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Ernst Plank Praxinoscope (Movie) Scientific Instrument Toy For Sale


Ernst Plank Praxinoscope (Movie) Scientific Instrument Toy For Sale

Emblazened with the sought after EP or Ernst Plank badge, we have a true scientific instrument.  The Praxinoscope, think pre movie, is steam powered to zip along and show people in action; of for that matter show any mini-film strip.

The steam engine would use clean water and fuel to create steam, thereby powering the piston.  The piston would then drive the shaft and heavy flywheel into a high rpm for consistent power.  The first spring band would power the transmission (pulleys and shaft on pedestal).  It in turn would spin another drive line of spring steel to a bottom mounted pulley and drum.  The drum spins the “film”.  The film reflects off the mirrors into the viewer’s eyes making a motion picture.  -Simple!  Actually, true Steam Punk!

We have not operated this toy/scientific instrument with fire nor suggest it without a proper engineering review.  Steam engines of this age require a proper engineering check, and we do not wish to damage the paint or observer.

Ernst Plank painted tin Praxinoscope Kinamatofor steam toy accessory, a scarce pre-cinema optical toy mounted on a wood base with Plank makers plaque, 10” h., 13” w., 4 1/2” d.

Condition is good with the original steam engine, transmission, plinth, and badge.  It has a restored drum and a replacement picture strip.  Two small brass shims have been slid under the spinning drum for better alignment.

The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud. Like the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder.

Our offering is quite rare and the first we have seen on market and not in a museum.  The toy was part of the published collector Morton Hirschberg whom authored a book on steam toys.    Provenance: Morton A. Hirschberg Steam Toy Collection.

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 4.8 lbs
Dimensions 25 × 22 × 22 in