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No, it has nothing whatsoever to do with proctoscopy.

Zoöpraxiscope (similar to the phenakistoscope, but you already knew that) derives from two Greek components: zoo + praxis (ζώο + πραχις or “animal action”) was an invention by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge about 1881, an important early step in development of the moving picture. We’d still be looking at hand-held flip books if it weren’t for Muybridge’s vision. “Sallie Gardner at a Gallop” of 1878 is cited as his earliest example.

“Sallie Gardner at a Gallop” / the first moving picture (1878) by Eadweard Muybridge

We know that Agincourt has a movie theatre from the 1930s — it’s in the ‘teens block of South Broad Street and still operating three nights a week, plus Saturday matinées — which was built just before “talkies” came along. Mitch Dressler designed that community asset (if my memory hasn’t completely failed) in the earliest Agincourt-based studio, the one which resulted in the 2007 exhibit, but I can’t recall its name. But surely there were a few earlier home-brewed entertainments. Could someone have owned or even hand-crafted a zoöpraxiscope?

Suggest an edit

+ πρᾶξις

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