph; Flip Book

Flick book, produced in the United States of America by the Fox Film Corporation as part of the merchandising associated with the child star Shirley Temple. It shows Temple with various facial expressions. The flick book is made up of a number of pages, each having a related but slightly different static image drawn on them, which together record a sequence of movement. To create the animation the flick book is held in one hand, the thumb of the other hand flicks the pages in sequence, allowing the viewer to see each page in rapid succession.

While there is no exact date for the invention of the flick book, the first known patent was filed in Britain on 18th March 1868 by John Barnes Linnett, a printer from Birmingham, who described his invention as 'The Kineograph a new optical illusion'.

Flick books were part of a range of popular philosophical or optical toys created in the late 19th century. Like the flick book, most attempted to create the illusion of movement using a series of static images.The flick book peaked in popularity at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, however, modern versions are still produced to this day. Flick books were known by a variety of names: flick book or flicker book in Britain, flip book or flippies in America, Kinematograph, Cinematograph and Daumenkino (thumb cinema) in Germany and Kineograph, Cinema de poche (pocket cinema) in France. Many other specific tradenames were also used.

This flick book is part of the Francis Collection of pre-cinematic apparatus and ephemera, acquired by the Australian and Victorian Governments in 1975. David Francis was the curator of the National Film and Sound Archive of the British Film Institute as well as being a co-founder of the Museum of the Moving Image in London, which was operational between 1988 and 1999.
Flick book of 33 pages made of paper. Single metal staple along bottom margin.
Acquisition Information:
Loan & Subsequent Donation from Australian Film Institute (AFI)
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 56 mm (Height), 43 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: merchandising, pre-cinema moving images, animation, optical toys, optical illusion devices
Themes this item is part of: Francis Collection, Images & Image Making Collection, Leisure Collection
Primary Classification: RECREATION & TOURISM
Secondary Classification: Amusements
Tertiary Classification: optical devices
Back page (handwritten in pencil): 'Kinos = to move/Kinematice =/the study of motion'
Publisher: Fox Film Corporation, United States of America, 1934
Patentee: Mr John Linnett, Birmingham, England, Great Britain, 1868

First known British patentee of the flickbook.
Collector: Mr David Francis, London, Middlesex, England, Great Britain, pre 1975
Accessed 11 May 2010

Encylopaedia Britannica - Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Accessed 14 May 2010

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