In 1876 he decided to make an optical toy to amuse a young child. Improving on the Phenakistiscope and Zoetrope, Reynaud devised the Praxinoscope (patented December 1877). Consisting of a cylinder with a band of coloured images set inside, a central drum of mirrors was set exactly equidistant between the axis and mirror drum. As the toy revolved the reflection of each picture seen in the mirror drum appeared stationary. The images blended to give a clear, bright, undistorted moving picture without flicker. He produced the praxinoscope commercially, receiving an Honourable Mention in the Paris Exposition of 1878.
The following year Reynaud added a patent supplement for an improvement, the Praxinoscope Theatre. The mirror drum and cylinder were set in a wooden box with a glass-covered viewing aperture, reflecting a card printed with a background. The moving subjects - a juggler, clowns, a steeple-chase - were printed on a black band, and appeared superimposed on a suitable scene.
A further development was the Projection Praxinoscope (below), which used a series of transparent pictures on glass an oil lamp illuminated the images, and the mirror reflections passed through a lens onto a screen.The same lamp projected a static background, and once again the moving pictures were seen in an appropriate setting.
.What Reynaud did next...